Young drivers and car insurance in Singapore
It’s great to be young, isn’t it? If you are young, it can be hard to appreciate this notion. As the old adage goes, the grass is always greener on the other side, after all. However, those of us that are a bit older can look back fondly upon our more youthful days and realize that they truly are the best years of our lives. Getting to experience things for the first time, making and having fun with new friends, and having a firm handle on all things that are ‘in’ are all aspects of being young the older people long for; so much so, in fact, that we often like to remind younger generations to cherish their youth while they still have it.
Of course, those in today’s younger generations might not fully agree. They have their own problems to deal with, and likely will not feel that their lives are as rosy as older adults allege. In fact, there are some aspects of life as a young person where they might feel like someone is condescending to them, or even that something is downright unfair. One such area is certainly car insurance here in Singapore. Why is this? Here, Kwiksure Singapore gives you the low down on car insurance for young drivers in Singapore, and what they can do to save money on it.
Singapore car insurance law
As any established driver likely knows, it is illegal to drive without car insurance in Singapore. Specifically, drivers must possess an insurance plan that includes third party liability insurance coverage, which will cover costs for damages or injuries to third parties or their property caused by a vehicle driven by the policyholder. This is opposed to comprehensive car insurance, which does provide third party liability benefits, but also provides benefits to address costs to the policyholder’s vehicle, regardless of whether they are at fault or not.
Driving without insurance can lead to a driver having to pay for significant monetary damages out of their own pocket, which can lead to serious economic burden. The Singapore justice system can also penalize uninsured drivers to the tune of a $1,000 fine, a prison term of up to three months, and the loss of driving privileges for up to one year. As you can see, driving without insurance in Singapore is a pretty big deal.
The two types of young drivers
It should be noted that there are really two different types of young drivers. Firstly, there are those that are young in age. In Singapore this would be people as young as 18 – the youngest legal driving age in the Lion City – and up to the age of 25.
The second type of young driver could be a person of any age who simply lacks experience behind the wheel. For instance, a person who starts driving at age 50 would still be a student at first, and would still seem riskier than a more experienced 50 year old driver in the eyes of car insurance companies.
Insurance issues for young drivers
So what are some basic aspects of the experience of being a young driver? Perhaps the most obvious restriction placed on young drivers that are driving alone, is that they have to conspicuously display a mark or sign that lets other drivers know that there is an inexperienced driver behind the wheel. This is beneficial not only to others on the road that will be able to drive more defensively around a new driver, but also to the new driver themselves, as they will likely find other drivers more responsive to their actions.
Another very new aspect of becoming a driver in Singapore is that, ever since February 2018, driver training will now include simulation training to practice defensive driving and riding.
When it comes to insurance, young drivers should always be prepared to pay more for their car insurance than veteran drivers. While there isn’t much data on age for Singapore specifically, other studies from around the world, such as this one from the United States, show a direct correlation between accidents rates and being under 25 years of age – that is, until people get to be over 65 years of age, where accidents tend to skyrocket.
Looking at the statistics, it’s no wonder why insurance companies tend to think of younger drivers as bigger risks to cover. According to a 2009 report, traffic accidents were actually the 2nd most common cause of deaths in trauma in Singapore. There is good news, though. Since that time, the rate of fatalities from traffic accidents has fallen, as the rate of fatalities per 100,000 people in the city-state fell from 3.67 in 2009 to 2.17 in 2017.
Saving on car insurance
There are many different steps that young drivers can take to help lower their car insurance premiums. Here are a number of them, along with a quick explanation of each:
- Excess – If you would like to lower your annual insurance premiums, you can raise the car insurance excess on your motor insurance plan. This means that you will pay more out of pocket, should you make a claim on your policy, before the insurer will begin to provide benefits.
- Good grades – Say what you want about the value of getting good grades in school, but they can actually save you money on your car insurance! Get straight A’s, show your report card to your insurance provider, and you may be eligible for a better deal on your policy.
- Driver’s education – Outside of good grades in your normal classes, you can also get a discount on car insurance by successfully completing a driver safety course.
- Buy newer, safer, cheaper cars – The people who determine the cost of your car insurance are known as underwriters. They calculate your premium based on how risky you are based upon your personal details. One such detail is the car you drive. In general, having a newer, safer care will make you a less risky driver to insure, and so may result in lower premiums. Should you get comprehensive insurance, the value of your car will also be taken into account, so driving a less expensive vehicle will lead to lower premiums.
- Add security – Adding an after-market security system to your car may lead to lower premiums, as the added protection against theft will lower risk in the eyes of your insurer.
- Have the right job – If you have a job in motor repair, motor sales, or a related field, you may be subject to higher car insurance premiums. As well, if you are a celebrity entertainer, this may also lead to increased premiums.
- Drive safe, get a discount – A No Claims Discount (NCD) is given to drivers who are able to drive continuously without ever making a claim on their car insurance policy. A NCD will be calculated into your premiums after each year of claims-free driving, and can get you a discount of up to 50% off your premiums if you are able to drive without a claim for five years or more!
- Black box policies – Some insurance providers will give you a discount if you allow them to install a device in your vehicle that monitors your driving habits. If the device confirms that you are a safe driver, that will mean savings for you.
- Be on your parents’ policy – Generally, obtaining car insurance by adding yourself to your parents’ car insurance plan is going to result in a lower premium than starting your own plan.
The above are all helpful ways to potentially save money on your car insurance, but such discounts are really subject to the policies of each individual car insurance provider. Feel free to ask yours if there are any additional ways through which you can lower your premiums.
Are you, or will you soon be, a new driver in Singapore? If so, it can really pay to shop around for young driver car insurance. There are plenty of insurance companies out there, all with various plans and options for the clients. In fact, there are so many options out there that it can be a Herculean task to do a proper comparison of plans on your own, and land on the ideal car insurance policy for your needs.
No worries! Kwiksure Singapore is here to help.
As a leading car insurance broker, Kwiksure can provide you with unrivaled value versus getting your insurance directly from an insurer. This is because – for no extra charge – you gain access to dependable, knowledgeable insurance advice you can trust. Our agents will happily answer all your Singapore driving and insurance questions, as well as provide you with a comparison of plans from top insurers, and a free price quote. Contact us today to get start on the path to the cheapest possible car insurance policy that will still provide all the benefits you want, no matter your age or experience level.