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How does coronavirus affect car insurance?

You might see the biggest effect on your insurer’s customer service.

The coronavirus doesn’t impact car insurance as much as other types of policies for travel or business. But the pandemic may affect how your insurance company communicates with you through customer service. For quick updates or accessing policy documents, you could opt for your company’s online services.

How does the coronavirus affect car insurance?

Your current car insurance coverage shouldn’t be affected by the coronavirus. But you might see a few changes to your company’s customer service or payment process:

  • Longer customer service wait times. Many customers have questions about their coverage or payments during the virus outbreak. This may lead to long wait times to speak with customer service.
  • Remote claims processing. Rather than in-person meetings with your local agent or claims adjuster, you might meet through video or phone calls to comply with social distancing. Similarly, claims inspections may rely on photos or videos of your car’s damage. These remote claims may be a huge change for some companies, especially smaller insurers, while fitting right in with other insurer’s innovative online services.
  • Financial assistance. Car insurance companies may offer various relief to customers going through financial hardship because of the coronavirus. Check directly with your car insurer for their exact measures.

What if I can’t pay my premium during the coronavirus?

If you expect to miss a payment, you can ask for financial assistance from your car insurance company. Many companies are extending payment due dates, longer insurance grace periods, waiving late fees or postponing policy cancellations to ease the financial strain from job layoffs or pay cuts. The extended period means your policy won’t be cancelled as early if you can’t make your payments.

Can I get car insurance right now?

Yes, you can buy a new car insurance policy or switch companies during the coronavirus. Keep in mind you may wait longer than normal for customer service when buying over the phone.

You can bypass this problem by applying online. In most cases, you won’t need to touch base with a live representative. Only a few companies require a call if you’ve filed a claim recently or if they don’t offer online services.

Do I need car insurance during the coronavirus?

While you may not be driving as much during the coronavirus outbreak, you might need car insurance to:

  • Meet requirements. In Singapore, you’d need at least a Third Party Only (TPO) car insurance coverage in order to drive legally and keep your car registered.
  • Continue driving. If you’re driving to work, supermarkets or anywhere else during the coronavirus, you might want coverage in case of an accident.
  • Meet car loan requirements. If you have a car loan or lease, your lender will typically require you to have a certain amount of coverage, often comprehensive coverage.

How can I save on car insurance during the coronavirus?

If you’re not driving as much or having trouble keeping up with your bills, you can consider cutting your car insurance premium in a few simple ways:

  1. Update your mileage on your policy. Less driving means less risk. So if you’re driving less than 8,000kms each year, you’ll typically pay less in premiums. For example, online insurer DirectAsia offers lower premiums for off-peak cars and low mileage drivers. You may even be able to update your policy online to avoid long call wait times. Just be sure to update your policy again when you’re back on the road regularly to avoid a denied claim or owing extra premiums.
  2. Check for policies with mileage discounts. If you’ve recently started working from home, and not clocking as much mileage on your car, you should check if your policy offer any mileage discount. For example, NTUC Income’s FlexiMileage plan offers a 35% off your premiums if your mileage is below 5,000 km p.a., and 20% off with an annual mileage of 5,000 to 9,000 km.
  3. Reconsider coverage you don’t need. If you’re no longer commuting an hour every day and are only on the road every weekend to pick up essentials, you might not be as likely to need roadside assistance, for example.
  4. Reduce your coverage. If your car sits in the car park or garage most of the time, you might not need a full coverage policy with collision and comprehensive coverage. You could consider switching to the minimal Third-Party Only (TPO) cover or Third-Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT) if you still drive a little. That switch could save you hundreds a year.
  5. Get cheaper quotes. While your car’s sitting in the car park and you’re sitting at home, now’s the time to shop online for car insurance to find a better deal.

Get car insurance online today

Name Product Accidental Damage Roadside Assistance New Car Replacement Choice of Repairer Guarantee on Repairs
Direct Asia Comprehensive Cover Car Insurance
Yes
Optional
Yes
Optional
Lifetime repair guarantee
Receive $100 worth of Shell fuel (or 3,000 Shell Escape points) plus free 24 Hour Breakdown Assistance when you insure your car. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 July 2022.
Budget Direct Insurance Comprehensive Car  Insurance
Yes
Optional
Yes
Optional
12-months repair guarantee at authorised workshops.
Receive $20 in shopping vouchers when you refer a friend. Your friends will each get 5% off any policy they purchase. T&Cs apply.
Get an additional 5% off by using Affinity ID 'FDRSAVE'.
FWD Comprehensive Cover Car Insurance
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Get 20% discount when you purchase a comprehensive plan using the promo code: FINCAR20. Ends 26 June 2022. T&Cs apply.
98.9% of Car insurance claims approved. Lifetime 50% NCD Guarantee.
Allianz Motor Protect Comprehensive
Allianz Motor Protect Comprehensive
Yes
Yes
Yes
Optional
Lifetime warranty on repairs (If repaired at an authorised workshop).
Apply online using promo code ‘MOTOR@2220’ and receive 20% off your first year premium. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 June 2022.
MSIG Private Motor MotorMax Plus Car Insurance
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
N/A
Apply online and get $150 e-shopping voucher + 25% discount off services from Klars. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 June 2022.
Income Drivo Premium Car Insurance
Yes
Optional
No
Yes
N/A
Get unlimited third party liability and unlimited windscreen cover. Plus, choose your preferred workshop for repairs or maintenance.
Direct Asia Third Party Fire and Theft Cover Car Insurance
Third party fire and theft only
Optional
No
Optional
Lifetime repair guarantee
Receive $50 worth of Shell fuel (1,500 Shell Escape Points) when you insure your car. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 July 2022.
Budget Direct Insurance Third Party Fire and Theft Car Insurance
Third party fire and theft only
Optional
No
Optional
12-months repair guarantee at authorised workshops.
Loss or damages to your car by fire or theft - up to your car's market value. Plus, unlimited cover for injury or death to others.
Income Drivo Classic Car Insurance
Yes
Optional
No
No
N/A
Unlimited third party liability, up to S$5 million in damages to third party property, up to S$1,000 in medical expenses.
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There is no insurance agency relationship created between Finder and the user. We do not negotiate, service or effect insurance contracts on your behalf or on behalf of the insurer or insurance broker. We do not act as your agent.

What changes can I make to my car insurance online?

Each company may offer different online services, but here are common tasks you can perform online:

  • Make payments or update billing details
  • Access your proof of insurance
  • Review your policy and coverage
  • Add or change drivers or cars, in some cases
  • Update types of coverage, with some companies
  • Email or chat with customer service

How do car accident claims work during the coronavirus?

If you file a claim during the coronavirus, the claims process might involve these steps:

  1. Describe details about your car accident. You can file the report online or by phone, although phone claims may involve a longer wait time. Include your policy number when filing.
  2. A claims adjuster will contact you for more information. You may hear from the adjuster by phone or email.
  3. Send documents to support your claim. Your insurance company will most likely need additional proof of your claim like medical bills or a police report.
  4. Get a damage estimate remotely. Because of the coronavirus, you may be asked to provide a video or photos of your car’s damage. In some cases, your adjuster may set up a video call.
  5. Your insurance company will send a settlement letter. The letter should include a payout offer. You can accept the offer or negotiate the amount.
  6. Agree to the settlement. Once you reach an agreement on the payment, sign the appropriate paperwork.
  7. Get your settlement check. You should receive your settlement check in the mail within a few weeks.

Bottom line

Changes to car insurance because of the coronavirus are minimal, though you might feel the effects more if you need customer assistance or claims support. Despite potentially long wait times, you might consider switching car insurance to save money during the virus outbreak.

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