If you love your car, you’ll probably want comprehensive car insurance. It’s the highest level of cover, so you can hit the road without worrying about a hefty bill if something goes wrong.
But not all comprehensive car insurance policies are created equal. Some have heaps more benefits, while others are overpriced for what they offer.
Read on to find out the key points of comprehensive car insurance, and apply securely for a policy in just a few clicks.
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Comprehensive car insurance is the highest level of car insurance you can get. It’s the only type of car insurance that will cover damage to your own car as well as damage to other people, vehicles and property.
Depending on which comprehensive car insurance policy you buy, you can also get cover for roadside recovery, a hire car if yours is ever out of action and even emergency accommodation costs if you’re stranded far from home.
As a minimum, a typical comprehensive car insurance policy covers your vehicle against the following:
- Flood, fire, hail or storm damage
- Malicious acts
- Fire and theft
- Accident or collision – regardless of who’s at fault
- Damage to third party property.
Most comprehensive policies also include a range of extras, or you can choose them as add-ons. These include as follows:
- Cover for belongings inside your car
- Roadside assistance
- Towing and storage costs
- Emergency travel, accommodation and repairs
- Use of hire car
- Windscreen damage/replacement
- Replacement car cover
- Legal liability cover
- Lock and key replacement.
Cover is usually dependent on the vehicle being used by a nominated driver(s) for private and occasional business use only and never for commercial use or driving tuition (for a profit).
There’s an easy way to find out if you could benefit from comprehensive car insurance.
If you’ve answered NO to any of these questions, comprehensive car insurance might be for you:
- Could you afford to repair your car if it was seriously damaged?
- Would you be able to buy a new car if yours was written off?
- Is your car usually parked in a safe and secure area?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, comprehensive car insurance might be for you:
- Do you rely on your car for work or other essential trips?
- Do you live in an area that is prone to hailstorms?
- Do you ever worry about your car being stolen or vandalised?
There are a few things you need to know when you’re looking for comprehensive car insurance. It’ll make it easier to compare different policies and spot the things that really matter to you.
📌 Benefits. Not all comprehensive car insurance policies are created equal. Some policies are packed with extra perks or have higher claims limits, but they’re usually more expensive too.
📌 Price. Price is important but it’s not everything. Just because a policy is more expensive, doesn’t mean it’s better. On the flip side, you can find cheap policies with decent benefits.
📌 No claim discounts. Most insurers offer a no claim discount, but the value varies between different companies. If you’re a safe driver, keep an eye out for potential discounts when it comes to renewal time. Many brands in Singapore will offer a no claims discount protector
📌 Choice of repairer. This is a biggie that often goes overlooked. It gives you the ability to choose your own repairer, rather than the insurer doing it for you. It means you can pick a garage close to home or one with a shorter waiting list to get repairs done.
📌 Agreed value. This is when you and your insurer agree on the value of your vehicle ahead of time. It means you know how much you’ll be paid if your car is written off.
📌 Market value. This is when your car is insured for its current market value at any given time. It’s more convenient, but depreciation means you might get paid less than you expected if you ever have a serious accident.
📌 Excess. This is the amount you’ll have to contribute before your insurer starts paying your claim. So if you have a $500 excess but damage worth $1,200, your insurer will pay out $700. Find out more about car insurance excess.
📌 Underwriter. An underwriter is the company that provides insurance to your insurance company. Finder compares insurance from different brands and different underwriters.
How much your insurance costs depends on a range of factors and finding the right comprehensive car insurance takes time. Insurers determine your level of risk and the premium you pay by looking at various indicators. So, how much does comprehensive car insurance cost? It depends on you and your car.
The following can affect your car insurance premiums:
- Driving history. If you have a driving record full of parking and speeding infringements, it will have a negative impact on your insurance.
- Claim history. Insurers rate drivers on a scale of one to five, with one being the highest rating. This is referred to as the no claims discount, the longer you go without making a claim, the lower your premiums.
- The type of car you drive. The kind of vehicle you drive does impact your premiums. For example, a sports car costs more to insure than a station wagon.
- Your age. Practice makes perfect, which is why younger drivers (often, under 25 years of age) pay higher premiums. Similarly, seniors can expect to pay more, as insurers deem them to be of higher risk.
- Where you park. If your car is kept in a secure location, eg a garage, you can expect to pay less than someone who parks their car on the street.
- What you use your vehicle for. What the vehicle is used for will impact the premiums. Business car insurance usually costs more. Vehicles, such as taxis that are on the road continually attract higher insurance premiums.
Comprehensive car insurance is designed to cover any and all vehicle and property damage, even if it was found to be your fault. In other words, it combines standard car insurance with third party property insurance. The main types of car insurance are as follows:
- Third party only (TPO) covers the damage caused by your vehicle to third party property, eg cars, walls. However, it does not cover damage to your own car or property. It can be purchased alone but is included in comprehensive car insurance policies.
- Third party, fire & theft combines fire and theft coverage for your own vehicle, with the benefits of third-party insurance as above. It too can be purchased by itself but is included in comprehensive car insurance policies.
Which is the best car insurance for me? It’s a common question but a tough one to answer. Everyone’s needs and ideas about the best car insurance are different. Let’s take a look at third party cover and comprehensive insurance side-by-side to help you decide on which is better for your needs.
- Comprehensive car insurance covers you for third party damage and for damage to your own vehicle. It also covers you for fire, theft and the other dangers named in the insurance policy. Most offer a range of other benefits such as towing, windscreen replacement and much more. It is a particularly good choice for people with more expensive cars, or one they’re still making payments on, who want the highest level of cover available. Some car loans may require you to take out comprehensive car insurance.
- Third party car insurance does not usually cover you for theft or damage to your own vehicle. It often costs less than comprehensive car insurance but offers little to no protection for your own vehicle. It may be is a good choice if you’re driving an older or less valuable car. It covers you for the most potentially expensive risks but doesn’t extend unnecessary levels of protection to your own vehicle.
Despite the higher cost of comprehensive car insurance, there are ways to reduce your premium and make it more affordable. When you look at a policy, make sure you:
- Shop around for insurance. Not all insurers charge the same, so look for a good deal. Compare both the price and benefits on offer, to find a policy option that fits your needs and budget.
- Increase your excess. Increasing your excess may ensure your premiums stay lower.
- Look for no-claim bonus discounts. These can save you as much as 65% on your premiums.
- Restrict usage to nominated drivers. Some insurers provide a discount if only you and your spouse drive the vehicle, rather than adding one or more other named drivers to your policy.
- Bundle your insurance. If you have other forms of insurance, you may be eligible for a discount if you add car insurance as well. Look for multi-policy discounts.
- Make your vehicle more secure. Having a car alarm or immobiliser may earn a discount from your insurer.
- Drive a smaller car. A car with less engine capacity costs less to insure than a bigger, more powerful model.
- Look for an insurer who differentiates. Some comprehensive car insurers consider how often you use your vehicle and adjust the premiums accordingly.
- Compare dual year policies. In Singapore, a growing number of insurers are letting customers lock-in their policy premiums for 24 months.
Before you apply for comprehensive car insurance, you need to have access to the following information:
- Your contact and address details
- Details of those who will drive the vehicle
- Details of the vehicle, such as year, make, model, VIN and registration number
- Whether it has any modifications fitted
- Whether it has security features, such as an alarm or immobiliser
- The current market value or the amount you wish to insure it for
- Details of your driving history and whether you have made any claims in the past five years
- Whether you have a no claims bonus from a previous company
- Where the vehicle is kept, ie on the street or in a garage
- Whether it is used for personal or business use
- The current odometer reading and how many kilometres you expect to travel in a year
- Whether there is any finance owing on the vehicle.
Having this information ready when you call the insurer will speed up the application process and ensure they have everything they need to calculate the premium accurately.
When applying for comprehensive car insurance, it is very important that you tell your insurer anything that is likely to affect how much they charge you for the policy. If you don’t comply with the “Duty of Disclosure”, and they discover you have not been totally honest with them, they may reduce your claim or even refuse to pay at all.
You should also advise the insurer when your situation changes, such as if you move house; modify your car; include additional drivers, or start using your vehicle for a purpose other than that specified in the policy. All these things can affect the amount of your premium and the extent of your cover, so you need to be upfront at all times.Back to top