So, you just bought a brand new car with your hard earned money and want to take it on a ride immediately. However, the most important step all car owners must take a lot of care and consideration before hitting the road is getting an insurance plan. In this article we will discuss the many different types of insurance and which you should get, as well as how to make insurance claims for car accidents and other useful information about insurance for cars.

Insurance agent examining damage done to a third party

Third Party Only (TPO)

The TPO insurance scheme is the minimum level of insurance required by law. As the name suggests, it provides you no benefits aside from having an insurance scheme and instead covers any damage and cost incurred from the other party of an accident provided you are found to be liable and at fault.

Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT)

The TPFT insurance plan, also known as covers Fire, theft but also Vandalism cases. Contrary to the Third Party portion of the name, this plan actually covers for both losses incurred by you as well as any damage you may have caused to a third party. This insurance plan is a huge step up from TPO and actually allows you to have some semblance of peace of mind by actually helping you in recovering from any incidents unlike TPO which only covers damage you may have caused.

Insurance agent discussing what is covered by a person’s insurance scheme

Collision Coverage

As the name suggests, this insurance plan covers any damage or losses caused by collisions be it with another vehicle or static object like a fence. Collision coverage may help pay to repair or replace your car. Collision coverage is typically optional. It may be required, however, by your vehicle’s leaseholder or lender.

Comprehensive Coverage

The Comprehensive Coverage insurance plan is the option that covers the most and is the broadest. It covers even the most extreme cases like death or serious injuries to both parties, medical costs incurred from the accident and all the things covered by the more limited schemes like TPFT. Being the option that covers almost everything, a lot of drivers opt to choose this option for the safety of mind that they are insured no matter what may come at a higher cost. In Singapore, the Comprehensive Coverage scheme is a requirement that must be met before giving car loans. One side note is that if your car is too old and depreciated in value like if it’s more than a decade old, you are unable to opt for Comprehensive Coverage.

Injured man of an accident who is covered by a plan which covers his medical fees

How to file a car insurance claim

So, now that you have an insurance plan which suits your needs best, in the event of an incident, how should you actually go about claiming your car insurance? The first step is to submit a claim report within the first 24 hours of an accident occurring. A lot of insurance companies have a policy of meeting the time frame and you do not want to miss it. The next step is evidence gathering. If possible, take photos of things such as the licence plate of all parties involved, photos of any damage done to both the vehicles and the environment. It is good practice to take 3 different type of pictures at least, Wide shots of the entire area of theincident, medium shots of the actual accident like an image of both cars and the damage and finally tight shots which are close ups of damaged areas like dents or parts broken off. It is common for both parties of the accident to exchange contact details and get their particulars if possible so that if you need to file a claim against them, you can. The next step is to report the accident to your insurer usually by phone first then in person within 24 hours if you are able to. You must also bring along all evidence and contact details of the other parties involved to submit along with forms. Finally, the next step is to get your car fixed at an authorised workshop as if you get it done at an unauthorised workshop and they damage the car, the insurance company can invalidate your claim by suspecting that the workshop caused the damage.

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