Getting into a car accident is already an unfortunate occurrence in itself, and filing a motor claim in the aftermath can be an added source of stress. We’ve put together a guide so that should the situation arise, you’ll know what to do. We’ll share the framework of a motor claim, what is allowable and what is not, and related information that is good to know.
As we know in Singapore, cars or motorcycles can be big ticket items for many people. So most of us will take good care of our motor vehicles and keep them in good condition.
However, unforeseen circumstances can still happen, and this is when we need to know how to deal with such situations.
Motor Claims Framework
The Motor Claims Framework (MCF) was set up to provide clear and standard procedures for reporting motor accidents. The MCF is fully supported by all insurers in Singapore. It allows motorists to have a smooth and straightforward claims experience and simultaneously helps contain claims costs for insurers. The framework prescribes that a report be completed within 24 hours by the motorist involved in the accident. Based on the framework, you’ll be expected to follow the guidelines below.
Dos & Don’ts when in a motor accident
There are a few important steps to take note of:
- Remember to exchange particulars with the involved parties in the accident.
- Take note of the vehicle numbers.
- Take photographs of the scene of the accident and the damage to all vehicles involved.
- Make a call to your insurer’s hotline for assistance from tow-truck services or further advice on the accident.
- Submit a report of the accident to your insurer within 24 hours or by the next working day.
If there are injured parties in the accident, call for medical assistance and the police immediately.
A report needs to be made to the Traffic Police as soon as possible or within 24 hours of the accident if it involves the following situations:
- Damage to government property
- Foreign vehicle
- Hit and run cases
- Injury cases, where at least one person involved in the accident was taken to the hospital at the accident scene, or where any party involved in the accident was injured and obtained medical leave of three days or more.
Be aware that even when you file a report with the Traffic Police, you are still required to make a report to your insurer within 24 hours or by the next working day.
If you do not report an accident, the following outcomes may be possible:
- Your insurer may refuse to accept liability
- Your No-Claim Discount may be reduced upon the next renewal of your motor insurance policy
- Your insurer may cancel or reject to renew your policy
- Do not move your vehicle before taking pictures of the accident scene
- If there is an injured person or a fatal accident occurs, please do not move the injured person or vehicle(s)
- Do not have any dealings with unauthorised tow-truck operators at the scene of the accident
Other information related to a motor insurance claim
Installing an In-Vehicle Camera can help in claim disputes
Installing an In-Vehicle Camera can help you in the event of motor accident claim disputes, as they act like “witnesses” in such situations. The footage recorded will help to provide a clearer picture of the situation and a better understanding to the insurer. This can potentially reduce the time of the lengthy investigation process.
In certain motor accidents, the incident may take place at the back of your motor vehicle. Therefore, it is always advisable to install a rear In-Vehicle Camera besides the one in the front. Depending on your motor vehicle model, certain In-Vehicle Cameras (front and/or rear) can still power on even when the engine is off. This is especially useful for recording events such as hit-and-run accidents, vandalism or theft.
A No-Claim Discount (NCD) is awarded to the driver if there is no claim made under the driver’s policy for a year or more with the insurer. The maximum NCDs that can be awarded for private or commercial vehicles are different. This is illustrated by the table below:
Depending on the insurer, you can top up with an extra premium to protect your NCD if you have accumulated your NCD to a certain level. In the event that there is a claim on your motor insurance policy, your NCD can be protected.
Certificate of Merit
A Certificate of Merit (COM) is a document issued by Singapore’s Traffic Police as an award to recognise a person who has been driving safely for the past three years. The driver can use the COM to claim a Safe Driver Discount of an additional 5% on top of the NCD to enjoy a lower premium.
Thanks to the Motor Claims Framework, filing a claim after a motor accident is an uncomplicated and predictable process. Nonetheless, it is still best to avoid filing a claim, through doing our part to create a safe driving environment for ourselves and other road users.