What to look out for when choosing your car insurance policy

A good car insurance can make all the difference, especially for a new driver who has never been in a car accident before.

This article first appeared on MoneySmart.sg.

This happened to Aviva customer Jonathan Wang, who, one evening in March 2017, was caught in a 4-car chain collision. Recalls the 33-year-old, who works in a pharmaceutical company: “When the accident happened, I felt very lost. Shocked, even. I wasn’t certain about what to do.”

A sudden slowdown on the road had caused this pile-up, but thankfully no one was injured. The last car (4th) wasn’t able to slow down in time and crashed into a car in front of him, kick-starting this chain collision. Due to the impact, that car (3rd) rammed into Jonathan’s car (2nd), which then hit the 1st car. However, while the other cars could drive off, Jonathan’s radiator had been compromised and his car couldn’t move without overheating.

1. There’s help available 24 hours daily

As the accident happened after office hours, Jonathan got in touch with Aviva’s 24/7 Emergency Assistance Hotline, which arranged for a towing service that was covered by his insurance plan. This service provides help at the scene of the accident within 20 minutes of your call, with free emergency roadside assistance in case of a car breakdown.

The Aviva Prestige plan also offers eCall assistance service, a smart sensor device that automatically alerts the emergency team to provide the driver with quick and professional help, if the driver is unable to do so himself.

And if your car is beyond repair, Aviva also offers brand new car replacement. Terms and conditions apply.

2. Patient and friendly claims team

The next day, Jonathan called Aviva’s customer service centre and was put in touch with claims executive Michelle Toh who patiently spent close to an hour going through the whole claims procedure with him, step-by-step.

“I’m so grateful to Michelle for going through everything with me because I was a new driver then,” he says. “She listed down all my options — whether to claim on my own policy or to file against the car behind me — and when I needed clarification she really spent time to clarify the details with me because it was my first accident and naturally I was lost. Even when I kept asking the same questions over and over again, she patiently repeated her answers.”

For Jonathan, Michelle’s assistance really made all the difference in alleviating his anxiety in his situation. “She was a great help in calming my nerves when the accident happened,” he notes.

In the end, Jonathan chose to file a claim against the car insurance policy of the car behind him instead of on his own. He was not the one who caused the accident, but the record that he claimed on his own policy would forever be there.

He explains: “Aviva did highlight that I could claim from my own policy and it wouldn’t affect my premium. Granted, that if I had let Aviva handle it, they would be able to resolve the claim faster and smoother than me claiming against the other car’s insurer. But I just couldn’t take their advice as a matter of principle.”

According to Aviva Singapore’s 2019 car claims statistics, Aviva has a 99.4% claims payout rate for car insurance — almost a sure-fire chance of having a successful car insurance claim if all your documents are in order.

3. Low NCD penalty

With Aviva’s No-Claim Discount (NCD) Protector, as the accident was not Jonathan’s fault, his NCD would not be affected even if he made a claim on his own policy. Furthermore, Aviva offers one of the lowest NCD penalties, at just 10% (only for Aviva Standard and Prestige plans) — a reassurance for any driver. Most car insurers impose a 30% NCD upon claims.

4. Going the extra mile

Jonathan thought the whole ordeal would be over once he had filed all his claims. However, just a few months after the accident, the driver of the 1st car in the collision issued a writ of summons to all the other drivers behind.

Jonathan decided to seek Aviva’s advice on what to do about it. Again, it was his first time being involved in a legal suit and naturally he got “a little bit panicky”.

This time, claims executive Stina Chen picked up his call. She reassured him that Aviva would handle this on its end. Even when the plaintiff decided to pursue the case even further, Aviva engaged its legal representative to represent Jonathan in court.

“They took over everything,” he says, relieved. “When this happened, as it was my first time having a lawsuit against me, I wanted some reassurance. And Aviva covered everything, making it pretty much hassle-free. I only had to make one visit to the legal office to give my statement, and this is something I appreciate a lot.”

5. What Aviva’s car insurance also covers

With Aviva, drivers can also benefit from:

  • Unlimited windscreen protection*
  • If your car is damaged through no fault of yours, your NCD remains intact and no upfront excess payment is required — that’s the Aviva claims promise
  • And more! Read our independent review here.

*Applies for Standard and Prestige Plan only


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