There are four main types of Private Motor Car Insurance coverage generally sold by insurers in Singapore. These are:

  • Act Liability Only;
  • Third-Party Only;
  • Third-Party, Fire & Theft; and
  • Comprehensive.

The Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Rules prescribe the format of the Certificate of Insurance, which must contain the following essential information:

  • certificate number;
  • index mark and registration number of the motor car;
  • name of the insured/policyholder;
  • effective date of commencement of insurance for the purpose of the Act;
  • expiry date of the insurance;
  • limitations as to use

To simplify the policy document, and make it understandable to the policyholder, it is usually prepared in an A-4 sized format with clear headings. This document is divided into sections generally dealing with:

  • Loss Of Or Damage To The Motor Car;
  • Liability To Third Parties;
  • Accident And Medical Benefits;
  • No Claim Discount; and
  • Exclusions, Endorsements, and Conditions.

The renewal notice usually contains the following information:

  • expiry date of the policy;
  • renewal premium;
  • name of the insured;
  • vehicle details;
  • permitted use; and
  • any applicable exclusions or restrictions.

The motor claim form essentially contains questions on the:

  • details of the policy (insured’s name, policy number, type of coverage, etc.);
  • particulars of the driver at the time of the accident (name, driver licence, contact details, etc.);
  • material facts of the accident (date and time, place and occurrence of the accident, etc.);
  • damage to the insured motor car, third-party property and personal bodily injuries sustained during the accident;
  • particulars of the witnesses, if any; and
  • photographs taken at the scene of the accident.

Each Private Motor Car Insurance policy contains a number of sections covering different aspects of the risks concerned. The four basic sections are:

  • Section I – Insurance On The Motor Car;
  • Section II – Liability To Third Parties;
  • Section III – Medical Expenses; and
  • Section IV – Personal Accident Benefits.

The following tend to be the main underwriting considerations for Private Motor Car Insurance:

  • Car Usage
  • Make and Model of the Car
  • Car Engine Capacity
  • Car Age
  • Driver Characteristics
  • Age and Gender
  • Driving Experience
  • Occupation
  • Claims Experience
  • Types of Private Motor Car Insurance Cover

If the motorist wishes to make a third-party motor claim against an insurer in Malaysia, he is advised to approach the insurer in Malaysia, and submit the claim to the concerned insurer in Malaysia with the following documents:

  1.  Claimant’s vehicle registration card (photocopy);
  2.  Certificate of Insurance, cover note or policy schedule (photocopy);
  3.  Identity card (photocopy);
  4.  Police report;
  5.  A police sketch plan and key (if available);
  6.  Result of police investigation (if available); and
  7.  Proof of losses incurred.

In the event of a motor accident, a police report is not necessary under the present “Non-Injury Motor Accident Report Scheme” (which was introduced by GIA, in collaboration with the Singapore Traffic Police, on 1 May 1999), unless the accident involves:

  • an injury case;
  • a government vehicle or damage to government property;
  • a foreign vehicle3;
  • a pedestrian or cyclist; or
  • a “hit-and-run” case.

This low-cost, five years’ term policy is underwritten by an insurer appointed by the Housing & Development Board (HDB). The policy provides coverage against the following insured perils:

  • fire;
  • lightning;
  • explosion;
  • aircraft damage;
  • bursting and overflowing of water pipe, water apparatus or water tank;
  • earthquake;
  • smoke damage;
  • vehicle impact damage;
  • riot and strike;
  • malicious damage;
  • landslide and subsidence;
  • spontaneous combustion; and
  • sprinkler leakage.

The policy may exclude loss of or damage to the building arising from the following:

  • Theft or any attempt thereat by the insured, any of the insured’s family members or the insured’s domestic servants; and theft during or after the occurrence of a fire;
  • The burning of property through the order of any public authority;
  • Malicious act by any of the insured’s family members or any person lawfully in the insured’s home; and
  • Any malicious act, bursting or overflowing of water tank, pipe or apparatus and theft or any attempt thereat, if the insured’s home is left unoccupied for more than a stipulated number of days, as mentioned above.

The possible exclusions for Contents under an All Risks coverage:

  1. Theft
    The policy does not cover any loss or damage resulting from theft:
    ▪ if the house is left unoccupied for more than a stipulated number of days, such as 60 consecutive days (unless with the insurer’s consent);
    ▪ of money and credit cards above a stipulated amount;
    ▪ if the house or any part is lent or let, unless force is used to enter the house;
    ▪ by deception; or
    ▪ by any person lawfully present in the insured house.
  2. Malicious Damage Or Vandalism
    The policy does not compensate for loss or damage arising from malicious damage or vandalism:
    ▪ if the house is left unoccupied for a specified number of days, such as more than 60 consecutive days;
    ▪ by any person lawfully present in the insured house; or
    ▪ if the house or any part is tenanted or let out.
  3. Escape Of Water Or Oil
    This refers to the escape of water or oil from any washing machine, dishwasher or fixed domestic water or heating installation, if the insured house is left unoccupied for longer than a specified number of days, e.g. 60
    consecutive days

Apart from the usual war, nuclear and radioactive contamination risks, the Packaged Household Insurance policy will not provide cover for the following:

  • if the insured property is a HDB flat, any loss or damage which the HDB has undertaken or is legally bound to make good at its own expense;
  • confiscation or requisition of property by order of the government authority;
  • loss of or damage to the property owing to its own fermentation and natural heating;
  • any other consequential loss, other than the loss of rent;
  • loss of or damage to the building under construction or repair caused by hurricane, cyclone, typhoon or windstorm;
  • loss of or damage to property by subsidence and landslip (unless extended);
  • any flood damage other than those covered by the policy;
  • loss of or damage to:
    – motor vehicles, watercraft and other accessories and spare parts;
    – livestock and pets;
    – property used or held in trust for business purposes;
    – medals, coins, stamps, documents and manuscripts; or
    – deeds, bonds, bills of exchange, promissory notes, cheques, securities of money, cash, currency notes, bank notes and stored value cards.

The basic underwriting information required will be the:
▪ nature of the items to be insured;
▪ value of the items to be insured;
▪ usage of the items – whether they are for personal, professional or trade use;
▪ security measures or precautions taken to keep or preserve the items; and
▪ submission of original purchase receipts and valuation reports to prove the value of the items.

The following types of disablement usually qualify for the same (or higher) benefit under permanent total disablement:

  • loss of sight of both eyes;
  • loss of both limbs;
  • loss of one limb;
  • loss of sight of one eye;
  • loss of speech; or
  • loss of hearing.

Some of the conditions usually contained in a PA Insurance policy are:
▪ Claim Procedures;
▪ Changes In Risk;
▪ Cancellation; and
▪ Observance Of Terms.

Claim documents include the claim form and other supporting documents, depending on the types of benefits claimed.

These supporting documents include:

  • police report of the accident (if involving malicious intent);
  • death certificate (for death benefit claim);
  • medical report (to certify disablement); and
  • medical certificates, hospital inpatient discharge summary, and original medical bills, invoices, and receipts (for claiming reimbursement of medical expenses and/or daily hospital cash or income benefits).

Travel Insurance can be issued as:
(a) Individual Plan
▪ a policy covering the policyholder or any other individual person.
(b) Family Plan
▪ a policy covering the policyholder and his immediate family i.e. his legal
spouse and their legitimate children.

Most Travel Insurance policies provide the following basic sections of cover:

Personal Accident Benefits

  • Death and Permanent Disablement
  • Double Indemnity

Medical & Associated Expenses

  • Medical and Other Expenses
  • Additional Accommodation and Travel Expenses
  • Hospital/Compassionate Visit
  • Child Companion
  • Hospital Confinement Benefit
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Repatriation

Other Inconvenience Benefits

  • Kidnap and Hostage
  • Travel Curtailment or Disruption
  • Travel Cancellation or Postponement
  • Travel Delay/Flight Diversion
  • Overbooked Flight
  • Travel Misconnection
  • Personal Property
  • Emergency Mobile Phone Charges
  • Rental Vehicle Excess
  • Loss of Use of Hotel Facilities
  • Terrorism Cover

The usual exclusions include:

  • liability resulting from the insured’s deliberate act or omission;
  • liability relating to loss or damage to the insured’s own property;
  • injury to the insured’s employee or any family member;
  • liability arising out of the use of vehicle, aircraft or watercraft;
  • legal costs resulting from any criminal proceedings; and
  • judgements that are not delivered by or obtained from a Singapore Court of Law.

The insurer will not cover travel claims for loss or liability directly or indirectly caused by or arising from these events:
(a) Self-inflicted injuries;
(b) Pre-existing conditions;
(c) Engaging in hazardous/military/sports activities;
(d) Mental or nervous disorders;
(e) Natural disasters that exist when the insured purchased the insurance;
(f) Radioactivity from nuclear materials;
(g) War and civil commotion; or
(h) Travel to specific countries e.g. Afghanistan.

The Travel Insurance policy contains conditions that are:
(a) compliance with policy provisions;
(b) taking reasonable steps to recover any lost or stolen article;
(c) exercising reasonable care or precaution to prevent injury, loss or damage;
(d) contribution (not applicable to benefits such as capital sum insured of
Personal Accident Benefits); and
(e) subrogation, arbitration, fraud, governing law and jurisdiction, premium
before cover warranty, cancellation, and refund policy, etc.

In order to establish negligence, the four factors that must be proved are that:

  • the defendant owed a legal duty of care;
  • there was a breach of that duty;
  • there was damage or loss; and
  • the damage or loss was caused by that breach.

The major types of Liability Insurance are:

  • Work Injury Compensation Insurance
  • Common Law Liability of Employers
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Products Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Personal Liability

The information required by insurers for Personal Liability Insurance is usually minimal, namely:

  • the name of the proposer;
  • address of the proposer and other personal details, such as date of birth, occupation, and nature of business (although business activities will not be covered, as discussed previously);
  • number of children, dogs/other pets of the proposer; and
  • the previous claims experience of the proposer.

A FDW can enter Singapore only after the following requirements are in place:
▪ In-Principle Approval Letter or “Letter of Notification” issued by the MOM’s Work Pass Division upon successful application of the WP;
▪ Security Deposit;
▪ Personal Accident Insurance; and
▪ Medical Insurance.

A typical FDWI package is likely to include the following sections:
(a) Personal Accident Cover;
(b) Accidental Outpatient Medical Expenses;
(c) Hospital and Surgical Expenses;
(d) Repatriation Expenses; and
(e) Termination Expenses.

The insurer will not pay for any claim, such as arising directly or indirectly from, or in connection with:

  1. any unlawful act, wilful exposure to needless perils (except in an attempt to save human life), suicide or attempted suicide, or self-inflicted injury;
  2. the effect or influence (temporary or otherwise) of alcohol or drugs not prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner;
  3. pre-existing physical defect or infirmity, insanity or nervous disorder, disease or illness, pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion;
  4. taking part in flying or any aerial activity, except as a fare-paying passenger in a licensed aircraft; or
  5. engaging in dangerous activities, such as rock climbing, mountaineering, ice or winter sports, motorcycling, or pillion riding, etc.

The usual conditions apply:
▪ taking reasonable precautions to safeguard against accidents and diseases;
▪ claim notification and conduct, including fraudulent claims; and
▪ other insurance, subrogation, arbitration, payment before cover warranty,
policy cancellation, and premium refund, etc.

Hospital Cash Insurance can be issued as a stand-alone policy or as a rider, it shares the common features as described below:

  1. There is a per day hospitalisation benefit.
  2. There is a cap to the maximum amount payable on a single life usually expressed as a maximum number of days.
  3. The benefit is a fixed amount throughout the policy term as specified at the inception of the policy.
  4. There is no waiting period if the cause of hospitalisation is due to an injury. A waiting period is usually imposed from the date of issue or reinstatement of the policy if the cause of hospitalisation is due to an illness.
  5. The benefit payment is not affected by the payments from other Health Insurance policies, plans or schemes (including MediShield Life, Integrated Shield Plan and any Group Hospital & Surgical Insurance Scheme), i.e. it is paid on top of the benefits received from all other medical insurance covers.
  6. The cover expires at a specified age, (e.g. 65, 70, or 75 years).
  7. The premiums may be level or increased once the insured reaches a new age-band.
  8. It is yearly renewable.
  9. It usually provides 24-hour, worldwide coverage, although some insurers limit the cover to certain geographical areas.
  10. It usually has no cash value.
  11. No assignment of the policy is allowed.
  12. For a policy that is in force for a consecutive period of insurance and free of any claim, a premium discount is usually given at renewal. This is usually called a ”No Claim Discount”. A certain percentage (e.g. 25%) will be deducted from the next renewal premium, subject to conditions as imposed by the insurer.