You WILL need motor insurance when you buy a car; it's as simple as that . Anyone telling you any different is well...ill informed, or simply has no regard for his or her own welfare - there's no two ways around it, as you will need a car insurance of some-kind to be able to drive legally, even if it's to your mamak stall 5 minutes from home.
According to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, in 2012 alone, Malaysia has seen over 400,000 road accidents, 6,000 of which has led to road deaths. You can bet that this number has risen in 2014, and will continue to rise with more demand for cars, if there is no changes done for the sorry state of our public transportation system. This is reason enough to buy a motor insurance policy, to save you time and inconvenience when accidents happen.
The 3 Types of Car Insurance
There are three types of motor
insurance available in the Malaysian market, namely:
1. Third Party Cover
Imagine this: It was a rainy night, and you decide to drive your car home after a night of drinking. Your car skids at a junction and hits a pedestrian. By luck, you escaped unscathed - but to your worst fears, the pedestrian had suffered a few broken limbs - ouch!
To avoid forking out an exorbitant amount of money to pay for his or her hospital bills, you need at least a third party car insurance - It is a policy that protects you against claims for bodily injuries or even deaths caused to other persons (third party), including any loss or damage to their vehicle or property. This also means that you cannot claim for any damages on your own person or vehicle, with it being the cheapest and most minimal policy you would need to enable you to drive legally.
2. Third Party Fire and Theft Cover
Like a third party insurance policy, this policy covers you against claims from third parties from bodily injury, death, and loss or damage to their property. Speeding in a neighbourhood and crashed into a house? You policy might pay for a portion of the repairs.
Added to that, you will be able to claim compensation for loss or damaged caused by fire related incidents and car theft - so if you fear waking up one day with a missing car from your driveway, you can claim with a fire and theft insurance plan.
3. Comprehensive Cover
This car insurance policy covers all of the above, but the major reason to buy comprehensive is the protection given to your OWN car! In addition to third party protection and fire and theft coverage for you own car, you will get cover for any accidental loss or damage inflicted to your vehicle due to an accident.
It is probably a good idea to buy yourself a comprehensive car insurance plan if you own a relatively expensive car - a car that has a market value of more than RM30,000 would fit just nicely in this category.
|Types of Motor Insurance||Third party bodily injury/ death and loss/ damage to third party property||Loss/ damage to your vehicle due to accidental fire or theft||Loss/ damage to your vehicle due to an accident|
Third Party Cover
Third Party Fire and Theft Cover
What Your Car Insurance Will Not Normally Cover
If you have read the terms and conditions for all three policies carefully, provided that you actually understood everything, you will realise that some incidents are not covered, even though they occur fairly frequently, for example - you would expect your car insurance to cover your death in the event of a serious accident...but does it really? To be clear, that's what a motor personal accident insurance is for, something you should also sign-up for when taking up a car insurance plan.
1. Your own death or bodily injury because of a motor accident
You would expect that your own death or at least physical injury to be coverage for a modest amount of money; well, stranger things have happened. Your personal accident insurance or medical insurance might have you covered, but not a car insurance plan. Nope, not even the comprehensive cover - that means no hospitalisation allowance or coverage for funeral expenses.
2. Your liability against claims from your passengers
A passenger who gets hurt because of a car accident will usually have an easier
case compared to the person behind the wheel - if the accident involves two vehicles, one of the drivers will most likely be found negligent and liable for the physical injury to the passenger.
However, you will be able to pay additional premium on your motor insurance to include Passenger Liability Extension Cover, in the event that your passengers choose to sue you.
3. Stolen non-factory fitted vehicle accessories such as car stereos, leather seats, sports rims etc.
Pimping out your brand new Honda City with custom spinning rims, genuine leather seats, and an expensive (but totally unnecessary) sound system might earn you brownie points with your friends and colleagues, but you may also be drawing a lot of unwanted attention from less agreeable people i.e. car thieves. Make sure in addition to your lavish upgrades, you install additional car security features, such as a powerful GPS tracking system!
4. Consequential loss, depreciation, wear and tear, mechanical, technical breakdown failures, or breakages
Like everything else - cars aren't built to last. As vehicle parts wear out with time (excluding parts made out of glass e.g. windshield), the value of your car depreciates along with them - and honestly, a car's value drops the moment it leaves the showroom.
You'll probably lose up to 40% of its initial value 5 years down the road - literally! If you're planning to insure a car that is pushing 15 years of age, good luck finding an insurer that'll take you on.
5. Vehicle damage due to acts of nature e.g. flood, landslide, typhoon
These unfortunate events, along with earthquakes and hurricanes are commonly referred to as natural disasters or acts of God, and are not covered in standard car insurance policies. On the other hand, you may pay higher premiums to extend your policy to cover flood, landslide, landslip including adequate cover for your passengers.
As you've read, insurance companies will allow you to add-on optional benefits to your car insurance policy to be insured for all five exclusions that we've mentioned above, including coverage for windscreen repairs and replacement - but of course, you will have to pay a higher premium. So you'd now probably want to know what goes into calculating your premiums?
Your Motor Premium Rates
Motor insurance premium is calculated according to the Motor tariff set out by Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia ( PIAM). All insurance companies are required to use the same pricing schedule. This prices are determined by a few factors such as coverage type, use of vehicle, car engine size i.e. cubic capacity, age of vehicle, maximum sum insured, extended coverage and number of registered drivers. However, this is all set to change in phases starting in 2016, where the current tiered system will gradually be replaced with a new risk based price structure, an effort by Bank Negara Malaysia to deregulate the car insurance industry.
By 2017 car insurance premium rates for will be determined by market prices, where insurers will base the pricing of premiums by assessing your risk. Factors possibly taken into account may include the car model and manufacturer, vehicle use, your gender, age and occupation, claims history and location. The long term goal for this deregulation process it to provide consumers with more car insurance options at their disposal and better service as a result of competitive market pricing between car insurance companies. Individuals with better risk-profiles will enjoy better rates on their annual renewals as well.
Lastly, it is very important that you insure your vehicle appropriately according to its current value, whether its at the purchase price for a new car, or the current market value for one that is used. This is to avoid under-insurance that will result in only partial compensations on claims, or worse still over-insurance, where you simply waste money to insure a car above its market value, when the maximum you can claim is at the market value - so why would you want to do that?