Car insurance add-ons aren’t created equal – some are situationally useful, but others could be downright crucial. Here are six car insurance add-ons that are worth spending on.
Most car insurance policies offer a reasonably broad range of benefits and cover for the average driver. However, just like with most things, insurance is never one size fits all, and you may need different or added benefits, based on your lifestyle and circumstances.
Luckily, customising your motor insurance is easy to do, as insurers typically offer a myriad of optional add-ons for your plan. These can help bolster your coverage, but in return, make your premiums more expensive.
Still, it’s crucial to make sure that your car insurance plan is able to do its job, which is why it’s a good idea to pay a little more for the following six car insurance add-ons (if they aren’t already included in your base plan).
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1. NCD protector
The largest savings on your auto insurance comes from your No-Claims Discount (NCD), which can reduce your premiums by up to 50%.
It takes five years of claims-free driving to accumulate this level of savings (your NCD grows by 10% each year), but making just a single claim will knock your NCD down by as much as 30%. (Some insurers reduce your NCD to a lesser degree, by 20% or 10% instead).
Of course, you’ll want to hang on to this discount as much as possible, which is why it’s usually a good idea to purchase an NCD protector add-on. This will give you one free pass, allowing you to maintain your NCD for one claim.
However, know that if you get into a second accident during the year, your NCD will be penalised as per usual.
Related to this topic: No Claims Discount (NCD) Protector: Should You Buy Yourself This Car Insurance Rider?
2. Gap cover
Given that COE prices are right now at record highs, it is a good idea to pay attention to gap cover for your car.
What’s gap cover? Well, this is a benefit that pays (up to a predefined sum) the difference between the fair value of your vehicle, and the price you paid for it.
While car insurance policies cover total damage or loss of your car, they only do so at the fair value of your vehicle at the time of the claim. This fair value (assessed by your insurer) could turn out to be lower than the price of the car when you bought it, which is extremely likely if COE prices come down at some point.
Should that happen, you’ll need to pay for the difference out of your own pocket, which could end up being a hefty sum!
The way to avoid this is with a gap cover add-on, which will offset (at least partially) the gap between the vehicle’s purchase price, and its fair value.
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3. Personal accident
Your car insurance plan covers only your vehicle, and your liability as a driver. However, in an accident, your vehicle may not be the only thing that gets damaged. The driver and their passengers may also suffer injuries, and this is where personal accident add-ons come in.
Personal accident cover pays out a lump sum in the event of a serious or fatal accident, and can be useful in staving off the resulting financial fallout. You can choose to have personal cover for yourself, as well as your family members and/or other passengers.
Note that a personal accident add-on tied to your motor insurance policy may not have a high enough cover, and thus may be of less utility. This is especially so if you and your family members already have a robust personal accident plan – in which case you’re unlikely to need this add-on.
However, for those that do not feel they need a standalone personal accident plan, but occasionally take a drive, a personal accident add-on can offer some degree of protection should an accident happen.
Related to this topic: Best Personal Accident Insurance Plans In Singapore (September 2022)
4. Medical expenses
Personal accident benefits are for serious injuries, but what about less lethal (but still serious) ones, such as breaking your leg?
Well, that’s where medical expenses cover comes in. If you or your passengers suffer an injury serious enough to garner a trip to the hospital, having medical expenses cover will help pay for the cost of your treatment.
Medical expenses cover is also useful even if there are no overt injuries. It’s a good idea to go for a medical checkup after a car accident to suss out any damage that may not be easily noticed (such as whiplash, that can cause unexpected headaches and neck pain later on).
You can claim for your check-ups if you have medical expenses cover added to your motor insurance policy.
Related to this topic: The Best Ways To Pay Medical Bills In Various Circumstances
5. Sunroof cover
Those that are driving cars with sunroofs should pay attention to this add-on. Why? Because your motor insurance policy will only pay for repairs if your sunroof is damaged in a traffic accident.
Hence, if you need to repair or replace your sunroof because of malfunctions or chip damage, you won’t be able to claim against your policy for it. And seeing as to how sunroof repairs or replacements can cost a few hundred dollars and up (more for luxury vehicles that are more likely to have this feature), you’ll have to eat the expense.
If you’d rather not do that, consider getting a sunroof cover add-on for your car insurance policy
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6. Child seat cover
This last one is pretty self-explanatory. For those with young children, a car seat is required by law. However, car and booster seats are not cheap, costing several hundred dollars or more.
Adding child seat cover can save you from a hefty out-of-pocket expense should your child seat get damaged in an accident.
Remember that you can always remove the add-on once your child outgrows the child seat.
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By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.