I bought my first car in Singapore last year because of the low car prices. The purchase was made just before car prices started to shoot up.
One of the things that struck me was the high insurance premium I would have to pay. I wanted insurance cover with low excess, breakdown / roadside assistance in Singapore and West Malaysia, and the flexibility a workshop near where I worked or lived. My problem was made worse as I had two inexperienced or young drivers in my family, who would use the car.
My friends, who have had the benefit of many cars in Singapore, told me that it would be no use shopping around. They said most of the insurers offered similar benefits with the same premiums.
I had owned two cars in England previously, and that experience impressed upon me the necessity of shopping around for suitable insurance cover.
I initially started by contacting an insurer that is traditionally featured for its focus on this area. I found its plans to be expensive and unsuitable for my needs.
What my friends shared generally turned out to be true but this assessment was not accurate with a financial adviser I approached after. While the financial adviser could tailor a cover to meet my needs, the plan was still expensive (even though cheaper than the insurer).
In the end, I bought my insurance online from a new kid on the block, Direct Asia. I compared their quote with what my financial adviser had found. It was about 20% lower.
My financial adviser was candid enough to admit that it would be the best price I would get for the kind of cover I was seeking. My financial adviser suggested Direct Asia was able to offer low rates as they were new, with a low claims experience.
I have been with Direct Asia for almost a year now, and I haven't had any complaints. I have also gone on to purchase travel insurance cover from them, which are similarly competitive.
Nevertheless, I guess the real test will come when I have to make a claim against their policies.
It is important to shop around for suitable insurance cover.
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