What if You’re Asked to Settle an Accident Off the Record
If you drive long enough you’ll probably be involved in an accident. Sad, but true.
Some say 1 in 72 will have an accident every year. Others say you have a 30% chance of having a serious accident in your lifetime. The current serious accident rate in Singapore is .83% (a little less than 1 in 100 cars will have a major accident each year), with regular smaller accidents more likely.
And with the cost of driving in Singapore so high, accidents are also expensive. It’s not like any of the repair parts are made locally.
Some drivers want to save on their insurance, protect their NCD or just avoid paperwork in general. They’ll try and pressure you to not get insurance, police, etc. involved. They always have an uncle or workshop where they know some people and it’ll be much cheaper if you just go through them…
Settling your own dispute
Sometimes when you crash you are able to settle the matter politely with the other driver. You’ve worked out your amount, it’s small and the person will pay you directly. Then there is usually no need to file an insurance claim. But filing a claim is a different thing from reporting the accident.
You must always report the accident within 24 hours!
Under the MCF, all accidents, regardless of how minor, and even if the damage is not visible, must be reported to your insurer within 24 hours or by the next working day. This is GIA and runs across all insurers in Singapore and has nothing to do with DirectAsia.com, ANY insurance policy in Singapore requires the same.
Failure to submit the claim can have major penalties
Even though this is the law, you’ll still get pressure to be cool or “help a brother out”. They’ll give you 99 reasons to not file or report the accident and for sure “no one will find out”…but regardless of what they say be sure of one thing – it’s always to help them, not you.
They want to avoid responsibility for their actions and they want you to break the law with them.
Maybe they’ve had so many accidents their insurance is about to drop them. That’s not your problem! It’s theirs. They are the bad driver that had all the accidents to begin with. Sometimes people only learn lessons when faced with real consequences and helping them avoid will only further encourage their bad driving and put other drivers in risk.
If you don’t report your accident, even if there’s no visible damage, you can stand to lose your NCD, lose ability to claim and more. It’s not worth the risk.
Will the brother who wants a bit of help still be around when your policy is cancelled and your rates go up if the accident is later discovered?
Will it affect your No Claim Discount?
You must still report the matter to us as stated by the GIA. If you settle the claim on your own and you weren’t found to be at fault, it will NOT affect your No Claim Discount. Complete and send us a copy of the Private Settlement form when you’re reporting the claim.
But I’m the one who crashed
You should still report. It might seem like a blessing to have them offer to settle off the books. “Oh don’t worry, my friend can repair 200 dollars only, no need to report.” Then they go and report you later and you lose out and get penalized. Nothing in life is best kept as a secret. If you mess up, just own it and work towards moving on. It’ll always work out better in the end.
Insuring Safe Drivers
Really we’re sorry to have to say this in this way. It’s never fun to sound like the scolding parent. But at the end of the day driving is a privilege, not a right. Driving is also an activity that has real world consequences. Bad, reckless and irresponsible drivers can ruin livelihoods, injure you and even cause the death of family members who support families.
DirectAsia.com supports safe drivers. There are many Singaporeans out there who obey the law, drive safely and go years without incident. We feel those drivers should save on their car insurance. The good behaviour should be rewarded and so we do. Some like to complain that we’ve not allowed someone to bend the rules or be an unsafe driver. We don’t agree. We’ll gladly seem not cool if it means we can reward those who have done what they should!