According to traffic statistics from the Singapore Police Force, the first half of 2018 saw accidents involving motorbike riders increase by 1.9 percent—up by 2,216 accidents compared to 2,175 in the same period in 2017. Of that number, 27 cases resulted in fatal accidents, up from 24 cases in the previous year.
The same report found that 57 per cent and 44 per cent of traffic accidents involved motorcyclists and resulted in traffic fatalities, respectively.
Simply put, riding a motorbike is risky. And it seems that the fewer wheels a vehicle has, the higher its exposure to road accidents. In addition, motorbikes have none of the safety features that come with cars, like seatbelts and airbags.
If anything, this underscores the importance of getting motorcycle insurance in Singapore, which not only protects you from the financial impact of an accident but also prevents you from having to pay hefty fines out of your own pocket.
Why people don’t get motorcycle insurance
Admittedly, not everyone will feel that they need motorcycle insurance. The notoriously high cost of insurance coverage in Singapore doesn’t help either. But it’s also true that being caught without insurance, or worse, being in an accident without motorcycle insurance, is all but guaranteed to be a legal and financial nightmare.
Reasons to get motorcycle insurance in Singapore
With that being said, listed below are a few reasons why you need motorcycle insurance, which will hopefully change your mind or put to rest any concerns you may have about getting your bike insured.
1. Avoiding legal troubles
Whether you’re driving a car or motorbike, doing so without insurance is illegal in Singapore.
The Singapore Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act states that anyone found driving a motor vehicle without insurance coverage will be guilty of an offence and, after conviction, will have to pay a $1,000 fine and/or serve up to three months of jail time.
Not only that, convicted motorcyclists are automatically disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for at least 12 months after the date of their conviction. If you depend on your motorcycle for your work or livelihood, this could result in a dramatic loss of income.
2. Protection against theft
Aside from being more susceptible to accidents, motorbikes are also easier to steal. Thieves simply have to cut or break the lock, load the bike into a van or truck, and make a quick getaway. They could also just hardwire the bike and drive it off the crime scene.
While motor vehicle theft in Singapore has been on a steady decline over the years, it continues to be a problem in Malaysia, where 9,553 motorcycles were reported stolen by the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia in 2017.
With a third-party, fire, and theft (TPFT) or comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy, your provider will cover any losses caused by vandalism, fire, and theft. So, if someone defaces, sets fire to, or steals your motorcycle, you will get money to help cover the costs of repair or replacement.
Be sure to check with your insurance provider about coverage in and outside of Singapore, especially in West Malaysia and Southern Thailand.
3. Protection against medical costs and damages
Should you be involved in a traffic accident while riding an uninsured motorbike, you’ll have no choice but to pay for the repairs or replacement of your motorcycle, plus any broken possessions and any medical expenses out of your own pocket.
That in itself is bad enough. But if your accident caused injury, or worse, death, to a third party, you could end up facing a lawsuit and pay for any losses, property damage, and medical expenses of the third party.
All of these costs can quickly add up to thousands of dollars that would otherwise have been taken care of by a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy, regardless if you or a third party caused the accident.
4. Legal assistance and coverage for legal costs and expenses
Aside from medical expenses and damages, being involved in a motorcycle accident resulting in the death or critical injury to a third party will likely lead to a lawsuit.
With comprehensive motorcycle insurance, your provider may offer to arrange for legal representation and/or pay all or some of your legal costs and expenses to defend yourself against any criminal charges brought against you in court. Depending on your insurance provider, you can also negotiate to appoint your own lawyer to defend you, albeit with some limitations.
However, it should be noted that most insurance providers will not pay for legal costs to defend you or the driver of your motorcycle if either of you have been charged with or convicted of reckless or dangerous driving.
5. Exclusive benefits to motorcyclists
Although offered by some companies as an optional benefit, tacking on 24-hour breakdown assistance to your cover can be a godsend when your motorbike can’t be driven due to a breakdown. Your insurance provider can pay for the reasonable cost of calling in breakdown assistance and/or towing your motorbike to the nearest repair centre of your choice if it can’t be repaired on the spot.
Another benefit you can consider adding to your cover is the option to protect any unnamed authorised person whom you trust to drive your motorcycle, provided they meet the insurer’s criteria. Some providers also offer a No Claim Discount (NCD) guarantee in exchange for keeping your policy.
Riding a motorcycle already comes with its own risks. But riding one without insurance coverage is downright irresponsible and could end up costing thousands of dollars in legal fees, medical fees, and property damage—not to mention the privilege of holding and obtaining a driver’s licence, and of course, jail time.
To learn more about which motorcycle insurance policy is best for your needs, contact DirectAsia for a quote of our cover types.