How to Save on Car Insurance with a Certificate of Merit
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Whether you’re just commuting to work, or cruising around town, your driving behaviour and etiquette matters every time you get behind the wheel of your car. As a driver, you should know that the Singapore Traffic Police has a system in place to grade all drivers based on their driving behaviour against the law.
This system is known as the Driver Improvement Points System (DIPS) which keeps a track record of traffic violations of every registered driver in Singapore. However, it is important to note that this points system is not used merely to punish repeat offenders – although this is necessary to ensure the safety of all road users. But, it also offers tangible benefits to responsible drivers, such as a discount on car insurance premiums.
Here are some quick notes on the current rules and rewards of the DIPS, and how you can use a Certificate of Merit (COM) to save big on your car insurance.
Singapore’s Certificate of Merit
The Certificate of Merit is a document issued by Singapore’s Traffic Police as an award for driving safely in Singapore for at least 3-years or more. Being a low-risk driver entitles you to a ‘Safe Driver Discount’ by most car insurance companies, including DirectAsia. What’s more, is that this discount is added on to your no-claim discount (NCD) for extra savings!
Am I Eligible to Receive the Certificate of Merit?
All drivers that have a valid Singapore driving license and a demerit free driving record for 3 years or more are eligible to request for a COM from Singapore’s Traffic Police. You can check your eligibility on the Singapore Police Force e-website before sending in your application.
To qualify for the Safe Driver Discount when buying car insurance, your driving record must be free of traffic violations for at least 3 consecutive years before you sign your insurance policy. So, new drivers who have just gotten their driving license are not eligible for the certificate.
Is the Certificate of Merit Transferable?
No, you cannot transfer your Certificate of Merit to another driver. This is because the merit is given based on individual driving behaviour as well as abiding by Singapore’s road safety rules.
The same goes for your car insurance policy; you cannot claim a discount based on your parents, spouse’s, children’s, or other named driver’s Certificate of Merit. If you are the main driver, your base car insurance policy will be adjusted according to your driving profile. In other words, only the Certificate of Merit of the main driver is considered when purchasing car insurance.
How Can I Get the Certificate of Merit in Singapore?
Application for the Certificate of Merit can be done via the Electronic Driver Data Information & Enquiry System (EDDIES).
It’s important to note that most auto insurers in Singapore also have access to your COM via EDDIES, so you should truthfully declare your eligibility when purchasing your car insurance.
How Can I Use the Certificate of Merit for My Car Insurance Premium Discount
Most auto insurers in Singapore ask for eligibility of Certificate of Merit during the insurance quotation process. For example, DirectAsia has a section that asks about the main driver and his/her entitlement to a Certificate of Merit, as part of their quick quote process online (image shown above).
As an alternative, you could also contact your insurer to declare your Certificate of Merit, so that they can process any discounts that you’re eligible for.
How Much Can I Save With a Certificate of Merit
There may be a ranging amount of discounts offered by car insurers in Singapore to drivers with a Certificate of Merit. Typically, you can expect up to a 5% discount with a COM.
And if you’re eligible for a COM, it means you displayed 3-years of good driving behaviour and most likely not made any prior car insurance claims. So, you would have accumulated at least NCD30 as well. In this case, the total discount you will be entitled to for your car insurance premium is 35%!
Obtain Your Certificate of Merit and Save Big on Car Insurance
Safety should be top priority for all drivers. After all, you have a responsibility to do your part to keep the roadways safe for yourself, your passengers and other road users who may be affected by traffic accidents.
And if you want to save on car insurance, remember that good driving behaviour can qualify you for discounts. Whether it be a Safe Driver Discount for driving safely on the road and obtaining a Certificate of Merit, or a No-Claim Discount for not having any insurance claims on your vehicle for over a year.