How Does a Motorcycle Accident Affect your Insurance?
Reading time: 5 mins
Before any car driver or motorcycle rider can take their vehicles out on the roads in Singapore, it is mandatory to have an insurance policy, at least, Third Party Only insurance coverage (TPO).
Every moving vehicle on Singapore roads should have an insurance policy. But the question is, what happens when your motorcycle is involved in an accident? How does it affect your motorcycle insurance?
The answer is not so simple. There are a few factors that determines how motorcycle accidents can affect your insurance. We have discussed them in detail, below. First, let us glance through some of the available insurance policies for motorcycles.
Third-Party Only (TPO):
This policy has the least coverage in Singapore. It only covers the other party—that is, the other rider, motorcyclist or pedestrian—involved in the accident. It covers expenses that involve bodily harm, property damage, and even legal fees, if you are the party at-fault. It is also worth noting that, TPO does not cover the pillion passenger.
Third-Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT):
Many motorcycle owners in Singapore opt for this insurance coverage. It covers damage done to the third party, and your motorcycle, if it gets damaged by fire or gets stolen. There is no coverage for you, as the rider in this policy.
This is the best coverage by far and is also the most popular option in Singapore. It offers the same coverage as TPO and TPFT, plus it covers damages done to the motorcycle, including the rider and the passenger.
Even though comprehensive insurance covers almost everything, some comprehensive coverage plans don’t cover the motorcycle if its tyre and rim get damaged while riding.
Now that you have a brief understanding of the insurance policies available to motorcycles in Singapore. Let’s get into the main topic of this article.
How Does A Motorcycle Accident Affect Your Insurance?
If you have a history of accidents on your motorcycle insurance, your insurance company will require this information to determine your insurance premium.
The only time an accident on your motorcycle does not impact your insurance is when you’re not at-fault, it’s your first accident as a motorcycle rider, or you have an excellent track record with only minor accidents.
To understand how your insurer determines whether you are at-fault or not-at-fault in a motorcycle accident, let’s take a look at a few possible scenarios (for illustration purposes).
Scenario 1: When the Rider Is Not At-Fault
A motorcycle is at an intersection waiting for the traffic light to turn green. When the light eventually turns green, it is the right of way for the motorcyclist to proceed. But, if a vehicle at the other side of the intersection ignores the red light on their lane, and drives ahead, colliding with the motorcycle rider that has the right of way, then the motorcycle rider is deemed as the not at-fault party.
Scenario 2: When the Rider is At-Fault
A rider that has had too much to drink is riding on his motorcycle. And at a red traffic light, he stops behind a car, where the rider is not visible in any of the driver’s rear-view mirrors or blindspots. The traffic light turns green, and the driver wants to switch lanes, but he hits the unseen rider in the process.
Here the insurance company will declare the rider as at-fault, because if the rider wasn’t drunk, he’d probably have reacted quickly to the car’s lane switch.
But, if the collision happened and the motorcycle rider wasn’t drunk and didn’t have alcohol in his system, then the car driver would be the at-fault party.
How Can I Avoid Affecting My Motorcycle Insurance as A Rider?
There’s a known prejudice against motorcycle riders for being reckless; motorcycle riders automatically are blamed for accidents they are involved in, even when they are not at-fault.
In view of this, we advise you to always drive safely. Follow all traffic rules and regulations, avoid distractions and avoid the blind spots of other motor vehicles on the road.
Practicing safe riding is one way to keep your motorcycle insurance unaffected. But, when there is an accident, and you are not at-fault, inform your insurer immediately after the accident to lodge an accident report. If there is a foreign registered vehicle involved, injury to any party, or any damage caused to government property, a pedestrian or cyclist, then you will have to lodge a full police report. You can lodge a police report at the nearest Neighbourhood Police Centre or Neighbourhood Police Post from the scene of the accident. In this case, it is crucial to obtain an official police report before you contact your insurance company to raise a claims request with your insurance company.
If you’re not at-fault, ensure the other party (the one at-fault) makes a third-party claim on their insurance, as soon as possible.
It is also advisable to use your phone to take pictures or shoot a video of the accident scene and all parties involved to show the police and your insurer . The more detailed your documentation of the accident, the better your chances of receiving your claim.
Statistics show that motorcycle riders have a higher chance of getting into fatal accidents compared to other vehicles. This is because unlike cars, where there’s a body of metal protecting the driver & its passengers, motorcycles don’t have much outer protection for the driver & its pillion passenger.
Ultimately, you play a large part in determining the safety of riding a motorcycle – by choosing the best motorbike and protective gear and riding your motorcycle responsibly. On top of that, riding a motorcycle is also associated with inherent risks which could drastically affect your motorbike insurance. This is one reason why it is crucial to arm yourself with the best motorcycle insurance, so that you will be protected by full coverage if you were to be in an accident. If you’re a younger or inexperienced rider, you’d find our guide for beginner riders helpful. You may also be interested in our tips on lowering your insurance premiums and on how to maintain your motorcycle to prevent mechanical failures.