In a country like Singapore where the cost of owning a motorcycle has increased over the years, bikers are feeling the pinch. From the initial purchase to regular maintenance, one needs to set aside a monthly budget for riding expenses. When an accident occurs, though, the unexpected costs can burn a hole in one’s pocket.
It’s wise, then, to protect both the motorcycle and the rider with insurance cover. In fact, it’s mandatory under Singapore law to at least have Third Party Only cover. But that covers only the basics (more on that later).
If you’re a passionate rider with an insatiable thirst for adventure, or if you use your motorcycle for work or business, then the bare minimum coverage won’t be enough for you and your machine.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the basics of choosing motorcycle insurance in Singapore. Let’s start with the basic three types, and move on to optional benefits.
Three common types of motorcycle insurance in Singapore
Third Party Only
Third Party Only (TPO) insurance protects you—the motorcycle owner—from liabilities against third-party claims only. You’ll have to shoulder any bike repairs and your medical expenses in case of an accident.
Third Party, Fire and Theft
Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT) insurance provides TPO coverage plus additional protection in case your motorcycle is damaged in a fire or gets stolen.
From the name itself, a Comprehensive policy provides the widest cover among the three common types of motorcycle insurance in Singapore. Apart from covering the incidents and expenses included in TPFT, a Comprehensive plan also protects in the event of a car crash or damage due to natural disasters. It also covers the costs of repair due to vandalism, and of towing after an accident.
Optional add-ons to motorcycle insurance
With Comprehensive cover (and in some cases, TPFT), you can also add optional benefits to get the most protection. That means you can tailor your bike cover to fit your lifestyle and needs.
Here are some things to consider when customizing your motorcycle insurance policy.
A second driver
Some comprehensive insurance policies allow you to add a named driver to your policy. Should the named driver meet an accident while driving your bike, the insurance provider will cover him/her for any costs that arise as a result. These may include medical expenses and legal liabilities.
Insurance providers typically set qualifications for the named driver, as no one would want to cover someone with a record of recklessness on the road.
Under DirectAsia’s policy, a named driver should be 25 to 65 years old with at least two years of driving experience. He must not have been refused insurance coverage, or had it terminated, within the past three years. In the past five years, he must not have had his licence suspended or cancelled.
A workshop of your choice
Some of us have forged good relationships with our mechanics over the years. We’ve come to trust a certain car workshop, and they’ve come to know our bike’s history. So it’s understandable that when your bike gets damaged, you’d want your preferred workshop to be the one fixing it.
Not all insurance providers allow this. If it’s important to you that only a certain workshop repairs your car, check with your insurance provider whether or not they’ll cover repair costs at any workshop you prefer.
Round-the-clock assistance is especially useful for those who like to ride around as the city sleeps. If you find yourself in an accident during those otherwise peaceful nights, you’d want your insurance provider to be fully awake and ready to help.
Before getting bike insurance, check whether or not the policy provider has a 24-hour hotline for claims and assistance. They need to make it clear that they’ll be there to help you out if you crash into another vehicle or an object in the dead of night.
Coverage beyond Singapore
Going motopacking? If you like riding your bike to neighbouring countries, it helps to know what number to call if you meet with an accident. You—and not to mention your family back home—will have greater peace of mind knowing that help will be available in a foreign land, especially if your policy provider offers 24-hour assistance.
DirectAsia’s motorbike insurance policy covers Singapore, West Malaysia, and Southern Thailand (the area within 80km of the Thailand-Malaysia border). These are home to popular scenic routes and quick weekend destinations, such as Melaka and Ko Samui.
How do you use your bike?
The way you use your bike is crucial information as it will help determine the incidents that your policy will cover. For example, if your policy states you only ride your bike for leisure but you wind up in an accident while using it for work, chances are costs arising from that incident won’t be covered.
There are several ways to classify the way riders use their bikes. Here are the categories under DirectAsia policies:
- Private use – you only ride your bike for leisure, and don’t use it to get to/from work or business activities.
- Private + commute – on top of personal use, you also ride your bike to/from work, and perhaps to meet a colleague or business partner during your lunch break only.
- Private + business – aside from personal use and your work commute, you also use your bike at different hours of the day for business activities.
For each of the three categories above, DirectAsia recognizes another separate classification, which includes the use of your bike for food deliveries. Yes, that means you can add FoodPanda or HonestBee deliveries to your protection plan.
The nature of your work
Some professions require highly specialized insurance cover. Most insurance providers don’t offer motorcycle insurance policies for these riders, due either to the sensitive nature or high profile of their work:
- Foreign diplomats and foreign diplomatic staff
- Personnel of foreign armed forces
- Professionals involved with the entertainment industry
- Professional sportsmen or sportswomen
If your insurance policy says it covers motorcycle parts, better check exactly what that means. Bike cover typically doesn’t include non-standard parts that weren’t already fitted by the manufacturer or distributor at the time you bought the vehicle. Keep this in mind when retrofitting your bike.
Are you still paying back a finance company for your motorcycle? In that case, the company might require a specific type of coverage. They might require you to get comprehensive cover so your monthly payments won’t be hampered by unexpected repair costs due to accidents.
Choosing the best motorcycle insurance for you
While you’re required by law to get insurance if you own and drive a motorcycle, the extent and type of coverage largely depend on your situation and lifestyle. When you get a quote from DirectAsia, you’re allowed to add optional benefits so you can get an insurance policy that’s tailored to your needs.