Malaysia continues to be a popular destination for Singaporeans—according to a report by Channel NewsAsia, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak noted about 50 per cent of the foreign tourists who visited Malaysia came through Singapore. With a plethora of good food, low prices and the nation’s close proximity to our shores, it’s not difficult to see why.
After revised toll charges early this year, the cost for a Singapore car to enter and exit Malaysia from the Woodlands Checkpoint, including petrol, went down to S$15.60. But this amount can multiply if an unfortunate incident occurs abroad and you do not have the proper coverage in place for you and your car.
What can go wrong driving into Malaysia?
Travelers on a journey from point A to point B, even if it’s just a short trip from Singapore to Johor, hope to reach their destination in one piece, safe and sound. While we always hope for the best, preparing for the worst can save you from extra troubles when on the road. These can take the form of robberies, car thefts, road accidents, and more.
According to statistics by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, 533,875 road accidents were recorded in the country in 2017. Cars were the most common types of vehicles involved in these accidents.
Motorcyclists are not spared, either. An MIT study reports that motorcyclists comprise a staggering 60 percent of all traffic fatalities in the country.
Besides accidents, car theft is a concern, too. Using a frequency-hacking device available in Malaysia for about RM150, thieves can unlock almost any car equipped with keyless entry—a cause for concern for those driving into the country.
How can having car insurance help?
It may seem like tough luck, but a car accident in another country doesn’t have to end up in total disaster. If you have comprehensive car insurance coverage, you can receive cash compensation or a replacement car in the event of loss or theft your vehicle.
Accidents can be far worse—besides the wreckage done to your car, you may have to deal with tow truck and hospital arrangements. If an accident happens to you overseas, you must first check for injuries, call the police within 24 hours, collect evidence, and call your car insurance dealer for guidance.
How to claim insurance for a car accident in Malaysia
Singapore’s Road and Safety Act requires car owners to have a minimum coverage of Third-Party Only (TPO) car insurance. The other two policy options are the mid-tier coverage Third-Party, Fire & Theft (TPFT) plan and the Comprehensive plan. The latter covers losses and damages to yourself, your vehicle, and any other party involved, which the other plans do not cover.
For frequent travelers into Malaysia, car insurance plans that provide coverage not only when you are driving in Singapore, but also in West Malaysia (including Penang and the other Malaysian islands offshore of West Malaysia) and Southern Thailand (the part of Thailand within 80km of the border between Thailand and Malaysia) is ideal so that you have all your grounds covered.
Keep in mind that you will be covered for loss or damage to your vehicle only when you drive in Singapore. However, you’ll still be covered for third-party bodily injury and third-party property damage, as well as any optional benefits you have under your policy, when driving in Singapore, West Malaysia, and Southern Thailand.
Even if you have an existing car insurance plan, consider travel insurance to Malaysia from Singapore. This is important because car insurance only covers the damages done to your car or a third-party vehicle. However, accidents may hurt you and your loved ones.
You can use complete travel insurance coverage to pay for medical expenses if you get injured in an accident in Malaysia. It’s likely that for quick treatment, you’ll be warded to a local hospital. In more complex situations, you may have to be moved to another location to receive urgent treatment.
Depending on your plan, your travel insurance may even cover the costs of a friend’s or family member’s visit to you in a hospital overseas so you don’t have to endure the pain alone.
Such occurrences remind us how car insurance and travel insurance can be a source of compensation and comfort when an unfortunate, life-changing event occurs overseas.
Choosing car insurance coverage when traveling
The kind of travel or car insurance coverage you choose depends on your needs. Ask yourself: Without your salary, how much will your family need to get by should you become disabled or involved in a fatal accident? Which coverage would give you the greatest piece of mind when you travel?
You don’t want to be placed in a disadvantaged situation just because you didn’t prepare enough. DirectAsia has customised coverage plans for both travel and car insurance to help you in tough situations overseas.