Electrical car insurance Singapore: 5 issues Tesla and different electrical car homeowners have to know – AsiaOne
Driving in Singapore can be quite a hassle due to the many traffic lights on the island – for such a small country there are over 2000 traffic lights scattered all over the place. This type of start-stop driving is perfect for electric cars; While cars with internal combustion engines continue to burn fuel when idling at a red light, electric cars simply switch off.
Of course, Singapore is well on its way to doubling the number of electric car charging stations by 2030 while also favoring fossil fuels over dinosaurs.
If you are looking to own or buy an electric car, here's what you need to know about electric car insurance in Singapore.
1. There are limited insurance options for electric cars
Insurance providers seem to be sticking to the idea that cars are still powered by liquefied dinosaurs. As of August 2021, only a handful left Insurance covers electric cars. The lack of options makes it more difficult for consumers to compare auto insurance policies.
Only 3 providers insure electric cars directly – AXA, Liberty Insurance and NTUC Income – and they do so with very different price structures.
It's even more frustrating to realize that Many factors go into the price of auto insurance that you pay for. The prices below reflect my profile: a 26-year-old man who is single and has less than two years of driving experience, has not made any claims and has a no-claims discount of 0 percent.
- AXA offers a relatively simple annual pricing structure, similar to ICE cars. Interestingly, the cost of a Hyundai Ioniq Electric for a year is the same as its ICE counterpart, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, at $ 6,065.62.
- NTUC income offers two types of pricing structures – per kilometer (km) or annually. It will definitely be cheaper to insure your electric car per kilometer if you don't cover a lot of kilometers. Assuming the average Singaporean drives about 20,000 km per year, my offer was about $ 3,000 with the per km structure, as opposed to $ 3,830.15 in the annual price for the same car.
- Freedom Insurance only offers quotes through direct inquiries and is one of the distinguishing features of being the preferred insurer for Teslas in Singapore.
There are other insurance providers who cover electric cars, but these are usually covered by individual car dealers or authorized brokers. One of our readers, Darcy Li, received his new Tesla Model 3 insurance from Allianz through an authorized broker: Synergy financial advisor.
2. The premium depends on the make and model of your car
As if your personal information didn't have enough influence on the price of your car insurance, the model and brand also influence it. In general, your car will cost more premium brand, your insurance premium will also cost more.
Compare the estimated insurance premium between these three electric cars:
|Car model||Price of the basic model||Insurance premium for 1 year (NTUC income, 20,000 km / year)|
|Nissan Leaf||$ 148,800||$ 2,528.20|
|Kia Niro EV||$ 158,999||$ 2,860.40|
|Tesla model 3||$ 229,000||$ 6,730.00|
So if you're looking to buy a Tesla Model 3, be prepared to cough a lot more to insure your car.
3. There is a usage-based insurance (UBI), but …
Since electric cars are not as common in Singapore as ICE cars, we love the idea of usage-based insurance, or UBI.
The basic idea of UBI is to pay less because you drive less. It's especially relevant if you own an electric car for one or the other grocery run or fun ride around the island, but choose a different method for your regular commute if you choose UBI
For now, only NTUC Income offers UBI in Singapore. This is reserved for electric cars only, and they offer full liability insurance against fire and theft or only to third parties.
Distance tracking is measured by a device installed on the OBD port of your electric carthat is directly linked to your car's odometer. This ensures precise location without having to resort to measures such as mobile phone apps or GPS.
Frustratingly, the prices per km are determined by personal data and the car model. The standard rules apply – the more expensive your car and the more inexperienced in driving and / or younger you are, the higher the price per kilometer.
4. Some things are not insured
Interestingly, a crawl of the guideline formulation for NTUC income reveals that UBI coverage does not include: Battery failures or Defects by default – You need to add the maintenance package that contains a comprehensive list of auto parts that could fail for any reason.
The situation is similar with AXA, where the scope of Insurance cover only covers accidents, force majeure or uncontrollable events.
That leaves us to wonder if it would actually cover issues like electric car malfunction – which you may have to discuss with the automaker and pay out of pocket.
From all electric car insurers Freedom Insurance seems to be the most comprehensive, but the price remains to be seen.
5. Tesla-specific things to consider
Do you want to buy a Tesla? Note that some of the coolest features may not be covered.
Teslas, for example, have a very cool feature where the windshield extends into the roofline. Most insurers, however, state that the scope of their windshield coverage ends where the roofline of the car begins, making it quite difficult to find insurance that covers it all. Liberty Insurance covers this, but not for NTUC Income and AXA.
You might be more lucky if you get your new Tesla fully insured through an authorized broker like our reader Darcy. Through Synergy Financial Advisers, Darcy managed to take out electric car insurance through Allianz that covers: Tesla-specific functions such as autopilot and the curved glass roof.
As a new Tesla owner, he also warns against burdening accidents, an event that most insurers don't cover. Certain experimental features that are in beta and downloaded wirelessly to your Tesla are also unlikely to be covered by insurers.
Electric car insurance can eat away at your brain, but it doesn't have to be that difficult
Honestly, since electric cars are sanctioned by the government, we thought getting electric car insurance would be as easy as turning on the lights. But insurance providers are notoriously slow to keep up with new changes, so there aren't that many options yet.
ALSO READ: No Claims Discount (NCD) Protector: Should You Buy This Auto Insurance Driver?
However, the space for electric car insurance will only get bigger in the next few years, so we have one Tool that allows you to fill in your details to find the best price for you.
If you are still at the research stage, check out our many articles how to navigate the confusing world of auto insurance and why that is so. You will love to understand why.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.