The sheer number of traffic lights on Singapore roads- over 200 traffic lights– make it expensive to drive cars fitted with internal combustion engines. Constant stops at the traffic make these cars fuel guzzlers, and with the hike in petrol prices in recent years, Singaporean’s attention is shifted to electric cars. The traffic in this small country favors electric car owners as they can simply turn it off on traffic before moving again.
The country aims to double its electric car charging areas by 2030 as it moves away from fossil fuel. However, certain things do not change that much in the automobile industry. If you plan to join the bandwagon of electric car owners, you should be acquainted with electric car insurance because you cannot drive a car in Singapore without a policy. This article presents five things you should know about electric car insurance.
1. You will have few options with electric cars insurance.
The idea of electric cars dominating Singaporean roads has not sunk with many insurance providers. The insurance industry has yet to build a stabilized and clear guideline covering electric cars. As of mid-2021, only a few insurance companies covered electric cars. With only a handful of providers, electric car owners do not have adequate opportunities to compare different prices.
As of now, you only have three providers in the country that can directly insure your electric car. These include AXA, NTUC Income, and Liberty Insurance, all of which have diverse pricing structures. The frustration is even heightened if you remember numerous factors considered when determining car insurance prices. Consider a hypothetical situation of a 27-year-old with less than two years of driving experience. We will also assume that the person has not made any claims with a 0% no claim discount.
NTUC Income– This insurance company has two different pricing structures, and one is based on per kilometer, while the other is on annual payment. If you do not intend to drive your electric car several miles in a year, you will be better off insuring your car per kilometer. If we assume that, on average, Singaporeans drive 20,000 km annually, the per kilometer quote for a 27-year-old will cost approximately $3,000, while the annual cost comes to $3,830.
Electric car owners are presented with a straightforward yearly annual structure like ICE cars with AXA. For instance, the annual insurance policy for the Hyundai Ioniq ICE car is the same as the electric car of the same model at $6,065.62.
Liberty Insurance– Liberty Insurance is the preferred insurance provider for most electric cars in Singapore, offering their quotation on direct inquiries only.
Other places that offer electric car insurance covers are authorized brokers, such as Synergy Financial Advisers or car dealers. You do well to conduct thorough research on which car dealer or broker is licensed to offer electric car insurance cover before committing to any.
2. Your electric car insurance depends on the model or make
Don’t think it is only your details that insurance providers use to determine the coverage; the car model and make are also considered. As with ICE cars, the general rule is the costlier your vehicle is, the higher your insurance premium. Let’s take an example of three electric car models and compare their insurance premiums at NTUC Income. We will also assume that the coverage is for an average 20,000km per year drive for each electric car owner.
Price depending on the model
1 Year Insurance premium (NTUC Income)
Kia Niro EV
Tesla Model 3
From this table, it is clear that your insurance premium rises proportionately with the rise in the electric car price. So, if you are eying Tesla model 3, be ready to dig deep into your pocket for an insurance policy.
3. You can Insure Your car based on usage
The usage-based idea or UBI is an appealing insurance option since electric cars are not frequently used in Singapore compared to their ICE counterparts. The UBI is ideal if you do not intend o drive your vehicle often, allowing you to pay less insurance premium. UBI is a perfect option if you buy this car for an occasional fun spin around the city or use it for the odd-hour run to the grocery store. However, use other means for regular commute when going to work or long-distance travels.
Remember that only NTUC Income provides electric car owners with UBI options in Singapore. The policy is not available for ICE car owners. Under UBI, the provider also offers third party with theft and fire, comprehensive, or third party only. If you wonder how the insurance provider will know the distance you have covered, their answer is through a device they install on your electric’s OBD port that connects to the car’s odometer. This device effectively saves insurance companies the hassles of using GPS or cell phones to trace the distance covered.
So, what determines your per km insurance premium? Your details and car model are the first things considered. Additionally, the car cost, level of driving experience, and age will also weigh on your electric car insurance cost.
4. The providers do not cover some Electric car risks
Careful consideration of some electric car insurance providers’ policy wording reveals that some things are not covered. For instance, the NTUC Income UBI coverage fails to include battery defects or failures-which means you will add to the maintenance package to cover things left out in your primary cover.
The story is the same with AXA providers as they only cover accidents, uncontrollable events, and acts of God. This means that things like electric car malfunction are not included in the cover. If that were to happen, you would need to go to the manufacturer and lodge a complaint or pay from your pocket. Liberty Insurance is the only player in this industry that provides a more comprehensive cover, though their pricing is relatively higher.
5. Specific Things to know for Tesla-lovers
If you intend to go for a Tesla car, consider some of its features not included in your policy. For example, Tesla’s cool features like the extended windshield that ends at the roofline are often not covered. Most insurers argue that their coverage ends at the beginning of the car’s roofline. This means it is difficult to acquire an insurance policy covering your entire electric car with all its features. If you want to include this feature, you will have to go with Liberty Insurance coverage. You could be lucky if your Tesla broker agrees to give you end-to-end coverage.
Some Tesla owners have cautioned that most insurers do not cover charging accidents. Additionally, any experimental Tesla features you may download over the air are probably not included in the policy.
Electric cars are the face of Singapore’s automobile industry. Though is its insurance is yet to develop fully, it does not have to give you a headache for now. At Shariot, we provide you with information to keep you on track with the country’s future. With the government’s backing, it is a matter of time before the insurance industry comes around with a more stable policy. We will continue to provide you with the necessary information as Singapore takes the lead in embracing the clean car industry.