How to lower your car insurance premiums when working from home in Singapore

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COVID-19 has brought many negative changes to our world, but some would say there have also been some benefits: a slower pace of life and the ability to work from home. Often, the latter also means less time to contend with rush hour traffic.

There’s also another potential benefit: you could save money on your auto, home and contents insurance. Specifically, we’ll explore how to save on your car insurance premiums in Singapore if you don’t come to the office every day of the week.

If you’re working remotely, that means your car is spending a lot more time in your multi-storey parking lot than on the freeway. But unless you tell your auto insurer it’s going to stay that way, you might actually be paying too much for coverage.

Factors that influence car insurance premium

Occupation

Interestingly, even your job can affect the cost of your car insurance premium. Although different insurers may have different ways of calculating premiums, people with “outdoor” jobs tend to be charged a bit more than people with office jobs.

Some insurers can be even more specific. For example, they might charge more to insure a salesperson who might spend a lot of time traveling to different customers than they would charge a housewife or an accountant who sits in his office all day.

No Claim Discount (NCD)

A claim-free discount, or NCD, is a discount on your auto insurance premium that you can earn for consecutive years of safe driving. Typically, for every year you drive claim-free, you get a 10% discount when renewing your insurance policy – ​​up to a cap of 50%.

This means that after 5 years claim-free, you essentially cut your premiums in half. Obviously, driving safely has huge benefits.

Some car insurance policies offer the option of adding an NCD Protector feature, which protects your NCD from being dropped when you make a claim. The NCD Protector usually costs an additional 10% on your premium. Note that in most cases you can transfer your NCD if you buy a new car or change insurance companies.

age and sex

elderly couple driving a car

Unfortunately, age and gender are two factors over which you have no control. Drivers in their 20s tend to pay the most for car insurance in Singapore, compared to drivers in their 40s.

However, don’t take this personally – insurers charge different premiums after analyzing their claims data and determining which age groups tend to have the most accidents and file the most claims. Hence, they charge higher premiums accordingly.

Car insurance premiums can also vary depending on your gender. Insurance companies in Singapore generally charge higher premiums for men than for women. Unfortunately, the data indicates that men are much more likely to have an accident than women.

How does working from home (WFH) affect your car premiums?

If you now work from home, you will definitely find yourself using the car a lot less than before COVID-19.

So you might want to talk to your agent or insurance company to take advantage of a better deal on your car insurance premiums. The best way may be to call them directly and let them know your situation has changed. Since your risk is lower, you may be able to renegotiate your premium.

Insurance based on mileage and usage

work from home dad

Another way is to call your insurance to request a switch to a mileage or usage-based insurance plan. But what is it ?

Usage-based insurance tracks a driver’s telematics using a wireless device installed in the car. The device then collects information and transmits the data to the insurer. An app can also be used instead to collect the data.

Some of the data collected includes acceleration, hard braking and cornering as well as the time of day the trip was taken.

What about mileage-based insurance? As the name suggests, mileage-based insurance is a type of insurance that charges customers based on the number of miles they drive. This type of insurance can be beneficial for people who don’t drive very often, as they save money on their premiums.

Pay per kilometer uses a base rate plus a monthly mileage rate to determine your car insurance premium. The premium will change as your mileage changes. Drivers with more mileage generally pay a higher insurance premium.

However, note that not all car insurance companies offer plans based on mileage or usage. For the most accurate information, it is best to contact your insurance company.

Off-peak license plate

If you only drive for fun and don’t need your car to get to work, you can save a lot on your premiums by signing up for an off-peak license plate, up to 25% on average ! Off-peak drivers are also eligible for rebates of up to S$17,000 and an annual road tax rebate of S$500.

Off-peak drivers, who identify themselves by wearing red license plates on their vehicles, are subject to strict constraints on the extent of their driving. Restricted hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, unless they obtain a special electronic day license (e-Day license).

This means that drivers are not restricted from driving on weekends and religious or public holidays.

Car Subscription

car selection on ipad

Perhaps the best way to save money driving a car, without incurring the expenses of car ownership like insurance, road tax and warranty, is to subscribe to a car.

Unlike traditional car rental methods, car subscriptions allow Singaporeans to rent a car on a month-to-month basis, without a fixed-term contract that binds the buyer to a rental car for a year or more. With COE prices reaching six figures in Singapore, it’s no wonder that many Singaporeans are turning to this alternative instead.

For a detailed breakdown of the exact costs of subscribing and owning a car, you can check out our helpful comparison guide here.

Conclusion

Working from home certainly offers many advantages. Most people wouldn’t remember that they may have been paying too much for car insurance because they weren’t using their car as much before COVID-19.

Even if you don’t plan to switch to car rental or apply for an off-peak license plate anytime soon, comparing the cheapest car insurance in Singapore is still very important to keep costs down. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of car insurance policies and their prices for your convenience.

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