Car insurance can get very expensive in Singapore, especially if you've gotten in any accidents in the recent past or have any driving offenses on your record. Even for someone with a clean driving record, the average cost of car insurance can range from about S$700 to over S$3,000. But attempting to drive without car insurance is very risky and could end up costing you thousands of dollars, your driving license and even jail time. Here's a list of the kinds of things you should keep in mind if you've ever considered driving without a valid car insurance policy.
The Singapore Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act stipulates that someone found driving a motor vehicle in Singapore without insurance coverage will be guilty of an offense and liable upon conviction to a fine of up to S$1,000, imprisonment for up to 3 months, or both. If you're convicted of this offense, you'll also be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving license for 12 months past the date of your conviction.
By actively choosing to contravene the law, therefore, you could find yourself paying a much higher price than the couple of thousand dollars you might spend on a car insurance premium.
There are several exceptions to this law. You will not be found guilty of this offense if:
- If the car in question does not belong to you or is in your possession under a contract of hiring or a loan
- If you're using the car in the course of your work
- If you genuinely did not realize, nor have any reason to believe, that a valid insurance policy was not in effect
What if you get in a car accident?
In addition to the legal implications and consequences you might face by driving without a car insurance policy, you also do so at great risk to yourself and your financial well-being. If you get into a car accident while driving uninsured, you won't just have to bear the significant expense of repairing or replacing your car, any broken personal possessions and any medical expenses yourself. You could also find yourself facing a lawsuit from the third party and having to pay for any losses, damages and medical expenses for the third party as well. Ultimately, this could cost you many thousands of dollars that would otherwise have been paid for by your insurer.
Consequences for Fronting
Some people with a less-than-stellar driving record might be tempted to avoid paying the full cost of the higher premium that goes along with being classified as a "high-risk driver" by engaging in a practice known as "fronting." Fronting is when you attempt to get a cheaper rate on your car insurance by using the details of a different, presumably better, driving profile. In short, it's a form of fraud. If you attempt this strategy to avoid paying higher car insurance premiums, you could find your claims repudiated and your policies cancelled entirely, especially if you get in an accident.
At the end of the day, while nobody enjoys paying for car insurance, attempting to avoid it by breaking the law is likely to cost you much more than your premium would, in both time and money. There are ways, however, to make sure you're not paying any more than you need to on your premium. If you're interested in learning more about how to get the best bang for your buck when shopping for car insurance, consider reading our guides on how to choose a car insurance plan and the top ways you can save on your car insurance.
This article was first published at ValuePenguin.