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What are the 3 most important considerations when buying a Motor Insurance policy?

For most, the top 3 considerations are premium, excess and restriction on workshops. The following are the some frequently asked questions for your reference:

Q: How much premium are you being charged for the policy?
A: Premium – this is the most obvious consideration but there are other trade offs you need to take note of. 

Q: How much excess do you need to bear?
A: Excess – you should know how much excess you are carrying under your insurance policy. For more information on excess, please click here.

Q: Is ther any restriction of workshops?
A: As a part of cost control (claims cost is the MAJOR cost for motor insurance policies), some insurers in the last few years started to have restrictions on workshops the insured may use in the event of an own-damage claim. So you need to know if there is any restriction?

Naturally, the insurer that does NOT impose any restriction on workshops is preferred, other factors being equal.

Q: So, for the insurers who have a restriction on workshops, are they all the same?
A: No. You should find out which are the workshops and how many of them. There are also other differences which we shall explore in due course.

Q: My policy says: “Authorised workshops only”. But my vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty. Can I still go back to my manufacturer workshop? Eg for a Toyota, I would like to send the vehicle to Borneo Motor’s workshop, the manufacturer-approved workshop.
A: It depends on what the policy conditions say. For some insurers, it is specified that if your vehicle is still under the original warranty, you would still be able to go back to the manufacturer-approved workshop.

For others, it is could be a strict “No”. And this may potentially cause a problem as there is normally a condition in the vehicle warranty saying that for the warranty to be valid, all repairs must be done at the manufacturer-approved workshop.

Q: If I have no choice but to use the authorised workshop, what else should I look out for?
A: Find out how the scheme works. In some cases, you may just visit any of the authorised workshops and that workshop shall take care of your repair. In this way, you still have some choice and control on which workshop repairs your vehicle.

However, some insurers use a tender/bidding system, ie your repair job is being subject to a tender/bidding by a number of workshops. After the tender/bidding, the insurer would decide which workshop is being awarded the contract to repair your vehicle. So you need to find out more.