Car Insurance

A Comprehensive Guide On What To Do When You Get Into A Car Accident in Singapore

Unsure if you should sue or settle out of court when you get into a traffic accident in Singapore? With the new Motor Accident Claims Online simulator, you can get an estimate of the amount of damage you can claim in just 10 minutes!

To sue or settle it out of court? This is probably the toughest dilemma for most drivers in the unfortunate event of an accident.

In the heat of the moment, you may consider suing the other party involved in the accident. However, it is imperative that you understand the costs and payouts involved for each option.

To help you with that, you can consider using the Motor Accident Claims Online (Maco) simulator. Read on to find out what Maco is exactly as well as tips on what you can do in the event that you are involved in a traffic accident.

Motor Accident Claims Online Explained

Sample question from the Liability Simulator
Taken from the Liability Simulator.

Developed by the Singapore Courts and Singapore Academy of Law, the Motor Accident Claims Online (Maco) is an online traffic accident claim simulator that aims to enable those involved in a traffic accident to make more informed choices.

Giving an indication of which party was at fault and the amount of damage they will be able to claim under the law, Maco is useful in resolving the dilemma of whether one should sue the other party or settle the matter outside of court. Furthermore, Maco also serves to verify if the party involved has received a reasonable insurance payout, allowing parties to save time and money.

With 46 per cent of civil writs filed in the State Court coming from motor accidents, Maco also has the potential to allow for better utilisation of court resources by reducing the number of minor motor accident hearings. Motorists who would have brought the case to court might opt for private settlement instead after seeing the estimated amount of damages claimable.

With numerous renowned insurance companies starting to capitalise on Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods to determine payouts, Maco is a step in the right direction in integrating technology to achieve more efficient outcomes in the insurance industry.

How Maco Works

Using the Outcome simulators, which include the Liability Simulator and Quantum Simulator, parties involved in the accident can determine who was at fault and the amount of damage they will be able to claim under the law.

Liability Simulator

Sample question from the Liability Simulator
Taken from the Liability Simulator.

As its name suggests, through a five-minute multiple-choice questionnaire regarding the accident that occurred you will be able to find out who may be considered to be liable for the accident.

The simulator takes into account the law and case precedents, producing a good estimate.

Quantum Simulator

Sample question from the Quantum Simulator
Taken from the Quantum Simulator.

Similar to the Liability Simulator, through a 10-minute multiple-choice survey, you will be able to find out the possible damages that you will be able to claim.

Despite the many benefits that Maco offers, do take note that Maco is not a substitute for legal advice, but instead, is a platform that gives a good gauge on the liability and damages parties can claim. Moreover, the Outcome Simulators are only applicable for accidents involving two parties and do not cover the following scenarios:

  • Damage to vehicle and other property (cost of repairs and loss of use of vehicle)
  • Personal injuries awarded for (i) loss of future earnings or earning capacity (ii) medical expenses.

Opting For a Private Settlement

Agreement between drivers

Motor accidents have varying severities. In more serious accidents which involve death and serious injuries, damage to property, and hit-and-runs, you are required to report the accident to your insurance company. On the other hand, for minor accidents with minimal damage to property and injury where the damage incurred falls below or is marginally above the deductible, you might opt for a private settlement instead.

Put simply, a private settlement, or an out-of-court settlement, is an agreement between both parties that does not result in parties filing a claim with the respective insurers.

What the Process of a Private Settlement Is Like

In the event that the motor accident results in minor damage and both parties opt for a private settlement, here is what the process would entail.

Exchange Particulars

To facilitate the claims process, it is important that the parties involved exchange and note down the following information:

  • Name
  • NRIC / FIN
  • License plate
  • Telephone number
  • Address
  • Insurer

Take Pictures of the Accident Scene

To serve as evidence, it is imperative to take photographs of the accident scene. This includes the following:

  • Damages to your own vehicle with your license plate
  • Damages to all other vehicles involved with the license plates
  • For multiple vehicle collisions, capture the vehicles in direct contact

Inform Your Insurer

While you may not be filing a claim with your insurer, under the Motor Claims Framework (MCF), it is required that all motor accidents, regardless of the damage, must be reported to your insurer within 24 hours or the next working day.

Should you fail to report the accident within the required time frame, you may face the following consequences:

  • Your Insurer may repudiate liability and you will have to cover the repair costs and any Third Party claims made against you
  • Your insurer may cancel or decline the renewal of your policy
  • Your No Claims Discount (NCD) will be docked upon the renewal of your policy

Getting an Accurate Estimate of the Cost of Repairs

The most crucial step would be to obtain the cost of repairs. This is where Maco comes in handy. Simply fill in the Liability Simulator and Quantum Simulator and ensure that a fair compensation amount is settled upon.

While Maco does give a good gauge of the cost, it is still recommended that you bring your car to a workshop that is authorised by your insurer to get a written statement of the estimated cost of repair. Only by doing so will you be able to settle on a reasonable compensation amount the party at fault should pay.

Signing a Private Settlement Form

The final step to a private settlement requires a private settlement form signed by all the parties involved. Most insurers offer a sample private settlement form on their website so be sure to check with your respective insurers!

Sample question from Budget Direct's Private settlement form
Budget Direct’s sample private settlement form

As seen from a sample form from Budget Direct, the private settlement form should include the following details:

  • Details of the accident (location, date, and time)
  • Particulars of the parties involved (full names, NRIC / FIN, vehicle registration number)
  • A statement that parties involved have agreed to settle the accident amicably
  • A statement that no personal injuries or death was involved in the accident
  • A statement that no police report and an insurance claim will be made by both parties
  • Compensation Amount
  • Acknowledgement of receipt of compensation, if any
  • Signature of parties involved
Breach of Agreement

Should any party violate the terms stated in the private settlement form, which is a legally binding agreement, they will be facing the consequences of the law for a breach of contract.

Tips if You Find Yourself in a Motor Accident

Man jaywalking

Accidents can happen anytime no matter how careful a driver can be. In the unfortunate event that you find yourself in a motor accident, here are some tips you should keep in mind.

Do Not Move the Vehicles Involved

Similar to a crime scene, moving the vehicles before taking photographs of the accident scene can be considered to be destroying evidence. While the vehicles could be obstructing the flow of traffic, moving the vehicles before photographs have been taken could greatly affect one’s liabilities. As such, try your best to capture the scene as fast as possible, taking the necessary pictures to serve as evidence before moving the vehicles to the side.

When to Make a Police Report

While it is mandatory to make a report to your insurer, it is not always necessary to file a police report. Should you find yourself involved in an accident that fits the description below, do make a Traffic Police report within 24 hours of the accident.

  • Fatality
  • Damage to government property
  • Foreign vehicle
  • Pedestrian or cyclist
  • Hit-and-run
  • At least one party involved in the accident was taken to the hospital
  • Any party involved in the accident is injured and has outpatient medical leave for three or more days

The Road Ahead

Road in Singapore

Getting into an accident is scary. But with the right insurance policy, rest assured that your policy will protect you against its ramifications of it. While the law only requires motorists to get the Third Party Only plan, it is recommended to get a more comprehensive policy that will benefit you, in the long run, should you be involved in an accident.

For those looking to make the switch to a more comprehensive plan that is value for money motor insurance plans, we have included our top picks for both car and motorcycle insurance below.

Car Insurance

Affordable Yet Comprehensive Car Insurance: Budget Direct

PROMO: Use Affinity ID "VALUE5" to get an extra 5% off
Consider this if you want the cheapest car insurance possible
  • Third Party Damage Coverage
    • S$5,000,000
    • Workshop Type
      • Authorised
      • Coverage for Loss/Damage to Vehicle
        • 100% of Market Value
        BenefitLimitExtra CostExcess
        Windscreen/Window DamageUnlimitedN/AS$100
        Personal Accident (Main Driver)S$20,000S$32.10N/A
        Medical CoverageS$500S$21.40N/A
        TowingS$200N/AN/A
        Temporary TransportS$50/dayS$64.20N/A
        Young Driver ExcessS$500
        Inexperienced Driver ExcessS$500

        Budget Direct's Comprehensive car insurance plan is the best option for sedan and SUV owners who require basic protection and want to pay as little as possible.

        Budget's plan is one of cheapest available, with a typical car insurance quote averaging 48-54% cheaper than the average comprehensive plan for sedan and SUV drivers, regardless of no claim discount (NCD). However, this price cut comes at a cost. Budget Direct's medical, personal accident and roadside assistance coverage comes at an extra cost. Nonetheless, the base premium is low enough that drivers can choose the coverage that matters to them and still pay super low prices.

        Budget Direct has two options to choose from if you need to insure multiple drivers. The Named Driver plan covers the main driver and the named drivers you add to your plan. The Authorised Driver plan costs 15% more than the Named Driver plan but will cover anyone who you let drive your car. Due to the low prices, the Authorised plan still remains competitively priced option for drivers who lend out their car often. Budget Direct's low named young and inexperienced driver excess of S$500 each also makes it a great option for parents who want to insure their younger drivers.

        PROMO: Use Affinity ID "VALUE5" to get an extra 5% off
        Consider this if you want the cheapest car insurance possible
        • Third Party Damage Coverage
          • S$5,000,000
          • Workshop Type
            • Authorised
            • Coverage for Loss/Damage to Vehicle
              • 100% of Market Value
              BenefitLimitExtra CostExcess
              Windscreen/Window DamageUnlimitedN/AS$100
              Personal Accident (Main Driver)S$20,000S$32.10N/A
              Medical CoverageS$500S$21.40N/A
              TowingS$200N/AN/A
              Temporary TransportS$50/dayS$64.20N/A
              Young Driver ExcessS$500
              Inexperienced Driver ExcessS$500

              Budget Direct's Comprehensive car insurance plan is the best option for sedan and SUV owners who require basic protection and want to pay as little as possible.

              Budget's plan is one of cheapest available, with a typical car insurance quote averaging 48-54% cheaper than the average comprehensive plan for sedan and SUV drivers, regardless of no claim discount (NCD). However this price cut comes at a cost. Budget Direct's medical, personal accident and roadside assistance coverage comes at an extra cost. Nonetheless, the base premium is low enough that drivers can choose the coverage that matters to them and still pay rock-bottom prices.

              Budget Direct has two options to choose from if you need to insure multiple drivers. The Named Driver plan covers the main driver and the named drivers you add to your plan. The Authorised Driver plan costs 15% more than the Named Driver plan but will cover anyone who you let drive your car. Due to the low prices, the Authorised plan still a remains competitively priced option for drivers who lend out their car often. Budget Direct's low named young and inexperienced driver excess of S$500 each also makes it a great option for parents who want to insure their younger drivers.

              Best Value Car Insurance: FWD

              Consider this if you want great value protection for your whole family or drive an SUV
              • Third Party Damage Coverage
                • S$5,000,000
                • Workshop Type
                  • Authorised
                  • Coverage for Loss/Damage to Vehicle
                    • 100% of Market Value
                    BenefitLimitExcess
                    Windscreen/Window DamageUnlimitedS$100
                    Personal Accident (Main Driver)S$30,000N/A
                    Personal Accident (Passenger)S$10,000N/A
                    MedicalS$1,000N/A
                    TowingS$300N/A
                    Temporary TransportS$40/dayN/A
                    Car AccessoriesS$500N/A
                    YIDR ExcessS$2,500

                    For families who want a well-balanced yet budget-friendly car insurance plan, FWD Classic is 10-20% cheaper than average for sedan drivers and 6% below average for SUV drivers, regardless of citizenship. The plan's coverage features high personal accident, medical and car replacement benefits, lump payments for surviving children and adjustable excess options for young drivers.

                    FWD car insurance has a few notable benefits. First, it is the only insurer to offer a Lifetime NCD benefit when you reach 50% NCD, which lets you keep your no claim discount even when you file a claim. It also offers roadside assistance for accident and non-accident reasons (such as jump-starting your car). Lastly, FWD pays up to the market value of your car in the event of an accident. It also pays for its parts, fitting the parts and transporting the parts to Singapore if the accident were to happen in other countries. The recent addition of flood coverage and the ability to add named drivers at no additional cost (after the first one) makes FWD an insurer that provides generous coverage for nearly unbeatable prices.

                    Consider this if you want great value protection for your whole family or drive an SUV
                    • Third Party Damage Coverage
                      • S$5,000,000
                      • Workshop Type
                        • Authorised
                        • Coverage for Loss/Damage to Vehicle
                          • 100% of Market Value
                          BenefitLimitExcess
                          Windscreen/Window DamageUnlimitedS$100
                          Personal Accident (Main Driver)S$30,000N/A
                          Personal Accident (Passenger)S$10,000N/A
                          MedicalS$1,000N/A
                          TowingS$300N/A
                          Temporary TransportS$40/dayN/A
                          Car AccessoriesS$500N/A
                          YIDR ExcessS$2,500

                          For families who want a well-balanced yet budget-friendly car insurance plan, FWD Classic is 10-20% cheaper than average for sedan drivers and 6% below average for SUV drivers, regardless of citizenship. The plan's coverage features high personal accident, medical and car replacement benefits, lump payments for surviving children and adjustable excess options for young drivers.

                          FWD car insurance has a few notable benefits. First, it is the only insurer to offer a Lifetime NCD benefit when you reach 50% NCD, which lets you keep your no claim discount even when you file a claim. It also offers roadside assistance for accident and non-accident reasons (such as jump-starting your car). Lastly, FWD pays up to the market value of your car in the event of an accident. It also pays for its parts, fitting the parts and transporting the parts to Singapore if the accident were to happen in other countries. The recent addition of flood coverage and the ability to add named drivers at no additional cost (after the first one) makes FWD an insurer that provides generous coverage for nearly unbeatable prices.

                          Motorcycle Insurance

                          Affordable Yet Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance: Budget Direct

                          PROMO: Use Affinity ID "VALUE5" to get an extra 5% off
                          Consider this if you are a safe rider with a 20% NCD looking for a cheap comprehensive plan
                          • Maximum NCD
                            • 20%
                            • Young or Inexperienced Excess
                              • S$300
                              • Standard Excess
                                • S$500
                                BenefitLimitExcessAdded Cost
                                3rd Party DamageS$500,000N/AN/A
                                3rd Party Injury/DeathUnlimitedN/AN/A
                                Damage or Loss to Your BikeMarket ValueS$300 (S$0 if caused by fire)N/A
                                Emergency AssistanceYesN/AS$26.75
                                Towing ExpenseS$100N/AInc. in Emergency Assistance
                                One-Time Transport CoverN/AN/AN/A

                                Riders with a history of safe riding will find that Budget Direct's motorcycle insurance will provide them with the cheapest rates. Bike owners with 20% NCDs will find that, on average, they will pay 6-31% cheaper premiums with Budget Direct, with the steepest discounts for riders with bikes up to 200cc or bikes with more than 400cc's. You'll also receive an additional 5% discount if you only ride your motorcycle in Singapore.

                                However, it's not just owners of new bikes that will be enticed by Budget Direct's pricing. If you are looking for a Comprehensive plan for a bike that is between 6-10 years old, you may pay 29% less than with other insurers who provide Comprehensive coverage for bikes between 6-10 years old. Furthermore, Budget Direct is unique in providing Comprehensive coverage for motorcycles over 10 years old, which can be useful for people who own vintage bikes. However, you should note that Budget Direct's pricing for the base plan comes at the cost of less benefits. Thus, you will have to spend a bit more on Budget Direct's add-ons to get peace of mind benefits like emergency assistance, daily transportation and personal accident coverage.

                                PROMO: Use Affinity ID "VALUE5" to get an extra 5% off
                                Consider this if you are a safe rider with a 20% NCD looking for a cheap comprehensive plan
                                • Maximum NCD
                                  • 20%
                                  • Young or Inexperienced Excess
                                    • S$300
                                    • Standard Excess
                                      • S$500
                                      BenefitLimitExcess
                                      3rd Party DamageS$500,000N/AN/A
                                      3rd Party Injury/DeathUnlimitedN/AN/A
                                      Damage or Loss to Your BikeMarket ValueS$300 (S$0 if caused by fire)N/A
                                      Emergency AssistanceYesN/AS$26.75
                                      Towing ExpenseS$100N/AInc. in Emergency Assistance
                                      One-Time Transport CoverN/AN/AN/A

                                      Riders with a history of safe riding will find that Budget Direct's motorcycle insurance will provide them with the cheapest rates. Bike owners with 20% NCDs will find that, on average, they will pay 6-30% cheaper premiums with Budget Direct, with the steepest discounts for riders with bikes up to 200cc or bikes with more than 400cc's. You'll also receive an additional 5% discount if you only ride your motorcycle in Singapore.

                                      However, it's not just owners of new bikes that will be enticed by Budget Direct's pricing. If you are looking for a Comprehensive plan for a bike that is between 6-10 years old, you may pay 29% less than with other insurers who provide Comprehensive coverage for bikes between 6-10 years old. Furthermore, Budget Direct is unique in providing Comprehensive coverage for motorcycles over 10 years old, which can be useful for people who own vintage bikes. However, you should note that Budget Direct's pricing for the base plan comes at the cost of less benefits. Thus, you will have to spend a bit more on Budget Direct's add-ons to get peace of mind benefits like emergency assistance, daily transportation and personal accident coverage.

                                      Promo: Use "MCCOMP50" for S$50 CapitaVoucher (comprehensive plan) or "MCTP25" for S$25 CapitaVoucher (TPO/TPFT plan)
                                      Direct Asia
                                      Direct Asia
                                      Consider this if you are a safe and experienced rider with a bike whose engine is 201 cc to 400 cc
                                      • Maximum NCD
                                        • 30%
                                        • Young or Inexperienced Excess
                                          • S$500
                                          • Standard Excess
                                            • S$0-S$1,500
                                            BenefitLimitExcessExtra Cost
                                            3rd Party DamageS$500,000N/AN/A
                                            3rd Party Injury/DeathUnlimitedN/AN/A
                                            Damage or Loss to Your BikeMarket ValueS$500N/A
                                            Emergency AssistanceYesN/AS$32.19
                                            Towing ExpenseS$100N/AN/A
                                            One-Time Transport CoverN/AN/AN/A

                                            If you are an experienced rider riding a bike with an engine capacity between 201 cc and 400 cc and are looking to get rewarded for your safe driving, DirectAsia's Comprehensive Plan can be a good fit. Unlike other motorcycle plans that cap their NCD at 20%, DirectAsia's plan increases the maximum NCD possible to 30%. This means that riders of class 2A bikes who qualify for their 30% NCD will end up paying the cheapest premiums on the market. Furthermore, with their optional NCD protector benefit, you can protect your current NCD even if you make one at-fault claim.

                                            Otherwise, DirectAsia's benefits are fairly standard and include S$500,000 of 3rd party damage, towing, 3rd party injury or death and theft & fire damage coverage. However, it is worth pointing out that its premiums are below average only for Class 2A motorcycles. Otherwise, riders can expect to pay up to 14% above average. Thus, riders of bikes with engine capacities under 201 cc or above 400 cc may not get the cheapest premiums with DirectAsia.

                                            Promo: Use "MCCOMP50" for S$50 CapitaVoucher (comprehensive plan) or "MCTP25" for S$25 CapitaVoucher (TPO/TPFT plan)
                                            Direct Asia
                                            Direct Asia
                                            Consider this if you are a safe and experienced rider with a bike whose engine is 201 cc to 400 cc
                                            • Maximum NCD
                                              • 30%
                                              • Young or Inexperienced Excess
                                                • S$500
                                                • Standard Excess
                                                  • S$0-S$1,500
                                                  BenefitLimitExcessExtra Cost
                                                  3rd Party DamageS$500,000N/AN/A
                                                  3rd Party Injury/DeathUnlimitedN/AN/A
                                                  Damage or Loss to Your BikeMarket ValueS$500N/A
                                                  Emergency AssistanceYesN/AS$32.19
                                                  Towing ExpenseS$100N/AN/A
                                                  One-Time Transport CoverN/AN/AN/A

                                                  If you are an experienced rider riding a bike with an engine capacity between 201 cc and 400 cc and are looking to get rewarded for your safe driving, DirectAsia's Comprehensive Plan can be a good fit. Unlike other motorcycle plans that cap their NCD at 20%, DirectAsia's plan increases the maximum NCD possible to 30%. This means that riders of class 2A bikes who qualify for their 30% NCD will end up paying the cheapest premiums on the market. Furthermore, with their optional NCD protector benefit, you can protect your current NCD even if you make one at-fault claim.

                                                  Otherwise, DirectAsia's benefits are fairly standard and include S$500,000 of 3rd party damage, towing, 3rd party injury or death and theft & fire damage coverage. However, it is worth pointing out that its premiums are below average only if you own a Class 2A motorcycles. Other riders can expect to pay up to 14% above average. Thus, riders of bikes with engine capacities under 201 cc or above 400 cc may not get the cheapest premiums with DirectAsia.

                                                  Best Value Motorcycle Insurance: FWD

                                                  PROMO: Get a 20% discount with the promo code BESTBIKE
                                                  • Consider this if you want great coverage for low prices
                                                  • Promotion:
                                                  • Maximum NCD
                                                    • 20%
                                                    • Young or Inexperienced Excess
                                                      • S$500
                                                      • Standard Excess
                                                        • S$500
                                                        BenefitLimitExcess
                                                        3rd Party DamageS$500,000N/A
                                                        3rd Party Injury/DeathUnlimitedN/A
                                                        Damage or Loss to Your BikeMarket ValueS$500
                                                        Emergency AssistanceYesN/A
                                                        Towing ExpenseS$50N/A
                                                        One-Time Transport CoverS$50N/A

                                                        For the majority of riders, the cheapest motorcycle insurance will be FWD. We found that its premiums cost 18% below average compared to other comprehensive plans on the market, in part due to its generous ongoing discounts. However, despite its low premiums, FWD offers a plethora of benefits not typically included in other plans. For instance, 24-hour roadside assistance, towing expenses and a one-time transport cover are all included at no extra cost.

                                                        Beyond these benefits, riders also receive S$500,000 of liability coverage and market value replacement for accidental loss or damage by fire or theft. Lastly, if you are a safe driver with a 20% NCD, you will also be eligible for FWD's Lifetime NCD. This means that no matter the number of "at-fault" claims you have after getting this benefit, your NCD will not drop.

                                                        PROMO: Get a 20% discount with the promo code BESTBIKE
                                                        • Consider this if you want great coverage for low prices
                                                        • Promotion:
                                                        • Maximum NCD
                                                          • 20%
                                                          • Young or Inexperienced Excess
                                                            • S$500
                                                            • Standard Excess
                                                              • S$500
                                                              BenefitLimitExcess
                                                              3rd Party DamageS$500,000N/A
                                                              3rd Party Injury/DeathUnlimitedN/A
                                                              Damage or Loss to Your BikeMarket ValueS$500
                                                              Emergency AssistanceYesN/A
                                                              Towing ExpenseS$50N/A
                                                              One-Time Transport CoverS$50N/A

                                                              For the majority of riders, the cheapest motorcycle insurance will be FWD. We found that its premiums cost 18% below average compared to other comprehensive plans on the market, in part due to its generous ongoing discounts. However, despite its low premiums, FWD offers a plethora of benefits not typically included in other plans. For instance, 24-hour roadside assistance, towing expenses and a one-time transport cover are all included at no extra cost.

                                                              Beyond these benefits, riders also receive S$500,000 of liability coverage and market value replacement for accidental loss or damage by fire or theft. Lastly, if you are a safe driver with a 20% NCD, you will also be eligible for FWD's Lifetime NCD. This means that no matter the number of "at-fault" claims you have after getting this benefit, your NCD will not drop.

                                                              Having a good insurance policy is not everything. It is equally important that you are a responsible driver. However, should you find yourself involved in a motor accident, be sure to use Maco before deciding whether you would like to sue the other party!

                                                              Considering a motor insurance policy? Check out our in-depth analysis of the car insurance and motorcycle insurance policies available in Singapore!

                                                              Read Also

                                                              Christopher Wong

                                                              Christopher is a licensed financial adviser and a General Insurance Broker with PolicyPal. He has nine years of experience in the insurance industry with various notable companies including Chubb, AVA, AIA, NTUC Income, and more. Today, Christopher helps to oversee the insurance content on ValueChampion and bring business growth to PolicyPal.

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