Tips To Find The Right Car Insurance For You
When it’s time to insure your car, you need to know how to go about choosing the right insurance that suits your individual needs.
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Here are 5 factors you should put on your checklist before you decide.
1) The amount you pay for the policy
In the past, motor insurance premiums were regulated by a tariff structure that was controlled by Bank Negara Malaysia. The liberalisation of motor insurance in Malaysia since 2017 has seen local insurance providers gradually implementing risk-based pricing.
This means the providers are able to introduce a wider range of products with more flexible pricing. You should shop around and compare the products in the market because there’s every chance that you’ll find a slight variation in the premiums between one car insurer and the next.
Tip: Some car insurers now offer their policies fully online, making it easier for you to compare, apply, buy and file your claims online.
Also, some car insurance companies may charge you additional premium if you’re under 25. Even though the difference might be small, you’ll still benefit financially by making a comparison first before you decide.
2) The value-added services you enjoy
When your car breaks down or becomes immobile after an accident, the last thing you need is trying to figure out what telephone number to call to get some help – which is where that value-added tow / roadside service provided by your car insurance company comes into place.
In Malaysia, most car insurers have some form of tow / roadside assistance service, though there are still some that do not. If you’re not good with cars, it may be to your benefit to go with a car insurer that provides such a service.
Note: Even among car insurers that do provide tow / roadside service, the terms and conditions as well as the extent and coverage of the service are bound to be different. You’ll want to find one that relates to your needs the most.
3) The network of panel workshops
When you get into an accident, you will need to get your car repaired at a panel workshop in order to make a claim on your insurance policy. If your car insurer has a limited network of panel workshops serving your area, the simple task of sending your car to a workshop would suddenly becomes harder.
Car insurers that have a nationwide presence may be more suited for motorists who need to go to travel frequently to out of town locations. However, some people may prefer the personal touch of their local insurance provider which may have limited coverage outside certain states.
For peace of mind, you may want to prioritise the car insurers with larger networks of panel workshops in your area.
4) Takaful vs conventional car insurance
Both Takaful and conventional car insurance work on similar basic principles, namely: they both require you to pay for coverage and in return, offer protection in the event of an accident.
The biggest difference, however, is that a Takaful product works in accordance to Shariah principles, whilst a conventional car insurance usually does not. If Shariah-compliance is an important consideration for you, you may wish to consider only car insurers that do offer Takaful products.
Major car insurers in Malaysia that do provide Takaful car insurance can be found here.
5) Reputation and service level
As of all services you pay money for, you will want to opt for a car insurance provider that has a good track record and exceptional service level.
Some ways you could go about finding out about service level include chatting with people who have previously made claims on their car insurance policies, or surfing through online forums and reading what the common folks are saying.
When you faced with an emergency, some people may prefer dealing with a familiar agent rather than an anonymous call center. Others may prefer to file their claims without any fuss using online channels while others choose to go through an agent. It’s always best to find the car insurance provider that best suits your needs when it comes to such personal preferences.
This article was first published in 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.