From windscreen coverage, special perils to legal liability of passengers, there are other types of optional car insurance coverage you can add. But which ones are really worth adding into the package? Read below to find out whether or not you should get these 5 car insurance add-ons.
If you own a car in Malaysia, you need to first be equipped with an updated road tax and car insurance policy before you can lawfully hit the streets. Car insurance, a.k.a. Motor insurance typically comes in various degrees of coverage to protect other vehicles from you (and vice-versa).
Most drivers in Malaysia purchase the ‘comprehensive’ policy, but as all-encompassing as that term sounds, it doesn’t actually protect you from every kind of damage. There are additional coverage options (‘add-ons’) which you can choose to include in your yearly premium, but this brings us to the next question - are they worth it?
Related: 3 Main Types of Car Insurance Coverage (And What They Actually Cover)
1. The add on: Windscreen
Oh no! You drove behind a construction truck and a small stone hit your windscreen! You leave your car with a small crack in the morning, and by the time you get back after work, you notice that the crack has grown to double its size. Ah nevermind, the insurance company will pay for the new windscreen… right?
Nope! It’s a popular misconception that windscreens are covered under typical motor insurance. They’re actually an add-on, and not a very cheap one too.
From what we’ve learned, windscreen coverage will cost you about 10%-15% of the value of your windscreen. So if it’s worth RM1500, you will likely have to pay an additional premium of about RM225 to your yearly motor insurance policy. However, it’s best to check the total bill with your provider first as different companies may have different ways of calculating your add-on premium.
Oh, it’s also worth mentioning that if you claim this, your No Claim Discount (NCD) will NOT be affected. If you’re unfamiliar with what an NCD is, it basically refers to a discount you’d get when you renew your car insurance IF you have not made any claims from your insurer.
So… is it worth it?
Yes, if you’re always travelling in construction-prone areas that may cause stones and rocks to hit your car. If not, you can always try to be more aware of where you drive in your attempt to preserve your windscreen. Avoid driving behind large trucks and under scaffolding, and be wary of the trees you park under. (True story: we know of cars that have been damaged by a nangka fruit which dropped from 10 feet!)
2. The add on: Riot and strikes
Riots? In Malaysia?
Let’s be honest - this nation is a lot more tolerant and chilled compared to many other countries, so riots and strikes are extremely rare. And if anything, they’re mostly peaceful and well-controlled… except for the few times in recent times. (PTSD flashback: Low Yat’s 2015 mobile phone riot.)
We heard that the premium can cost around 0.3% of the insured sum, so if your car is insured for RM50,000 you’d be forking out RM150. Of course, this would depend on your insurer so it’s best to check with them for the accurate sum.
So… is it worth it?
Maybe, maybe not. But if you don’t choose this add-on, just be wise with where you leave your car. If you're going for an intense football game, a political rally, or a high profiled court case hearing, it would be a good idea to tuck your car safely in your parking lot and opt for public transport instead.
3. The add on: Flood, typhoon, and landslide
Let’s face it: floods are synonymous with Malaysia. Who can forget the tragic Kelantan-Terengganu-Pahang flood of 2014 which killed 21 people and affected over 200,000 others.
So much has been done to wade out the scary after-effects of our annual monsoon season, such as the building of our SMART tunnel (which doubles as a storm drainage to prevent flooding). But even at time of writing, Malaysians still hear of heavy downpours that bring traffic to a standstill.
If your car gets damaged due to flood, repairs are going to be extremely costly. To add to that, your car may never be able to feel the same, unless you go for a complete overhaul. From what we learn, the annual premium for this add-on is 0.5% of the total sum insured, so that’s RM250/year if you insure your car for RM50,000.
So… is it worth it?
Definitely! Nature can be tricky, and you never really know what’s coming your way. Like we said, fixing damages from flood can leave you with a big hole in your wallet. Some even choose to sell off their car for a new one instead! So knowing that, wouldn’t be safer if you took up this add-on?
4. The add on: Car accessories
So you didn’t like the stock rims that came with your car, so you swapped it for a steezy new chrome set instead. You get into an accident one day, and BOOM! You bust a tyre and now your fancy rim’s gone. So’s your carbon fibre hood, your dashcam, your LED light attachments, and your very, very, very, very expensive speakers.
You know where we’re going with this.
Do you get to claim the damages for them? No way! Your comprehensive policy will only cover the original and standard fittings that came with your car. This means that your accessories, which make up about RM30,000, are forever gone and you’ll need to fork out extra cash if you want to get them back again.
To get this add-on, we hear that it can cost around 15% of the total insured sum (of your accessories). Again, check with your insurer for the accurate sum!
So… is it worth it?
Probably only if your accessories are swanky and expensive! If it doesn’t cost too much, maybe it would be a better option to just skip this add-on altogether.
5. The add on: Legal liability
While a comprehensive policy covers you and the other vehicle from damages, it doesn’t cover you if someone gets mad and starts suing you. Under this add-on are two types of coverages:
Legal liability OF passenger
This protects you if your passenger does something which causes injury to others. Here’s an example to illustrate.
Let’s say you’re driving your family to lunch, and your two kids are playing at the backseat of your car. One of them opens the door thinking that it would be funny, but this sudden action causes the driver in the next car to get startled. The driver ends up hitting the pavement and damages his car.
He can technically sue you for causing this accident. If you had this add-on, you would be protected against this legal liability. Think of it as a shield to protect yourself from legal trouble if your passenger(s) hurt another person or vehicle.
We hear that the additional premium for this cover is less than RM10, but for an accurate sum, please check with your insurer.
Legal liability TO passenger
Now, what if the person who wants to sue you is one of the passengers in your car? Here’s another example to illustrate:
Let’s say you’re driving some acquaintances to dinner. During that drive, you try to crack jokes because the air was awkward and cold. And in that moment, you tell a bad joke and accidentally hit your steering wheel and hit the pavement, causing injury to one of your passengers. You then realise that the joke was on you, as said passenger decides to sue you for negligent driving.
With this legal liability coverage, you will be shielded against the lawsuit and be compensated for the financial losses of such events. We hear that the premium for this cover is 20% - 30% of your third party premium, but as always, do check with your insurer for the accurate sum.
So… is this worth it?
Yes, and especially so if you’re always the designated driver in your company or circle of friends. This would also be very helpful if you’re an e-hailing driver, or have a job of that nature.
“So many add-ons! So what’s actually included in my car insurance policy?”
It all depends on the type of car insurance coverage you sign up for. There are three main types of car insurance in Malaysia: third party; third party, fire, and theft (a.k.a. second party), and comprehensive.
To know what your car insurance covers, you need to first check which one of the three types your policy falls under. Do note that the table below is not exhaustive as insurers may or may not add and subtract benefits to your coverage. It’s best to double check your policy for a more accurate picture.
|Policy||What it covers||What it does not cover|
|Third party, fire, and theft (a.k.a. Second party)||
Same as above:
But also includes:
|Comprehensive (a.k.a. first party)||
Same as above:
But also includes:
In addition to above, most comprehensive policies also come with a free tow truck service, depending on how far your vehicle is from the nearest panel workshop. Some also provide you with a 24-hour roadside assistance service, so you’ll always have help if you’re stranded in the wee hours of the morning.
Read also: Car Insurance Add-ons in Malaysia
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