Budget Direct Insurance, which launched in Singapore in January 2017, promises market-beating low car insurance premiums. But what do you need to know about their policy to know if they're worth a closer look? Our team at ValuePenguin took a look at their car insurance plan to see if you could stand to save big by choosing to insure your vehicle with Budget Direct Insurance.
What Makes Budget Direct's Car Insurance Plan Stand Out?
Budget Direct offers a car insurance plan that sets itself apart from other insurers by giving you total control over which elements you include in your plan. This results in unbeatable premium prices for the right customer, particularly for drivers with more than a few years of driving experience under their belt. It is this combination of customer choice and potential affordability that makes Budget Direct stand out and makes it it a worthwhile option for experienced, safe drivers on a budget.
While many other insurers offer a plethora of optional, peace-of-mind features, a cost-conscious consumer in Singapore can be hard-pressed to find the lowest possible car insurance premium even if it means compromising on the features like coverage for personal accident benefit, medical expenses, and loss of use. If you're truly looking to cut costs and pay as little as possible to insure your car, the mandatory inclusion of these elements in most car insurance plans could be a source of frustration. Budget Direct Insurance caters to this type of demand by giving you the freedom to determine exactly what you want to pay for.
The basic Budget Direct comprehensive car insurance plan automatically includes coverage for third party property damage, third party death or injury, and your own car's losses or damages. After that, they leave it up to you to decide which additional features you want in your plan. This freedom extends to personal accident benefits; medical expense coverage; a loss of use transport allowance; and 24-hour roadside assistance. In addition to the aforementioned relatively standard features, you can also pay to add an NCD Protector feature, the ability to choose your own workshop and an overseas emergency allowance feature. Budget Direct also offers additional opportunities to save by discounting your premium if you go paperless, agree to drive only in Singapore or sign up for the Named Driver plan (restricting coverage to only drivers you name on your policy).
What this flexibility results in is a highly affordable car insurance plan – for certain drivers. We found that Budget Direct's most basic car insurance plan had the cheapest premium of all insurers we surveyed for our sample driver profile of a 45-year-old male with about 10 years of driving experience and a 50% NCD. Even with all the above features added in, Budget Direct's premium was still among the cheapest available, challenged mainly by Aviva and FWD. So if you're a seasoned driver with a long record of safe driving, Budget Direct could be a great option to help you minimise costs.
Drivers in the market for third party car insurance plans might also consider taking a closer look at Budget Direct, which our research has shown tends to offer extremely competitive premiums for TPO and TPFT policies.
Drawbacks to Budget Direct's Car Insurance Plan
While Budget Direct offers extremely low premium prices to low-risk drivers with a substantial amount of driving experience, its comprehensive plan premiums are expensive for higher-risk drivers, including those with fewer years of driving experience and younger drivers. For our sample driver profile of a 25-year-old male with 5 years' driving experience and a 0% NCD, Budget Direct's premium was among the most expensive among insurers surveyed. As a result, Budget Direct's just-the-essentials policy may not be a high-value pick for people who fit into higher-risk categories. Customers who are less sensitive to price and may be looking for built-in perks or value-added optional features may also find Budget Direct's relatively minimalist plan lacking.
One final thing to consider is that because Budget Direct is so new to the insurance market, launching in January 2017, it has not had much time to establish a reputation for good, reliable customer service. Thus, it may be difficult to find much information about this insurer yet.
Features and Benefits Included in Budget Direct's Car Insurance Plan
|Flood damage coverage?||Yes|
|24 hr roadside assistance||Pay extra S$26.75|
|Can you choose your own workshop?||For an extra ~18% on your pre-NCD premium|
|Personal accident benefit for Policyholder||Pay extra S$32.10 for S$20,000 of coverage|
|Overseas emergency allowance||Pay extra S$26.75 to cover towing fees up to S$1,000, phone calls up to S$100, return home costs up to S$200 per person|
|NCD Protector Feature||For an extra ~11% on pre-NCD premium|
|Medical expenses||Pay extra S$21.40 for coverage up to S$500|
|Towing costs||Up to S$200 in Singapore, up to S$500 outside Singapore|
|Unlimited coverage for third party death or injury||Yes|
|Coverage for third party damage||Up to S$5,000,000|
|Daily transport allowance while car is repaired (loss of use)||Pay an extra S$53.50 for S$50 for up to 10 days|
|Courtesy car if car is written off or stolen||No|
|S$21.40 discount for going paperless|
|Approximately 6% discount on premium for agreeing to drive only in Singapore|
How does Budget Direct's Car Insurance Plan Compare Against Other Insurers' Plans?
We compared car insurance premiums from major Singapore insurers and found that Budget Direct offers among the cheapest car insurance premiums for more experienced drivers. The following quotes are based on the driver profiles of a 45-year-old single man with 10 years of driving experience and a 50% NCD driving a 2016 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6. Please remember as you are shopping for a car insurance plan that premiums you receive may differ depending on your driver profile and vehicle.