FWD may be one of the newest players in the Singapore car insurance market, but that doesn't mean that it should be overlooked. Quite the opposite: FWD offers some of the most affordable insurance plans without skimping on value-added features that other budget car insurance plans may lack. FWD also hopes to make a splash by throwing in unique, consumer-friendly benefits currently not offered by any other major insurer at no extra cost. If you're seeking a budget plan that doesn't feel like one, FWD could be worth a closer look.
What Makes FWD's Car Insurance Plan Stand Out?
FWD's car insurance plan is remarkable in that it offers an unrivalled blend of affordability, coverage and customizability. Even with its cheapest Comprehensive policy, you can expect a fairly generous degree of coverage spanning personal accident benefits, medical expenses, towing costs, 24-hour roadside assistance, and more.
Most budget car insurance plans require you to pay extra for a daily transport allowance when your car is being repaired. But even FWD's most basic Classic plan includes this feature at no extra cost. FWD will also reimburse the cost of a cab ride home after a car accident, which most insurers do not do. Furthermore, we found that FWD actually charges among the least of any insurer on the market for the option to get your car repaired at a workshop of your choice.
There are three benefits FWD's plan offers its customers that we would like to direct your attention to in particular:
- Lifetime NCD Guarantee: If you have a NCD of 50%, you'll be eligible for FWD's Lifetime NCD Guarantee, which will ensure that your NCD stays at 50% as long as you continue to renew your car insurance policy with FWD each year, no matter how many claims you make.
- Extended Workmanship Guarantee: FWD extends a repair warranty for all repairs on your car made at a FWD premium workshop after an accident for all cars under the age of 10. This means that if you get into an accident and the workshop botches the repairwork on your car, FWD will pay to make sure it gets fixed properly the second time.
- Guardian Angel Benefit: FWD's plans include the unique feature of a one-time payment of S$250,000 to S$500,000 for surviving children if their parents are killed or permanently disabled in a car accident.
- Promotion: fwdvalue for 20% off
What is surprising about FWD's car insurance policy is that despite including a full array of features and benefits, it still tends to be priced competitively enough to vie with the other cheap plans on the market, some of which may not even offer the same degree of coverage. Our study of the cheapest car insurance premiums in Singapore, which was based on the Toyota Corolla Altis, found that FWD consistently offered among the cheapest premiums out there. We also found that, of the insurers we researched, FWD tended to offer very affordable TPFT and TPO policies. Of course, your experience may differ as premiums are calculated differently based on the specific car you're planning to insure as well as varying aspects of your driver profile.
Drawbacks to Choosing FWD Car Insurance
FWD's car insurance plan is not perfect, however. Though its three tiers of Comprehensive plans offer a fair degree of customization in offering a progressively increasing level of coverage, it is not the most flexible plan out there. If you want a car insurance plan that covers exactly what you want, no more and no less, there are other insurers that allow you to pick and choose different features and services. For example, DirectAsia allows you to forgo a loss of use benefit for a cheaper premium, while AXA offers a wide array of plans and add-on packages to cater more specifically to the needs of families or overseas travellers, etc.
Moreover, unlike many other leading insurers in Singapore, its plan does not cover damages or losses caused by floods, which occur not infrequently in tropical Singapore. Depending on where you live and work, as well as your access to protected areas to keep your car in case of flood, this could be more or less of a concern for you. If you're interested in seeing where in Singapore tends to have the most flooding problems, here is ValuePenguin's interactive map of the city showing both flood-prone areas and areas that have recently experienced flash-flooding.
It should also be noted that FWD is quite new to the car insurance market in Singapore, opening its operations here in fall 2016. Being new isn't necessarily a bad thing: FWD is competing aggressively to try to unseat already-established insurers by offering cheap prices and generous benefits to potential customers, which benefits you. However, it has not had very much time to operate nor develop a reputation; therefore, it might be a little harder to get a good read on the general quality of its customer service before you buy. Some individuals may prefer a more well-known insurer with a proven track record, at least until FWD has been around long enough to make a name for itself. Your decision should be driven by your personal assessment of the factors that are most important to you.
Features & Benefits Included in FWD Car Insurance Plan
|Sample Quote for a 2016 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6, 0% NCD||S$1,158.74||S$1,250.96||S$1,340.64|
|Lifetime NCD guarantee at 50% NCD||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Extended workmanship guarantee at FWD premium workshops until your car turns 10||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Guardian Angel Benefit of one-time payment for surviving children if both parents die or are permanently disabled in car accident||Up to S$250,000||Up to S$375,000||Up to S$500,000|
|Covered in West Malaysia and parts of Thailand?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Flood damage coverage?||No||No||No|
|24 hr roadside assistance||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Repair/replace vehicle after accident?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can you choose your own workshop?||For an extra ~14% on your premium|
|Medical expenses||Up to S$1,000||Up to S$3,000||Up to S$5,000|
|Towing costs||Up to S$300||Up to S$400||Up to S$500|
|Personal belongings||No||Up to S$1,000||Up to S$2,000|
|Insure any driver||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Unlimited coverage for third party death or injury||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Coverage for third party property damage||Up to S$5,000,000||Up to S$5,000,000||Up to S$5,000,000|
|Legal costs if sued||Up to S$3,000||Up to S$3,000||Up to S$3,000|
|Taxi reimbursement after accident||S$40 per occupant||S$60 per occupant||S$80 per occupant|
|Daily transport allowance while car is repaired (loss of use)||S$40 for up to 6 days||S$60 for up to 8 days||S$80 for up to 10 days|
|Courtesy car for up to 3 months if car is written off or stolen||No||Yes||Yes|
|Personal accident benefit for driver||S$30,000||S$50,000||S$75,000|
|Personal accident benefit for passenger||S$10,000||S$20,000||S$25,000|
|Overseas booster||Pay an extra S$7.49|
How Does FWD Car Insurance Compare Against Other Insurers' Plans?
We collected quotes from nine major Singapore insurers to see how FWD's prices compare with the competition, based on the driver profile of a 45-year-old single male with 0% NCD driving an average crossover/small SUV like the Honda HR-V or Nissan Qashqai. In this example, FWD offers the second-cheapest premium among insurers surveyed, though you should keep in mind that each person's experience will differ depending on the specifics of their driver profile and vehicle.