Categorized | Car insurance

Cheaper car insurance now online

Cheaper car insurance now online

SKIP the insurance agent, get a quote for car insurance and pay for it online – in five minutes and in the comfort of your home.

The direct method would reduce premiums by at least 5 to 10 per cent, Aviva claimed at a press conference on Friday to unveil its new direct car insurance policy – an online only channel.

The UK-based company is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, going by its 2008 gross worldwide premiums.

And it is poised to enter the motor insurance market here by being the first company to sell motor insurance fully online, though customers can call a technical support hotline.

No more waiting for hours, or even days, before your quote is finalised and payment can be made.

Simply answer nine simple questions, and get an insurance quote within 60 seconds.

Satisfied with the premium?

Proceed to make your payment online.

All that will take only five minutes on its website, which is intuitive and easy to use, claimed Mr Paul Jackson, the head of Aviva general insurancein Singapore.

A check with the top three motor insurers in Singapore – AXA Insurance Singapore, Chartis (formerly AIG) and NTUC Income – show that while they give online quotations, deals still have to made over the phone or in person.

For example, NTUC Income offers an online quote service. Once a quote is obtained, the buyer would still have to wait two to three working days for NTUC to get back to him.

On its entry into the Singapore market, Mr Simon Machell, chief executive of Aviva Asia Pacific, said: “Consumers can expect greater price savings. Our premiums are lower because there are no commissions due to cutting out the middleman.”

A check for a typical 1,600cc Toyota Altis yielded a quote of $1,534 on Aviva’s website.

Separate quotes from other insurance websites ranged from $1,600 to $1,650 for the same vehicle, which is at least 5 per cent higher than Aviva’s.

The company is targeting car owners whose insurance is about to expire and who are looking to renew their insurance.

“New car owners generally get their insurance direct from their car dealer,” Mr Machell explained.

“We currently have no plans to work directly with the car dealers.”

Aviva is also allowing consumers to decide what services they will want in their policy.

For instance, in the option ‘go green’, a customer will receive policy statements from Aviva via e-mail instead of a hard copy document.

They will still have to print out their confirmation e-mail as proof of their insurance certificate. The green route will shave $25 off a premium.

Alternatively, a customer can choose to top up for more services.

An extra $75, for example, pays for a loss-of-use cover, where the driver gets to use a rental car when his vehicle ends up at a service centre after an accident.

Mr Simon Newman, chief executive of Aviva Singapore, said: “Effectively, control is in the hands of the consumer.

Consumers will not have to make unnecessary payments for services they do not need.”

Mr Tan Kin Lian, president of the Financial Services Consumer Association of Singapore (FISCA), said: “Consumers will find this very useful.

“With premiums increasing as much as 10 per cent a year, it is possible for them to see if they can get insurance more cheaply.”

Consumers were also pleased.

But sales manager Yee Kong Foo, 49, said that while he liked the convenience of paying online, he would still ‘shop around’.

Aviva hopes to expand its policy offerings to include home and travel insurance, details of which will be revealed in the next two to three months.

This article was first published in The New Paper.


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