Car accidents rise in Singapore as total claims fall

Car crash

The General Insurance Association of Singapore is investigating why car accidents climbed last year while the total payout in motor claims fell.

In 2016 as the number of car accidents in the Lion City increased 8% over 2015 to 161,361 - a five-year high - Singapore's insurers paid out 8.5% less in motor claims - S$494.4m (£287.4m) - than the previous year; the loss ratio was 53.9%. 

GIA CEO Derek Teo thought one reason for the discrepancy could be that there are more private-hire cars on the road - used for services such as Uber - meaning the insurance excess is higher and there are fewer claims. Teo said the association is investigating and said any increase in motor premiums would be targeted.

The Singapore government has been clamping down on unlicensed and uninsured private hire cars through giving the Land Transport Authority greater powers - such as barring operators for a month. New regulations, to be introduced in the first half of 2017, will also ensure private-hire drivers undergo a licensing course and background screening and a medical check.

One senior insurance claims professional in Singapore told Insurance Post that one explanation for the figures could be that the awareness of how to report accidents has increased after efforts to promote the Motor Claims Framework which encourages the reporting of claims within 24 hours or by the next working day "no matter how trivial" the claim is and "irrespective of whether you are claiming".

Singapore motor premiums climbed 1% to S$1.15bn last year while overall general insurance premiums climbed 0.6% over 2015 to S$3.66bn; however underwriting profit declined 17% to S$267.6m.

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