I met with a car accident last month.
It was a wet day and I was driving along Braddell Road exiting towards Thomson Road. I noticed a stationary car along the filter lane so I slammed on the brakes. For whatever reasons, the brakes refused to oblige and I could feel my car sliding towards the car ahead.
I remembered I swore, but it didn’t help. My life flashed before my eyes.
The nightmare lasted only a few seconds. Luckily we were all okay.
Protect your 50% NCD!
I have had a clean driving record until this accident.
And I have been driving enough years to enjoy the 50% No Claims Discount (NCD) off my car insurance. I reported the accident to my insurer and was told that my NCD would likely drop to 20%, because I did not purchase any NCD protection.
It was the first time I heard about an insurance to protect my insurance. Higher insurance premium going forward. Ouch.
Lately, I was introduced to a new insurer, FWD car insurance. The company has launched a car insurance product in Singapore that offers a guaranteed lifetime 50% NCD! This means your 50% NCD will remain permanently, regardless of the number of accidents you have gotten into. I can totally relate to the advantage of that.
An additional piece of good news is that car owners do not need to start from zero. You can port your 50% NCD to FWD and enjoy the lifetime feature too, immediately.
I would have protected my 50% NCD by switching to FWD if I had known earlier 🙁
I like how the CEO of FWD Singapore put it across in their press release,
“They [car owners] don’t believe that proven good drivers should be penalised for accidents, so we’re offering the first lifetime 50% NCD.”
Yes, accident is already an unfortunate event. Please do not penalise us further.
For me, there is no loyalty when it comes to car insurance. It is mandatory in Singapore that each car be covered. And more often than not, drivers tend to go for the insurer that offers the lowest premium, given the same terms and conditions. I would switch in a heartbeat for the lifetime 50% NCD when my car insurance is up for renewal.
Wait, who is FWD ?
FWD may be unfamiliar to many in Singapore but the company is definitely not a newcomer to the insurance business.
FWD is the insurance arm of the Pacific Century Group which in turn is chaired by Richard Li (he is Li Ka Shing’s son). Thus, FWD has strong backing from one of the richest family in Asia. Based in Hong Kong, FWD’s operations spans across Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
FWD is keen to make her presence felt in Singapore and has plans to invest up to S$500 million over the next five years. I would not be surprised when FWD cements a spot amidst Singapore’s competitive insurance industry.
Currently, FWD only offers vehicle and travel insurance in Singapore. Life and general insurance products are scheduled to launch later this year.
Competition is good for the consumers as the level of service is likely to improve. There are a few key features that I like.
Get insurance quotes in less than 1 minute
When it comes to insurance, I prefer to go for the cheap and fuss free option.
I can buy car and travel insurance directly from insurers instead of going through a middleman. These are relatively straight-forward products which I do not need advice on.
One of my pet peeves with buying insurance directly is the number of details I need to key in just to get a quote. Comparing quotes from various companies is what I do, so that I can know which product has the most bang for my buck.
However, not all insurers are created equal. There are some websites that require me to fill in countless details before I could get a quote. Usually I will give up on such companies and move on to the next insurer which requires lesser fields.
FWD simplified it greatly with just 9 fields to enter.
And after you click ‘next’, voila! You’ve got the quote.
The above is just an example.
I will use my case to show the competitive premium rates that FWD is offering.
My current car insurance is costing me S$526.64 with a S$2,000 own damage excess. FWD is offering me the same terms with an additional 50% NCD protection for just S$501.51! Cheaper yet better.
It will be a no brainer when my car insurance is up for renewal next time.
It is just as easy with FWD travel insurance. You only need to provide 5 details to get a quote!
You would also notice that the design is very different from what we are used to. The boxes and radio buttons have been replaced with drop down options phrased in a sentence. I learnt that the design was deliberate to make it intuitive and easy to use on a mobile device. You could easily buy travel insurance on the go before the flight.
Make claims on your smartphone
Simplifying the insurance buying process is only one part of the success. Consumers also want to be assured that their claims will be processed with minimum fuss.
Most insurers would require you to either download a form, fill it up and snail mail it back. Or to fill up a digital form and attach files to submit. It is difficult to claim on the go especially when the forms are not mobile display friendly.
I like it that FWD allow their customers to make certain claims via the chatting app, WhatsApp. It is very convenient as many Singaporeans use WhatsApp as a communication tool.
This is particularly handy when it comes to claiming for flight delays. With FWD, you can snap pictures of your original itinerary and the re-scheduled boarding pass and send the information to the FWD WhatsApp number.
Changed the way I felt about insurance
Insurance is insurance. How different can it be, you’d think?
FWD has fulfilled its promise of changing the way people feel about insurance. At least that was how I felt given the features and benefits illustrated above.
The company has made convenience and simplicity priorities, evident in the buying and claiming processes. The result is a different experience for the end consumer. It is like as if Apple Inc was the architect who redesigned the processes.
FWD has set a high bar for consumer experience, and I would definitely use their services when I need insurance products. My tolerance threshold has also decreased for sites that require many of my details, and I will be quick to strike them off as my options.
If you like to give FWD a try, you can get a 10 percent discount when you purchase an insurance product from www.fwd.com.sg using the discount code FWDHI10. Valid until 8 October 2016!
You are welcome.
This article is sponsored by FWD. We at BigFatPurse only believe in promoting products and services that we would use ourselves, and when we believe they are of value to you too. The views in this article are strictly the author’s.
CEO of Dr Wealth. Built a business to empower DIY investors to make better investments. A believer of the Factor-based Investing approach and runs a Multi-Factor Portfolio that taps on the Value, Size, and Profitability Factors. Conducts the flagship Intelligent Investor Immersive program under Dr Wealth. An author of Secrets of Singapore Trading Gurus and Singapore Permanent Portfolio. Featured on various media such as MoneyFM 89.3, Kiss92, Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao. Given talks at events organised by SGX, DBS, CPF and many others.