Some Basics

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The law requires you to have motor insurance before you drive a car (or a motor cycle). The Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third-Party Risks) Ordinance requires all motorists to be insured against their liability for injuries to third parties (including passengers) and for damage to third party property resulting from the use of a vehicle on a road. It is against the law to drive your car or allow others to drive it without insurance. The basic level of motor insurance which you must have is Third Party Cover and therefore you cannot chose to exclude such a cover for passengers. Covering your car against the risk of loss or damage is optional.

Yes there are three main types of motor insurance policies. 

    1.    Third Party Only

This policy gives you the minimum cover required by law. It covers your liability towards third parties if you injure them or if you damage other people’s property while using your car. This includes cover for passengers in your vehicle (and the pillion-rider for motor cycles).

  • This policy does not cover damage to your own car or property.

  • The premium payable under this type of cover is likely to be less costly compared to the two types of cover explained below. Premium payable under this policy is not based on the value of your vehicle.

  • Given that you do not have own damage cover for your own car, if it is damaged in an accident for which you are not to blame, you cannot make a claim under your own policy. You need to request compensation from the insurer of the person responsible. Your own insurer may only be able to provide limited assistance and advice.

    2.    Third Party, Fire and Theft

 This policy covers your liability towards third parties as in (1) above plus any damage to your car resulting from fire or theft.

  • Given that you do not have own damage cover for your own car, if it is damaged in an accident for which you are not to blame, you cannot make a claim under your own policy. You need to request compensation from the insurer of the person responsible. Your own insurer may only be able to provide limited assistance and advice.

    3.    Comprehensive

This policy is sometimes called “full cover”. Besides covering your liability towards third parties for injury or property damage, it also covers your own car against any kind of accidental damage even if it is caused through your own fault.

You must at least purchase a “Third Party Only” insurance cover to drive a car. However you are free to choose whichever cover you want depending on your needs.

Once you purchase a motor insurance policy, the insurer usually gives you three documents:

  • The Certificate of Insurance;
  • The policy document which sets out all the terms and conditions related to your insurance cover; and
  • A receipt of payment (make sure you keep the receipt, especially if you are paying by cash).

The Certificate of Insurance is issued annually, upon renewal. Prior to issuing a Certificate of Insurance, the insurance company would need to ensure that your vehicle is road worthy. It is your duty – and not the insurer’s - to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy. This is a policy condition and the insurer takes no action to check the vehicle.

The policy document is given to you when you start a new policy with an insurance company. You will not be given another policy document on each and every renewal – so make sure you keep all your renewal notices, certificates and receipts with your policy document. If your insurance company amends any aspect of the policy document, it will send you an endorsement with your renewal notice. The endorsement will specifically state which part of the policy document has been amended.

You may even purchase additional benefits to top up your comprehensive policy such as cover for a replacement vehicle in case of a breakdown or protection of the non-claims discount. Ask your insurer/ insurance intermediary for details of possible extensions.

If you are renewing or purchasing a new policy online, make sure that you go through the documentation that is sent to you by e-mail. Check if you would need to contact the insurance company for any documentation you might have to collect from their offices if this is not supplied electronically.



Last updated: Sep 07, 2016

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