What is car insurance?
Car insurance provides financial protection for car owners like you if you are involved in an accident or collision. In a nutshell: Your auto insurance generally covers your property (your vehicle), your liabilities or legal responsibility to others, and medical and hospitalization.
This financial protection includes vehicle repair costs, bodily injury, and hospital and medical fees, as well as losses from theft, fire, and other types of damages to your vehicle It may also extend to cover damages to your car caused by natural disasters---earthquakes, typhoons, floods, among others.
Why do I need to get car insurance?
You take a gamble when you get behind the wheel. You can try to be the best driver you can be, but you must also trust that everyone else on the road is doing their job and paying attention. When drivers make mistakes, auto insurance covers the costs that come as a result of these errors.
In the event of an accident, you are at risk of a potentially costly expense. If the crash was not your fault and the other driver doesn’t have any insurance of their own, you would be responsible for any repairs to your own vehicle as well as any medical expenses if you were seriously injured.
When you're at fault, you're usually responsible for the damage to the other person's car as well as the medical bills of any injured people. Besides, if you are charged, you must pay for your own vehicle's maintenance as well as legal costs. If you are uninsured or underinsured, your savings and assets (properties and other owned assets) may be at risk. Your auto or car insurance ensures that you have the financial means to cover these responsibilities and lessen your financial burden.
How does car insurance work
Car insurance is required by law before you are allowed to drive your vehicle on a public road, and is, essentially, your financial protection when your car is damaged or when you cause damage to another vehicle while driving your car.
You can choose the amount of financial protection you want and what options are included in your policy. At the minimum, all vehicle owners like you must get Compulsory Third Party Liability Insurance (CTPL), which covers death and injury of third parties (or, people who are not your passengers and were involved in the accident). At the most, you may get comprehensive insurance that may cover you for a wider range of financial protection.
What are the common features of a car insurance policy
Your car insurance policy may include, but not limited to:
Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTPL)
This type of financial protection is mandated by the LTO upon purchasing a new vehicle or renewing your car registration. CTPL insurance is LTO-mandated coverage and is a key feature in your policy (obligatory, not optional). It only provides financial protection for death indemnity, bodily injury, and permanent disablement to third parties involved in an accident. Meaning, you, as the driver, and your passengers, won't be covered for medical and hospital care if an accident occurs (your expenses will be out-of-pocket).
Bodily Injury Coverage
Similar to CTPL (but a little more specific in its legalistic language), this feature deals with financial protection and coverage if you hit another person while driving your car, and may cover medical and hospitalization fees of the other person injured, as well as lost wages, emotional distress damages, and any legal fees that may occur.
Personal Injury coverage / Auto personal accident
This, on the other hand, is financial protection for you and your passengers and may cover medical and hospitalization fees for treatment that may be needed and an accident occurs.
Property Damage Protection
If you get into an accident and you are responsible, then your insurance policy will financially protect and cover payment for property damage ranging from other people’s car repairs, property damage, and other non-human damages. If a case was filed against you, then legal fees would also be covered.
Provides financial protection for damages to your vehicle which aren't your fault, and are beyond your control including malicious damage, theft, vandalism, fire, riots, and other non-natural events.
Acts of God
Also known as "Acts of Nature," this type of financial protection covers you if damage to your vehicle occurs due to flooding, typhoons, earthquakes, and other such natural disasters---a very crucial option to consider here in the Philippines.
Is car insurance required by law?
Yes, insurance is required in the Philippines. The minimum insurance coverage required by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is called the Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTPL) insurance policy.
Your CTPL is issued by an LTO-licensed insurance company and, as its name applies, is compulsory for car registration. However, CTPL has limited coverage—it only covers injury or death of a third party but it does not cover your own vehicle damage. Meaning, if you drive your car into your neighbor’s front porch, you are legally liable for damages to their property and the injuries to their grandma while she was there dancing in the moonlight.
What is Comprehensive Insurance?
Comprehensive insurance is coverage that helps pay for damage to your vehicle for a wide range of claims, many of which may not be related to accidents or vehicular collisions. So, if you have comprehensive coverage, you can claim damages to your car that are caused by vandalism, fire, falling objects, civil disturbances (like a riot), and natural disasters. But comprehensive car insurance prices differ from CPTL and will cost more.
Why should I get Comprehensive Insurance and not just CTPL?
You would want to buy comprehensive insurance for peace of mind, as you are protected financially should you incur significant repair costs to your car or somebody else’s car. More so if there are medical expenses incurred by my passengers or other affected people as a result of my negligence. With a comprehensive insurance policy, you can avoid costly expenses in the future as it covers damages from road accidents, natural disasters, vandalism, and theft. Instead of shouldering the entire cost of the damage to your vehicle, a good comprehensive insurance policy will cover the costs of the said accident.
Type of Insurance
There are currently 3 types of car insurance that you can get here in the Philippines:
Compulsory Third Party Liability - This form of insurance only protects third parties that were involved in an accident with you; it does not cover vehicle damage or bodily harm to you or your passengers.
Comprehensive Insurance with Acts of God - This is the most comprehensive policy you can get because it protects not just you but also your passengers in the event of an accident caused by a third party. And if you happen to damage your vehicle, you can file a claim. You also get compensation for damages caused by natural disasters if you have acts of nature coverage.
Comprehensive Insurance without Acts of God - This policy protects you and your passengers in an event of an accident and gives you the ability to file a claim if you managed to put some damage on your car. However, you aren’t protected from damage caused by natural disasters.
Good to Know:
What are Acts of Nature
Having a car comes with a lot of danger. Insurance is a way to secure our finances and investments if anything unforeseen occurs. Consider having “acts of nature” within your policy as it protects you from unforeseen circumstances.
Acts of Nature is a type of insurance coverage designed to cover a vehicle against damage caused by natural disasters.
The following are some of the natural disasters covered by Acts of Nature:
Typhoon and flood
Riot, strike, civil disturbance, and/or commotion
The Philippines is a tropical country that is exposed to a lot of natural, mostly unpredictable, disasters and phenomena on a rather regular basis. From flash floods and typhoons to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, getting this add-on coverage for these disasters may be a smart idea.
How do I get car insurance?
Many people would consider buying a second-hand car since the price of a car plummets as it exits the car dealership. With that said, having car insurance for your newly acquired vehicle is a must.
There are two ways to acquire insurance for your second-hand vehicle, one, through retaining the insurance policy by the old owner, or two, availing a new insurance policy for your newly bought car.
Once the sale of the vehicle is finalized, to be able to transfer the original insurance policy that came with your car, the original owner must be able to get approval from the insurance company to transfer their policy to your name. After finishing that process, you’ll then be required to pay the premiums that came with the insurance.
If you do want to avail of a new insurance policy for your second-hand car, the insurance company will first deem if your vehicle is insurable. The criteria include the age of the car (up to 10 years only), vehicle condition, the vehicle’s accident history, and the modifications that were done to the car. Once done, choose the coverages that you deem necessary with your insurance policy and send the requirements needed by the insurance company such as your Official Receipt, Certificate of Registration, Vehicle Information, and car photos (depending on the company) through their email or address. Once done, expect to receive your policy either through email or mail.
How to renew your car insurance
To renew your car insurance, you will need to know when your renewal schedule is and 2-3 months before that deadline, start communicating with your current provider about renewing (or upgrading) your coverage.
- When do you renew your car insurance policy?
Car insurance policies typically last for a year, which means that you also have to renew your insurance annually. Do you know when your car insurance policy is due? You can find the effective date of your policy in the copy of your insurance policy. You can also call your insurance provider/agent for details regarding the dates of your policy and when your policy is up for renewal.
- Before you renew your car insurance
Renewing your car insurance also enables you to change some of the details in your insurance policy. Review your insurance coverage if there’s a need to increase the coverage that might be useful in the case of an accident. You can optimize your insurance coverage by adding or removing some add-ons based on your needs. Before deciding to push through on a renewal, consider the following factors such as premiums, deductibles, coverage limits, and optional coverages. When it comes to selecting the best auto insurance policy, you must consider these factors.
- Renewing your insurance
To renew your insurance policy, contact your insurance agent about the policy renewal. You may inquire about any additional details you might need, especially if you decide to make some changes to your policy. You'll get a copy of your policy after the call with your insurance agent
How to renew insurance for your used car
Renewing your used car's insurance follows the same process but be ready to pay a higher premium (annual payment). Here's a list of requirements you'll need to prep:
1. List of required documents:
- Notarized Deed of Sale of the automobile with the buyer’s name
- Driver’s license of the applicant
- Certificate of Registration (CR) bearing the registered owner’s name
- Photocopy of the Official Receipt (OR)
- Government-issued identification like Philippine Passport, Social Security System (SSS) ID, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Senior Citizen ID, etc. Company, school, and alumni IDs are also accepted.
2. Your used car’s specifications:
- Car brand and model, color, and the year it was released
- Variant and transmission type
- Plate number
- Car utilization (either for personal or commercial use)
- Status of the vehicle’s ownership
- Photos of:
- Chassis number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Present odometer reading
- Engine compartment
- Front side
- Left and right side
- Wheels and tires
- Additional accessories installed
3. Visual inspection by your insurance company to check your car’s condition.
Caveat: Most insurance companies insure vehicles up to 10-12 years old; any vehicle older than that may come with a higher annual premium payment (and more requirements, or require specialist insurance).
How do I make an insurance claim?
Insurance policies tend to give most people the idea that filing a claim is more complicated than it truly is. It is not complicated at all, but yes, it will require some paperwork. For starters, all you have to do is report the incident as soon as possible so this is lodged by the insurance company. (Which reminds me, make sure to keep the Claims Reporting Number saved on your phone or keep a policy copy in your glove compartment.) Then submit the usual documentation requirements, such as:
- Police report
- Pictures of the vehicles while at the accident scene / clear shots of the damages incurred
- Repair estimate - you can also check with the insurance company their list of accredited repair shops so you don’t have to go to 2 locations for an estimate and eventual repair
- Driver’s license(s)
- Registration paper of the vehicle(s) involved
You may have an occasional phone call from the insurance company’s claims adjuster inquiring on additional details, but soon enough, you can expect to know when you can get your Letter of Authority (LOA) so you can bring your car to the accredited repair shop. You will be advised by the repair shop on parts that they may have to order, the timeline of the repair, and the estimated date of completion.
Once the car is ready for release, just be prepared to pay your participation or deductible to the repair shop. And off you go with your newly repaired vehicle!
But what is the key to all this? Being with your trusted agent or broker who holds your hand throughout this process. That is what Assurance.Ph will earn from you -- your trust.
Assurance.Ph is your partner in providing protection for your vehicle, property, and passengers in the Philippines. Together with Automart.Ph and Motomart.Ph, we help car and motorcycle owners choose the protection package that suits their needs and budgets, and ensure easy and affordable access online and offline. Chat with one of your Assurance advisors via Viber (0956 302 9631) or email us at email@example.com to know more about the insurance packages that Assurance.Ph offers.