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according to the 2020 singapore accident report, the common cause of traffic accidents that year was driving under the influence of alcohol and violating traffic lights.
That said, accidents can happen even if the driver is sober. Even if you are the most careful driver in Singapore, it is still possible to crash into another moving vehicle or a parked car. Accidents are unpredictable in most cases, but they do happen.
what is important to know, are the steps you should take if you cause an accident. many drivers freak out and make the situation worse after being overcome with emotions. Some drivers may quickly apologize if they believe they are responsible for the accident and then immediately discuss liability claims. others may move the car, in an attempt to tamper with the evidence.
These are costly mistakes that could complicate the situation and the claim process. you could end up taking 100% responsibility while only being 20% to blame. If this happens, your premium rate will likely increase, among other costs.
So what should you do if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation? we know it can be an overwhelming test, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
Let’s go over together the important steps you need to take if you’re in a car accident at your fault. we will also go further to help you understand:
- What does an at-fault accident mean? And how does your auto insurance company determine fault in the event of an accident?
- what to do if you are involved in a car accident
- How can an at-fault accident affect your auto insurance premium?
- ambulance: 995
- non-emergency ambulance: 1777
- police: 999
- Police hotline: 1800 255 0000
- traffic police: 6547 0000
- ema crew: 1800 2255 582
- a foreign car
- hit and run
- government vehicles
- damage to government property
- cyclists or pedestrians
- serious injuries
- damage to your car
- damage to the other car
- car plate numbers
- damaged property
- skid marks
- road intersection
- traffic direction
- debris on the road
- the area surrounding the accident
- accident location
- time and date of accident
- weather conditions
- road conditions
- comments from all parties involved
- full name
- phone number
- nric number
- insurance details
- refuse to renew your policy
- deny responsibility
- lose your discount for not claiming
This information is vital to knowing when you are at fault in a car accident, as taking the right steps can help you avoid costly mistakes. you should also know what to expect in case you have an accident (in the context of this article, of course).
then, let’s get started!
what does an at-fault accident mean?
An at-fault accident refers to a scenario where you cause a car accident by taking the wrong action or failing to take the correct action to avoid it. Simply put, it means causing a car accident by neglecting safe driving practices.
Whether or not you are at fault is ultimately determined by your auto insurer or a court. If the court finds that you are at fault, your insurer must pay the other party for the injuries, damages, and losses you caused.
Take this case for example: a facebook post on the singapore highway patrol page recounted what had happened on central boulevard when a black honda accord quickly changed lanes coming from the left (note that the sign on his car also indicates to the left but he decided to go to the right). The driver, the man seen taking mobile phone photos of him in the image below, then slammed on the brakes, causing the car behind him to crash into the back of his car. In this scenario, the driver of the Honda is at fault, depending on what the third party or another driver shared.
it appears that the driver of the honda car was driving recklessly by suddenly changing lanes when it was unsafe to do so. he too suddenly stopped for no apparent reason, resulting in a collision.
When parties file an insurance claim, your auto insurers will most likely assign the driver of the honda 100% of the liability. According to the Motor Accident Guide (MAG), a guideline on liability assessment established by the Singapore State Court, it would have been the Honda driver’s responsibility to check the proximity of other motorists on the road and change lanes alone. when needed. it is safe to do so.
so the auto insurer of the at-fault party (in this case we assume it is the honda car) is responsible for the damages or injuries caused.
what to do if you are involved in a car accident
Here are five steps to take after a car accident:
1. stop immediately and assess the situation for safety
If you are involved in an accident, the first thing you should do is stop and turn on your hazard lights. it not only alerts other road users to the situation, but also gives you space to assess the situation at hand. place a warning triangle approximately 55 meters behind your car and remove any debris caused by the accident that could be harmful to other road users.
Next, check that everyone involved in the accident is safe. start with yourself, your passengers, and the occupants of the other vehicles in the scene. this will help you determine if someone is in a life-threatening situation and needs immediate medical attention.
If someone is seriously injured, call 995 for an emergency ambulance. otherwise, you can call 1777 to request a non-emergency ambulance.
Also, do not attempt to move anyone trapped in the wreckage. could make the person’s injury worse; it is better to wait for professional help to arrive.
here is a list of emergency hotlines in singapore that you should always have on hand:
then file a police report if the accident involves:
You can do this by going to the nearest police station or through the police’s electronic traffic accident notification service.
Be sure to give a detailed account of the report because it can serve as an official written record of the incident. can help establish your case with attorneys, police, and insurance companies when you file claims.
after doing this, continue with the next steps.
2. gather detailed evidence for your accident report
Once you have assessed the situation and notified the police (if necessary), you should begin gathering detailed information for your accident report. If you have a camera or smartphone, take full photos and videos that capture:
Photos and videos should clearly illustrate how the accident could have occurred. they must be sharp and taken in wide shots to perfectly capture the scene of the accident.
Also, if you have a dash cam recording the accident, keep it safe on your computer with a backup on a hard drive. Please note that dash cams overwrite the content once the space is full, so back up the clip right away, otherwise you will lose it. can help give a clear picture of what happened just before the accident.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a dash cam, you can make a quick sketch of the accident scene. try to sketch every little detail you see. remember to take note of the position of vehicles and any nearby prominent landmarks.
many drivers forget vital details that should be included in the accident report. here is a list of all the information you need to write down:
With all these details in hand, you now have all the evidence you need to file a claim. attach the evidence to your accident report before submitting it to your auto insurance company.
3. exchange information with the other parties involved
Move closer to the other driver and exchange personal information. Be sure to share and get the following details:
If the accident involves more parties, make sure you get the same set of information from everyone. this could include pedestrians, bystanders, passengers, and bicyclists.
In case the other party approaches you first, never refuse to reveal personal information. such an act violates the traffic law.
When sharing details, the general rule is to avoid discussing responsibilities. this could give the other driver an opportunity to use his word against him in the police and accident report, even though it may not have been his fault.
4. call your auto insurer for guidance
after gathering all the relevant information, make sure your car is parked in a safe place; if you are in the middle of the highway, then it is better to move your car to the shoulder of the road. place a danger triangle approximately 55 meters behind your car and remove debris caused by the accident that may be harmful to other road users. it will ensure a smooth flow of traffic, your safety and the safety of other motorists.
Next, call your auto insurer and tell them about the accident. convey all the essential details of the accident. remember to ask for advice on what to do. they will guide you through the claim process and, if necessary, arrange for your car to be towed to an approved garage. Also, keep in mind that all accidents must be reported to an approved reporting center, as this is a requirement set forth by the General Insurance Association.
in directasia, you can call 6532 1818 or +65 6603 3699 (from abroad) for more details on important procedures to follow and what to do after an accident.
If for some reason you don’t have a chance to report the accident to your auto insurer, be sure to do so by the next business day. You must report an accident to your insurer’s approved reporting center within 24 hours or the next business day as stipulated by the General Insurance Association (GIA) of Singapore .
These are the possible penalties for not informing your car insurer on time about the accident:
If it’s a minor accident with no injuries, you may want to consider settling privately. may be a better option since the losses will likely be minor compared to the loss of your no-claims discount, and if you want to keep your auto insurance premium rates. just remember that if you decide to do a private settlement, you’ll need to tell your insurer within 24 hours of the accident.
Basically, a private settlement requires you to have the damaged car appraised at an authorized shop and get a written estimate of the repair costs. Once the at-fault party (either you or the other driver) agrees to pay the damage costs, both parties involved must complete and sign a private agreement form to submit to their respective auto insurers.
5. take your car to an authorized workshop for repair
If you decide to make a claim with your car insurance company, your insurer will advise you on the nearest authorized workshop you could go to. Keep in mind that unauthorized towing companies and garages can complicate your insurance claim.
why? simply because an authorized workshop will give you a reliable estimate for the necessary repairs. On the other hand, unapproved shops can unreasonably increase repair costs for a quick profit, and this can significantly affect your premiums.
but in saying that, some singapore auto insurers allow their policyholders to take their damaged car to their preferred garages. therefore, it is best to check with your insurer if this is okay, before doing so.
On top of that, as highlighted in the Auto Claims Framework (MCF), motorists are cautioned not to deal with unauthorized towing crews that may show up at the scene of the accident. If the accident occurs on the expressway, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be able to detect the traffic accident and will immediately send its EMS team to tow your car to the nearest parking lot.
How does an at-fault accident affect insurance?
When you are at fault in a car accident, your insurance premium will increase. this means you will pay more the next time you renew your policy.
The increase varies with different insurance providers and is also affected by other factors, such as the severity and frequency of accidents, and the decrease in your no-claims discount. Severe and frequent accidents tell your insurer that you are a high-risk driver. therefore, they may increase your auto insurance premium to cover the likely payment of your future claims.
How exactly does a fault claim affect premium rates? valuechampion has given a good example of this by comparing the quotes of some of the leading insurers in singapore. The chart below shows the difference in insurance quotes for a 2017 Toyota Altis, assuming the driver has filed zero, one or two claims in the last three years. other variables were considered constant and ncd was set to 0%.
here are the summary results.
What they found is that premium rates increased by about 17% on average with a claim in the last three years compared to no claims. with two claims, your premium rates are approximately 51% higher than with zero claims. This chart clearly shows how at-fault claims can affect your auto insurance.
this is how losing ent increases your premiums.
When you are deemed to be at fault, you are likely to lose your ent. without an ncd protector, your ncd decreases by 30% when you are presumed to be more than 20% at fault for the accident. otherwise it is unaffected.
When your NCD goes down, your insurance premium goes up. lower ncd means lower discounts on your premium so you pay more.
This table shows how the percentage of ncd with fault claims falls:
ncd fall on a guilty claim
If you have 50% ncd before your insurance claim, it will be reduced by 30%, making it 20%. means you’ll have to pay 30% more in your premium rates when you renew your policy.
however, you will have a chance to raise your ncd again. each year in a row that you don’t file a claim, it increases by 10%. therefore, a 3-year accident-free period can get your ent back to where it was. this, in turn, will also gradually lower your premium rates.
By now you should know how to handle an accident that may have been your fault. so in the unfortunate event of a car accident, remember to stay calm and follow our guidelines. doing so will ensure that all parties involved in the accident have a smooth insurance claim process. And by understanding how insurers distribute your insurance premiums, you should also be more aware of the outcome of your liability in the event of an at-fault car accident.