Japanese insurer Sompo (which used to be called Tenet Sompo) is something of an outlier among the car insurance players in Singapore. It’s not one of the longstanding brands like AIG or NTUC. Nor is it one of the aggressively affordable newcomers like FWD and Budget Direct. Sompo car insurance plans are definitely not the cheapest.
But they do have attractive features such as free NCD Protector, free excess waiver, an emergency response unit and multiple discounts. Here’s a look at what they offer:
Sompo car insurance plans
Sompo’s comprehensive car insurance is packaged and sold the traditional way, in 3 tiers from basic to deluxe.
|Car insurance plan||Key features||Recommended for|
|ExcelDrive Focus||Sompo authorised workshops only
Excess waiver limited to 50% or $600
|Older cars (up to 15 years old)
Second hand cars
|ExcelDrive Gold||Sompo authorised workshops only
Full excess waiver up to $1,000
Free NCD Protector
|Cars not under warranty (up to 10 years old)|
|ExcelDrive Prestige||Same coverage as ExcelDrive Gold
No restriction on workshop (except for excess waiver which only applies to authorised workshop)
|New cars still under warranty
Fussy owners who want their choice of workshop
All of Sompo’s comprehensive plans have good coverage on all the bases: car repairs, total loss/damage, third party damage, personal accident, medical expenses and 24-hour Emergency Mobile Accident Response Service (MARS).
Although more expensive, it might be worth your money to upgrade to Sompo’s Gold or Prestige plans. That’s because they offer the following tempting features:
Free NCD Protector if your NCD is 30% upwards. (Not available for ExcelDrive Focus.)
High transport allowance while your car is being repaired – $100 x 10 days compared to the more typical $50 x 5 or 7 days with other insurers. (Not available for ExcelDrive Focus.)
Full excess waiver on your first claim if done at authorised workshop. (First claim excess waiver is only 50% and capped at $600 for Focus.)
Sompo car insurance add-ons
Since Sompo has bundled all the good stuff like NCD Protector into the plans, there are only a couple of minor add-ons left and they are:
|Car insurance add-on||Description|
|Buy Down Excess||Reduce your excess by paying a higher premium|
|Personal Accident||Increase your PA sum insured|
|Car Accessories||Coverage for your accessories e.g. CNG conversion kit, sound system|
How to get cheaper premiums with Sompo?
Like I mentioned, Sompo’s premiums aren’t the cheapest. And premiums get even more expensive if you upgrade to ExcelDrive Gold or Prestige for the much better benefits. So, how much can you knock off that premium? Try stacking up the following discounts to get the cheapest rate:
|Type of discount||Description||Amount|
|NCD (No Claim Discount)||Given in increments of 10% for each year you don’t file a claim||10% to 50%|
|Offence Free Discount||Granted automatically for NCD of 30% and above, regardless of your demerit points||5%|
|Loyalty Discount||Get 5% off upon renewal||5%|
|Multiple Car Discount||Get cheaper premium if you have multiple cars insured with Sompo||Varies|
|Buy Up Excess||Increase your excess for a cheaper premium. Note that voluntary additional excess will not be waived||Varies|
Why (or why not) choose Sompo car insurance?
First, understand that Sompo car insurance has a very slim chance of fighting newcomers like Budget Direct, Etiqa and even FWD on the price front, even if you max out on discounts. So if you’re really price-conscious or are looking to insure a very old car, you might want to give Sompo a miss.
If your number one car insurance concern is not price but roadside assistance and service, then Sompo is well worth considering (alongside NTUC and Aviva) thanks to its emergency service and 20-minute promise. For less experienced or confident drivers, this “hand holding” may be well worth paying for. You won’t get this with most cheaper insurers as they tend to be very no-frills.
With Sompo car insurance, you shouldn’t gravitate to the cheapest plan and call it a day. In fact, you can shop around for cheaper insurers that offer a similar level of coverage as Sompo ExcelDrive Focus.
Instead, consider upping your budget for the Gold plan as its benefits (free NCD Protector, high transport allowance and full excess waiver) are SO much better than that of the Focus. This plan is best for
I recommend Sompo ExcelDrive Gold if you have a car that’s not under warranty – either your car is a few years old, or it’s a second-hand car or a parallel import. That’s because you can only maximise the benefits if you get your car repaired at authorised workshops (which you don’t want to do with a new car or you’d void the warranty).
In conclusion, Sompo is a very decent option for (a) less confident or seasoned drivers and (b) if your car is not under warranty. But be prepared to pay, of course.
Would you ever pay more than the cheapest rate for car insurance? Tell us why or why not in the comments!
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Tags: Car Insurance