This article is written in collaboration with GrabHitch. Views expressed are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg
Today, many people in Singapore have embraced the ridesharing economy. This has allowed riders to save on the cost of premium transportation while allowing drivers to more efficiently utilise their car and the time they spend behind the wheel.
Carpooling services such as GrabHitch make it much easier for drivers to connect with riders heading in the same direction, while taking away the messiness and uncertainty of payment. The increasing popularity of carpooling surfaces a critical question – are we insured when we carpool?
Motor Insurance – Compulsory For All Cars
In Singapore, all registered cars are required to have a valid private motor insurance policy. The minimum requirement for any valid policy is that it must provide coverage for personal injuries to other parties.
Beyond this, motor insurance policies usually also provide coverage which extends beyond the required third-party injuries and death, to damages made to other vehicles involved in an accident. More comprehensive policies will also include fire, theft or other types of damages to one’s own car.
Should your car be used in and be considered an essential part of your business operations, a commercial motor insurance policy may be required instead. For example, should you be a full-time GrabCar driver providing Grab rides, a commercial motor insurance needs to be purchased.
I Provide Carpool Rides. Do I need a Special Insurance?
Carpooling is NOT considered a commercial activity and hence should be covered under every vehicle’s private motor insurance policy. However, before you celebrate and go on to accept multiple hitch trips every day, do note the definition of carpooling.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) states that carpooling is considered a non-commercial activity if 1) a driver makes two or less carpool trips a day and that 2) payment that drivers receive do not exceed the expense incurred for the trip. In other words, you cannot be carpooling at every hour of the day, nor can the amount you receive per trip be equivalent to what you would earn while driving a taxi or commercial private-hire car.
I Take Carpool Rides. What Am I Insured For When I Carpool?
The insurance coverage for your carpooling rides are tagged to the private motor insurance bought for the car that is being used for your carpool ride. The coverage that you enjoy as a rider is similar to that of what you would be receiving if you were riding in your friends’ or family members’ cars.
Additional Insurance Coverage May Be Provided By Your Carpooling Platform
On top of the coverage provided by the compulsory private motor insurance, additional group insurance may also be provided by the carpooling platform that you use.
For example, as of 1st June 2017, all GrabHitch riders are automatically insured under Grab’s Group Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) plan. GrabHitch is the ONLY carpooling service that provides additional coverage for accidental death, permanent disablement, medical expenses. This complements the personal motor insurance plans that drivers already have.
To find out more, check out the Grab website.
With this additional Group insurance policy provided by Grab, your GrabHitch ride is 1) covered under the compulsory private motor insurance that all drivers need to buy and 2) additionally covered under Grab’s Group insurance policy, which kicks in, in the event that the coverage from the driver’s private motor insurance is insufficient.
AND, with the launch of Grab’s newest initiative, HitchShield. GrabHitch drivers can now renew their motor insurance and be rewarded at the same time!
Consisting of four major motor insurance providers in Etiqa, Income, MSIG and Sompo, HitchShield provides a $50 credit to GrabHitch drivers when they buy a new motor insurance policy under any of these four preferred insurer partners. By doing so, drivers are able to enjoy the $50 credit, which is given on top of any existing discounts that may already be on offer by some of these insurers.
For example, car owners who purchase a new private car insurance online with Etiqa can enjoy a 20% discount for their insurance premium, and a further $50 credit using the referral code “Hitch50”.
What’s more, private car insurance can be purchased directly by drivers online (Etiqa, MSIG, Sompo) or through the phone (Income), without the hassle of engaging an agent!
For those of you who are not yet GrabHitch drivers, consider joining GrabHitch to help you cover your petrol and parking cost. Get a $20 sign-up bonus when you sign up using the referral code “HitchShield” and complete minimum 1 ride as a driver. Once approved, you are immediately eligible for all perks, including the $50 credit when you renew your private motor car insurance policy.
Check out the respective promo codes from the 4 insurers to enjoy your $50* rebate today!
* The $50 credit is only applicable to approved Hitch Drivers who purchase a new motor insurance policy with any one of the four insurers; Etiqa; Income; MSIG; Sompo