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How a Certificate of Merit can help reduce your car insurance premiums

certificate of merit

Most seasoned drivers would have known about using the No-claim Discount(NCD) to get a cheaper car insurance premium. But do you know there’s something else call the Certificate of Merit that can help you earn an extra discount on top of your NCD?

The Drivers’ Improvement Point System (DIPS)

Even if you are qualified to drive, you’d still need to ensure that you drive safely on the roads. Obviously, this is to ensure that you keep yourself safe while driving, and also consider other road users’ safety. The DIPS system is a way for the traffic police to know what type of driver you are. Motorists are given demerit points for violating traffic rules. The DIPS is designed to identify high-risk motorists or habitual traffic offenders,  where a system is put in place to rehabilitate them through re-training or suspend them from driving if they are deemed to pose a danger to others on the road.

Accumulate 24 demerit points or more within 24 consecutive months and you will say goodbye to your driving licence for 3 months. If you have had your license suspended once, it will be suspended again when you accumulate 12 points within 12 months of your last offence. Each suspension can last up to 3 years.

If the suspension period is longer than a year, your driving licence will be invalidated and you’d need to retake and pass the driving tests before you can obtain a driving licence and drive again.

For New Drivers

Holding a new driver’s licence that has been issued for less than 1 year? Then you’d need to be extra careful on the roads because your license will be revoked if

  • You accumulate 13 demerit points or more; or
  • You are caught twice for failing to display the probationary plate.

You are not allowed to drive or to take a driving test

  • During your suspension;
  • Within one year after your licence is revoked; or

The Flipside of DIPS

While it might look like DIPS is a system out to punish errant drivers, it does provide Incentives to improve your driving record. For instance, DIPS can help to:

  1. Remove demerit points from driving record. If you did not commit traffic offences with demerit points for 12 continuous months after your last traffic offence, all demerit points will be removed from your record.
  2. Cancel suspension records. If you avoid traffic offences with demerit points for 24 continuous months after your last traffic offence or after your last suspension expires, your previous suspension records will be cancelled.
  3. Issue a Certificate of Merit (COM) which makes the driver eligible for an Offence-Free Discount from most car insurance companies in Singapore.

What is a Certificate of Merit?

A Certificate of Merit (COM) is a document issued by the Traffic Police to show that a person has been driving safely in Singapore for the past 3 years. By attesting to your safety records as a driver, you may use the COM to claim a safe driver discount from your car insurer, even from DirectAsia!

What’s great is that the discount is above your No-claim Discount!

How to use a Certificate of Merit to claim a discount on car insurance

After 3 years of safe driving, you will be awarded the Certificate of Merit. Go to this link and fill out an online application for the COM.

When you are making a purchase for your car insurance, DirectAsia will verify your eligibility for a Certificate of Merit through the EDDIES (or Electronic Driver Data Information and Enquiry System). The Safe Driver Discount will be calculated in addition to whichever No-Claim Discount you’re currently entitled to.

Since it’d require 3-years of good driving records to qualify for this discount, it’d also mean you’d have already accumulated up till NCD30 for your car insurance. This means the total discount you are entitled to will be 35%! Say if your car insurance is $1,000 a year, you’d be only paying $665 for the year.

Protect your NCD

Of course, sometimes an accident can’t be prevented. When you submit a claim to your car insurer, your NCD will be affected.

If you are keen to keep your discount, especially if you are at higher levels of NCD, you might consider getting the NCD Protector Plus.

With the NCD Protector Plus, you will get more than just NCD protection! In fact, you will be able to advance to the next NCD level even with 1 at-fault claim. Without it, an at-fault claim can reduce your NCD drastically as seen below:

So, if you want to save on car insurance, always remember that keeping a clean driving record is the most reliable way of qualifying for discounts. With the NCD and Safe Driver Discount, you can expect to save a few hundred dollars off your car insurance premiums a year! How’s that for staying safe and saving money at the same time?