Chance for young drivers to get lower insurance premiums

Most young and new drivers face steep insurance premiums, but the Automobile Association of Singapore (AA Singapore) is willing to go low - on two conditions.

In a bid to educate young and inexperienced drivers on road safety, AAS Insurance Agency, a wholly owned subsidiary of AA Singapore, will require drivers interested in the Young and Inexperienced Drivers (YID) Scheme to undergo a mandatory, four-hour driving programme.

"We are trying to help develop good habits right from the beginning," said AA Singapore president Bernard Tay.

The policy was launched yesterday and is offered in collaboration with Liberty Insurance Singapore.

It also requires drivers to download an app and keep it on to track driving behaviour for six months.

This will reflect areas of improvement for the driver and encourage healthy completion as users see their scores and rankings against others.

With these two conditions checked, young drivers below the age of 24, or those with less than two years' driving experience, will be entitled to lower premiums.

 
 

For example, a 20-year-old male motorist driving a 2016 Toyota Altis would usually pay about $4,125 with $3,000 excess, but under the AAS YID scheme he would pay about $3,780 with $1,000 excess.

While there are currently no statistics on the correlation between young drivers and accidents in Singapore, general trends show such drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents.

According to the United States National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 2014 youth drivers represented 6 per cent of US licensed drivers, but accounted for 9 per cent of total fatal crashes.

"This is definitely a higher risk group, and we hope to mitigate some of these issues," said Mr Lee Wai Mun, chief executive officer of AA Singapore.

Mr Chang Sucheng, chief executive officer of Liberty Insurance Singapore, added: "Everyone starts out as a young and inexperienced driver. We hope the classes help the community to steer towards better road safety."

Ms Thea Tan, a 21-year-old who obtained her licence a month ago, said: "The scheme looks rather enticing, but I will still compare it with other insurance policies.

"It also seems quite tedious to remember that the app must be constantly on while driving in order for it to track your road habits."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2019, with the headline 'Chance for young drivers to get lower insurance premiums'. Print Edition | Subscribe