Motor insurance policy specially designed for the elderly launched

SINGAPORE - Elderly drivers can opt for a new motor insurance policy specially designed for them.

Launched on Thursday, it is for drivers aged 65 and older with at least four years of driving experience.

The policy for private cars offers, among other things, discounts on premiums for those with a good driving record, as well as free medical examinations, which are mandatory for drivers once they turn 65.

The Traffic Police requires them to do it every three years.

The policy, called AA Senior Motor Plus, is issued by Liberty Insurance in a tie-up with the Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) and Singapore Optometric Association.

It comes in the wake of a government call for insurers to offer better products for elderly drivers, AAS president Bernard Tay said yesterday.

Elderly drivers struggle to get motor insurance as they are often penalised with higher premiums.

Worse, they may be denied coverage altogether, a complaint the AAS has received from many members, Mr Tay said.

Motor insurance premiums and the excess amount, which refers to the initial amount of a claim that the driver has to pay, vary according to such factors as the car's model and age, as well as the driver's experience, his claims record and age.

Insurers tend to view older drivers as more accident-prone owing to slower reflexes, despite their longer experience on the road.

These drivers, however, tend to be less aggressive and reckless behind the wheel, noted Mr Derek Low, executive vice-president of personal lines at Liberty Insurance.

Consumers Association of Singapore executive director Seah Seng Choon lauded the policy, and said: "Drivers should also shop around for the best deal, as there are over 30 insurers here, and many offer motor insurance."

Part-time engineer Gerard Ho, 70, who pays $900 annually in car insurance premiums, hopes the new policy will be "reasonable".

"Any reduction would be good. I drive three to four times a week... the car is still a necessity for me."

jianxuan@sph.com.sg


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