• Good car insurance is a must-have in PH

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    Driving in our beloved Metro is not exactly a walk in the park. Even a leisurely weekend drive can quickly escalate into a road rage-inducing ride. It does not come as a surprise that the traffic in Metro Manila is deemed as one of the worst in the world. The roads are congested and in poor repair, and to make matters worse, we are obliged to share the road with pedestrians, buses, jeepneys, tricycles, plus the occasional horse and carriage.

    The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recorded 109,322 vehicular accidents in 2016, a number that is rising on a yearly basis. If broken down, we would be looking at 299 accidents daily, 12 accidents per hour, or one accident every five minutes. Four hundred twenty-six of these will be fatal.

    In addition, the Philippines is the most exposed country to tropical storms in the world. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) states that on average the country is battered by eight to nine storms a year. Flooding in many areas of the Metro is a normal occurrence during rainy season, and most, if not all of us, have seen the harrowing images of floating cars along España when Ondoy hit our shores.

    Flooding, earthquakes, theft, and accidents—name it, Metro Manila has it. Now how do you protect your car from all these? It’s high time to review your car insurance policy. While many perceive it a necessary evil and just another obligation that adds to the cost of car ownership, the truth is insurance saves you from heavier expenses and time-consuming negotiations.

    With the situation we’re blessed with, it would be overly optimistic of us to merely rely on the government mandated Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTPL) insurance, which only protects us against possible liabilities to third parties. The CTPL is very limited since it only protects pedestrians from potential damage or injury; however, this does not cover loss or property damage.

    If you want to provide yourself with some measure of financial security, then you should opt for comprehensive car insurance. Although it may be more expensive, when trouble does rear its ugly head, comprehensive car insurance will provide a wider range of coverage. This includes theft, damage and malicious acts, liabilities caused by collisions, fire, acts of God and nature, as well as personal accident insurance for passengers.

    For the first three years of ownership of your brand-new car, you will be spending at least 2.25 percent of its fair market value on a yearly basis for comprehensive insurance. Add an additional half percent if you opt for Acts of God and Nature coverage, which is a must if you live in a flood-prone area. Most providers also offer options for higher passenger accident coverage for injuries sustained during road accidents.

    Other add-ons to keep in mind are Medical Reimbursement, which lets you refund medical expenses from injuries related to the accident. Also take note that towing, roadside assistance and repairs are usually optional, so be very diligent in checking the policy you opt for if these are included.

    The best way to choose the right insurance package is to deal with a reputable insurance broker so they can present all the options and do all the tedious paperwork for you at no additional cost. A broker will also come in handy if and when you need to file a claim.

    In this day and age, we can never be too confident about our safety on the road. With the alarming stats mentioned, road accidents are a clear and present danger that we have to face daily. With the proper insurance plan for your needs, you won’t have to fear such dangers. For the peace of mind it provides, spending a few thousand more to know your car will be covered is well worth it.

    NIC FABIAN

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