updated 25 Sep 2012, 12:16
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Hubby, I've a motor-insurance query...
by Kenny Chee

WHEN it comes to buying motor insurance, men and women are poles apart.

Women tend to ask their spouses or partners about buying motor insurance, whereas men usually consult insurance agents, according to survey findings released yesterday.

The survey also showed that most Singaporeans discuss their motor-insurance options with another person, with six in 10 doing so.

The people they consult most are their spouses or partners, insurance agents and friends.

Tellingly, more women look to their spouses or partners for this, with about five in 10 women doing so. Only three in 10 men would talk to their wives or partners about choosing a motor- insurance policy.

When it comes to insurance agents, nearly four in 10 men would consult them, compared to nearly two in 10 women.

Conducted in July by home-grown research firm Boardroom Research, the survey polled more than 400 motorists here.

It was commissioned by Singapore firm CompareXpress, which runs a motor-insurance comparison website here.

The survey also found other differences between the genders.

While as many women would do their research online for motor insurance as men (nearly six in 10), women did not tend to ask insurance companies for insurance quotes.

About two in 10 women get quotes from insurance brokers' websites and directly from insurance firms. This contrasts with about four in 10 men.

Men usually review more quotes than women as well.

About five in 10 men would ask for three or more quotes, compared to three in 10 women.

Music conductor Dawn Yin, 28, said she usually asks her fiance who drives about selecting an insurance plan for her car.

"I don't feel that I'm very knowledgeable about these things. The technicalities baffle me. I ask my fiance because he seems to be more knowledgeable in this area," she said.

Ms Yin added that she prefers discussing motor-insurance plans with her fiance because he can explain them better than an insurance agent. She trusts him more than an agent as well.

Electronics engineer Christopher Koh, 33, often consults his insurance agent directly about choosing a motor-insurance plan for the car he and his wife drive.

Mr Koh and his wife had mutually agreed that he would be the decision maker when it came to motor insurance.

"My wife hasn't looked for a motor-insurance policy before so, if she were to do so, it would be like starting from scratch.

I've always been (the one) speaking to the insurance agent, so I let him settle the motor insurance for me," he said.

Even so, Mr Koh said that he would check with his wife before purchasing a policy because it is a big-ticket family expense.

The survey also found that Singaporeans' top reasons for switching motor insurers are high premiums, the realisation that they paid more than they should, and the extent of coverage.

Singaporeans tend to save on annual premiums if they reviewed more policy quotes, too.

CompareXpress launched its motor-insurance comparison site on Oct 2, possibly the first of its kind here, because it saw a chance to give people a free and easy way to review different policies in minutes.

Mr Laurent Junique, chief executive of the firm, said: "It was clear from the survey findings that motorists know they will get a better deal by shopping around."

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