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Car Insurance FAQs

Car insurance is a contract between you and the insurance provider in which you agree to pay premiums in exchange for financial protection in the event that your car is stolen or damaged in an accident. The amount of protection you get from your car insurance policy is determined by the yearly premium you pay and the options you choose.

In addition to breaching the law by not having car insurance, if you are at fault in a car accident and don't have insurance, you are responsible for paying for the repair of both your car and the vehicle you damaged. In other words, car insurance protects you from paying the costs of the repair of your vehicle and the financial liability as a result of these unwanted events.

There are two types of car insurance that are available in the Philippines, these are (1) Compulsory Third-Party Liability (CTPL) insurance, and (2) Comprehensive insurance.
  1. Compulsory Third-Party Liability (CTPL) Insurance

    Prior to registering or renewing a vehicle, you must first obtain a “Compulsory Third-Party Liability (CTPL)” car insurance as mandated by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for all motor vehicle owners. This type of insurance can protect you from certain liabilities if your car causes an accident that results in the death or bodily injury of a third party. One of the main reasons why this is needed is that pedestrians or any unsuspecting third-party victims are assured that they won’t be left without any aid if they get injured in an accident.

  2. Comprehensive Car Insurance

    Comprehensive car insurance policies have a higher yearly premium than CTPL since their coverage is broader, as the word "comprehensive" implies. A comprehensive car insurance coverage typically covers the car in its original state, excluding third-party accessories. You can, however, have your accessories declared under the policy, which will result in a higher annual premium.

Every motor vehicle owner must have CTPL insurance before registering/renewing their car with the LTO in order to be protected from any financial liability for third-party caused bodily injury and/or death resulting from an accident involving their vehicle.

You can buy CTPL insurance online at a reasonable price (as regulated and standardized by the Insurance Commission). All you have to do is contact your preferred insurance company and provide the necessary documents:

  • Original vehicle receipt (OR)
  • Certificate of Registration (CR)
  • Driver's License
  • One government ID (aside from Driver's License)
Unfortunately, CTPL insurance only covers death or bodily injury to a third party, so you'll have to pay for your own injuries and automobile repairs. Having comprehensive car insurance provides top-up protection to cover those losses.

The inclusions on this policy, however, may differ depending on your car insurance provider. For example, theft coverage may be limited to the parts required for the insured vehicles to function correctly, as some insurance companies may refuse to cover stolen components or accessories found within the vehicle. If your car is stolen, you can be reimbursed for a set amount depending on its fair market value and depreciation.

When your car sustains damage that is not caused by normal use, such as a collision with another vehicle or being struck by falling debris, your insurance provider will shoulder the costs of repairs or replacement. If your vehicle is stolen or robbed, the same rules apply.

Another benefit of having comprehensive car insurance in the Philippines is that it can protect you from very costly obligations, especially if you hit a pedestrian or damage property such as other cars. Rather than paying for these costs out of pocket, car insurance allows you to file a claim with the insurer for your own damage, subject to the limits of your policy.

In the case of natural disasters which are beyond human control, there is an inclusion of coverage that is known as “Acts of God” or “Acts of Nature”. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, typhoons, tornadoes, hurricanes, hail, tsunamis, or wildfires can cause damage to your automobile. This kind of inclusion is extremely beneficial, especially in the Philippines, where natural calamities are often.

Normally, car insurance providers advise you to consider availing add-ons not covered by CTPL or Comprehensive Car Insurance. These include:
  • Acts of God/Nature – provides financial protection in case your car was damaged due to fortuitous events such as floods, typhoons, earthquakes, and other similar natural disasters.
  • Personal Accident Insurance - financially protects the driver and passengers from injuries or death in the event of an accident.
  • Roadside Assistance - is typically an extra service that is optional but offers peace of mind in the event that you breakdown or require towing.
  • Voluntary Third Party Liability – regular CTPL on covers up to ₱100,000; you may opt to avail this add-on to provide financial security for indemnities beyond this limit.
You can get insurance for your old second hand vehicle. But take into account these few tips:
  • Most car insurance providers only offer coverage for vehicles up to ten (10) years old ; anything older than that is not insurable, but some may still do so at a higher premium.
  • It is more likely that an insurance application won't be granted for any vehicle whose repair costs exceed its market value. When it comes to older vehicles, it is difficult on the part of the insurance provider to find any replacement for the parts that are not readily available on the market, making it too expensive for them.
  • If you own a desirable classic or vintage car, your insurance premium will be higher, and you might need specialized coverage for this kind of vehicle.

Despite the aforementioned limitations, you can always inquire with your preferred insurance provider about whether you can still insure your old used car.

In the event of getting involved in an accident, you must secure necessary documentation to support your car insurance claim:
  • Take clear pictures of the accident, paying close attention to the damaged area of the involved cars
  • Prepare documents including:
    • Original Receipt (OR)
    • Certificate of Registration (CR)
    • Driver’s License
    • Your insurance policy
  • Though not always necessary but securing police report may help expediting your insurance claim
  • Third party’s contact information and driver’s license

The aforementioned documents are what you need to begin a claim; additional documentation may be required in the event of hospitalization or death.

Depending on the policy and the insurance provider, a car insurance coverage in the Philippines typically lasts one year. To avoid inconvenience and to always be protected financially, car owners must renew their car insurance by contacting with the insurance provider on time (better two months before expiration). Moreover, when you renew your car insurance, you'll be able to make changes to your existing policy or decide to switch insurance companies.