The phased liberalisation of motor and fire tariffs announced by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) saw premium rates for motor comprehensive being liberalised beginning from July 1 in phase two of the programme. While full detariffication will only come about in 2019, consumers will now have to start paying for their vehicle insurance premiums no longer on a fixed rate basis, but on a risk-based assessment system.

What this means is that many factors will come into play in how insurers and Takaful operators determine premiums – for one, pricing is set to differ between insurers. This means that theoretically, no two insurers will have identical pricing for a motor comprehensive policy.

This means that consumers now have to shop around for competitive pricing rates and coverage that best meets their insurance needs, which also changes the dynamic of how pricing of vehicles are viewed.

Previously, with tariffs in place, the insurance was determined by fixed price lists, and so an on-the-road price of a vehicle was easily quotable with insurance in place, a method practiced by many automakers and distributors.

Now, this is set to change, what with insurance losing its standardisation as a result of the removal of tariffs. Buyers will need to watch out for different ways of car prices being advertised – some companies even list a nett selling price for their offerings. What most can expect to see are car prices being quoted on – or revised to – an ‘on-the-road, without insurance’ basis, to make it easier for consumers to work their purchase from.

On a site like CarBase.my, the country’s #1 buyer’s guide to cars on sale in Malaysia, you’ll have noticed that all new vehicle pricing on the site is listed without insurance, which makes it a much simpler process when it comes to calculating everything.

If you’ve started paying for a motor comprehensive insurance policy from July 1, has there been an increase or decrease in your premium, and was finding the right policy a fuss-free affair? Share your views with us in the comments section.