I still remember my first driving experience – I was fresh out of high school and terrified of learning how to drive. A week before my theory exam, the car I was in met with an accident and the incident shook me a little. I passed my theory with almost perfect score but it took me three months before I was ready to get into (then) the little Kancil with my instructor, Mr. Ang.
Mr Ang laughed at me often, because I was such a mouse back then. After 16 lessons with him, I was ready for my driving test. I was really well-behaved when I had the “P” sticker stuck to my car’s windscreen and I always avoided trouble lest I lose my license (that’s literally the end of the world for an 18-year old).
I then got my proper driving license and along with it, a whole load of guts. I was aggressive (I think I still am) and sometimes reckless, which worried my parents since I’m a girl. I was quite the tyrant – even going till the extent of chasing another female driver along the highway and hurling a huge bottle of water at her vehicle because she started a fight with me on my way to work.
I’d like to think I’ve toned down significantly, but Jien thinks I’m just as aggressive as I was when I was 20. He doesn’t like it when I get my hands on a powerful car because it brings out the road tyrant in me – wait till you see me on sports mode haha!
Some of my horrible driving habits include swearing (I’m sure most of us are guilty of this), texting, applying makeup and eating while being behind the wheel. It’s not something I’m proud of as those habits have gotten me into tricky situation with the traffic police.
I used to opt to drive even after a few drinks because I don’t trust taxi drivers in Malaysia. But thanks to the current ride-sharing services we have, I no longer need to drive after a night-out with friends. Drinking and driving is most definitely a big no-no, because you’re not in total control of your vehicle – I feel foolish each time I think of those days when I still went ahead with driving.
Jien on the other hand, has always been a responsible driver. He doesn’t park his car illegally and even slows down when the traffic light turns orange (I know right, OMG). My mother thinks he’s the complete opposite of me, which is probably why she likes him so much.
That aside, I recently learnt about motor insurance liberalisation – which means your motor insurance and motor takaful are now de-tariffed. Prior to this, all motor insurances were of fixed rate so it didn’t matter which insurance provider you opt for. It also meant good drivers were heavily subsidising for reckless drivers, which is unfair to a certain extent.
With the liberalisation of motor insurance/takaful, you now have better control of your car premium/takaful contribution by proving you’re a low risk driver. It’s similar to personal or life insurance where you’re assessed by genetics / family history, drinking habits and lifestyle habits in general. I like the idea of being able to make a (positive) difference in my motor insurance/motor takaful by practicing good road behaviour.
It’s also a trait that Malaysians in general lack – as seen on viral posts on social media. I’m pretty sure “Kiki” and the “Selipar Lady” are now being labelled as high risk! :P Now that motor insurance is being liberalised, I’ll need to work towards being a low-risk driver so I can get better rates and coverage for my motor premium.
While I think I’m a decent driver, I feel I still need to shop around for my motor insurance as different companies have different accessing methods when it comes to premium pricing. For more information about liberalization of motor insurance/takaful, click here and here.