Angloinfo Texts_Vehicle Accidents and Insurance in Indonesia


Vehicle Accidents and Insurance in Indonesia

General Observations

Many foreign drivers are aware of the physical and safety challenges common to Indonesia, but sometimes not the legal ones.  This page sheds light on the liabilities associated with insurance and road accidents.  

Is Vehicle Insurance Required in Indonesia?

First of all:  as used throughout this paper, the term “vehicle” refers to both cars and motor bikes/motorcycles.

UU No.22 Tahun 2009- Lalu intas dan Angkutan Jalan contains the current articles of law that pertain to legal matters concerning driving in Indonesia, including vehicle insurance.  Nowhere in this document is insurance declared mandatory except for vehicles licensed to carry public passengers and commercial trucks.  Still, there is disagreement about whether vehicle insurance is mandatory for passenger vehicles and motor bikes.

Some authorities claim third-party vehicle insurance (liability) is mandatory for all vehicles and motor bikes or else the vehicle will not be considered legal.  The reality is that most vehicles and certainly most motor bikes in Indonesia are not insured.  In order to cover uninsured third party drivers, the government has created a third-party vehicle insurance program as funded by a levy on vehicle registration fees that only covers bodily injuries. This is managed by PT Jasa Raharja (Persero).

This means the following: if a foreign driver driving their own vehicle is at fault for a road accident, the victims will be compensated for bodily injuries whether the foreigner carries insurance or not.

Insuring Vehicles- what is necessary and sufficient?

Regardless of the confusion with the traffic laws, foreigners who own a vehicle or motor bike should purchase an appropriate insurance package.

And in the following circumstance, insurance will be required:  Anyone who buys a new vehicle in Indonesia and finances it through a bank must be insured for collision/total loss and theft.  Banks loans require this. 

As most drivers aren’t covered by their own insurance, third party or liability insurance is encouraged.  Foreigners who own a vehicle or motor bike should carry collision/ total loss, theft and third-party (or liability) vehicle insurance.
Medical insurance for the driver and passengers of all vehicles involved in an accident is recommended, too.  (Again, refer to the Jasa Raharja compensation program)

Types of Auto Insurance Available

As in most countries, there is a long list of types of coverage.  It is a bit like ordering food A la carte.  They include third party liability, collision/total loss, theft, medical expenses; natural disaster (flood, wind, earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption); riots and general civil disturbance.  Each extension carries its own premium.

In the case of theft

Note that in the case of auto or motor bike theft, it is very rare the vehicle will be recovered. 

First things first: Eligibility for Purchasing a Vehicle in Indonesia

Buying insurance is not a problem in Indonesia. Most Indonesian auto insurers will sell insurance to anyone as long as the vehicle’s ownership papers are in order.  

The more important question is: Can a foreign national buy a vehicle in Indonesia to begin with?  Without a lot of trouble, only foreigners who carry a KITAS or KITAP will be able to purchase a vehicle in Indonesia.  It has been reported by foreigners carrying a VISA Sosial Budaya (good for only 6 months) that they could not buy a new vehicle without having an Indonesian sponsor assume ownership.

Many foreigners report that only a passport and either a KITAS or KITAP are the only documents required.

If the foreigner is buying insurance as mandated by the bank financing the purchase, note the following: foreigners applying for credit from an Indonesian bank will most likely be required to show most of the following documents. Others will probably be required.  Ask the bank involved for details.

This is mentioned is passing because a foreigner must have residency status in order to open their own Indonesian bank account, and a bank account at the bank where credit is being applied for.

NOTE:  prepare by making a photocopy of all the documents listed

                  SKLD- Surat Keterangan Lapor Diri
                  STM- Surat Tanda Melapor
                  SKTT- Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal

*NOTE: a foreigner with either temporary or permanent residence (KITAS or KITAP, respectively) will be required to have these documents as a matter of course, so they should be available anyway.

All this doesn’t mean that a foreigner without a KITAS or KITAP can’t buy a second hand vehicle and have it insured.  The problem has to do with the legal title.  A foreigner without residency status can’t register the vehicle in their own name.  This means the title will show the owner to be an Indonesian as arranged by the foreigner.  The foreigner in effect cannot be credited as owner.  


There are many vehicle insurers in Indonesia, and many offer low premiums.   Price is not the only consideration.  The buyer  should investigate the claim payment record of the insurance companies they are considering.  

Probably the best way to do this is to seek out other foreigners who have not only purchased vehicle insurance in Indonesia, but have also filed an accident claim.  Reputable insurers pay valid claims.  In a place like Bali or Jakarta, that won’t take too much time and research, but in remote regions it will likely be more difficult.  One valuable source of information can often be found in an expat forum exploring practical issues about living in Indonesia.


You might be able to purchase insurance in your native country that will cover a vehicle you may later purchase in Indonesia. 

Prior to arrival, a foreigner planning on buying a vehicle in Indonesia should contact insurers in their home country.  First, find out if there are home or regional companies that may have a joint agreement with one or more Indonesian insurance companies as applies to auto insurance.  Secondly, investigate services offered by so-called World Wide insurance carriers.  (They may or not be joint venture insurers)

Joint ventures between foreign companies and those in Indonesia have been well-established in the life insurance area, but much less so with automobile insurance.  To date, most foreign insurance companies consider the risks too high.  If you do come across a joint venture vehicle insurer, the premiums will most likely be expensive.

Because of this economic reality, most foreigners report their auto insurer to be Indonesian-owned.  But there is a lot of disagreement as to which are the best companies. 


The following is a typical claims procedure as required by Indonesian insurance companies.
Accidents involving liability with third parties are of particular importance.

For repairs, send the vehicle to a garage (or bengkel) as authorized by the insurance company.  If no authorized garage exists in your area, first ask for a repair estimate from a chosen garage and submit to insurance company for authorization in advance.  Also, the insurance company will want to inspect the vehicle damage or loss prior to repair.

Third Party Claims (vehicle damage only)

Third Parties Claims (bodily injuries)


Collision Insurance- Claims for Total Loss or Theft of Motor Vehicle

Fill out/provide the following documents:

In the event of total loss or theft of the insured’s motor vehicle, the insurance company shall send an adjuster (or “surveyor”) to inspect the location of the loss or theft.  Interviews will also be conducted, and statements taken where appropriate.



General Considerations

As touched upon in the AnglINFO section of “Driving in Indonesia”, there are customary practices that Indonesians follow after a road accident takes place.  Because most Indonesians don’t carry insurance, damages are assessed and payments negotiated at the scene of the accident.

The Indonesian police classify road accidents as either kecelakahan ringan, kecelakahan sedang, kecelakahan berat (minor, medium, and serious).  By law, they need only appear if called in by an accident victim or the accident is of a serious nature.  Serious accidents include bodily injuries resulting in hospitalization and death.  The victim of a minor accident who has suffered bodily injuries has the right to call in a policeman to take a police report, but if they are compensated to satisfaction at the scene by the at-fault party, they may forego contacting the authorities.




A foreigner involved in a road accident will have to follow common sense.  Indonesia is known for its lax safety standards, and if involved in an accident, great vigilance will be required in the aftermath.

The law requires that every vehicle carries an emergency triangle and orange safety jacket.  The triangle should be place strategically on the road to signal oncoming traffic, and the jacket worn.  Damaged vehicles should be moved off to the side of the road if possible.  But road conditions are often not safe and shoulders not available.  Sometimes crowds will be drawn to the scene of an accident and further compromise safety.  If the scene of the accident is dangerous for any reason, the police should be called in to direct traffic around the accident and prevent too many onlookers from gathering.


A minor accident in Indonesia is defined by whether anyone involved was seriously injured or not.

First rule:  never leave the scene of an accident until all reporting and negotiations are finalized.

As applies to minor accidents, the following are rules of thumb that are part and parcel to the Indonesian social contract:



Anecdotal evidence illustrates the last two points listed above.  Payment of damages will often fall to the foreigner if he or she is the driver.  

The foreigner can negotiate alone or call in the police to conduct negotiations and file a report. If damages are slight, then extra-judicial negotiations might better suit everyone involved. 

No insurance claim is good without an accompanying police report, and this must be taken into balance when making a decision.  It all comes down to whether the police will claim the foreign driver was at fault or not.  There is no assurance the police will exonerate the foreign driver of culpability in their report, though the odds should increase if the police actually witnessed the accident and the fault was clearly with the other party. (See claim procedures above)



A policeman will report to an accident scene if it is serious or one of the parties involved demands it.  Likely they will file a report, too, if they witness the accident.

The police have the power to conduct a musyawarah, or negotiation between the parties involved. Once agreed upon, the policeman can draw up a SWDKLLJ (Sumbangan Wajib Dana Kecelakaan Lalu Lintas Jalan), or Mandatory Financial Contribution as Compensation for a Road Accident.

If the SWDKLLJ determines the foreign driver is at fault and must pay damages, then there really is not much recourse while at the scene of the accident.  A payment will have to be made or quickly arranged otherwise the possibility exists of being detained by local authorities.  If found at fault, the foreigner should demand the victims sign a Surat Pernyataan (affidavit) after receiving agreed-upon compensation.   The statement should also be signed by either the police or perhaps the village chief.  Without a legal affidavit signed, the paid party has legal recourse to seek out the paying party and request more money retroactively.

Note that a Surat Pernyataan can be drawn up as demanded by a foreign driver who provides compensation, but it may not be considered legal in a court of law if the affidavit was made without official police presence.  

The SWDKLLJ will be filed with the umbrella office than as SAMSAT (Sistem Administrasi Manunggal Satu Atap (Administration Under One Roof).  SAMSAT is the clearing house for all legal/governmental matters as pertains to motorized vehicles. 



In the case of serious injuries, the police must be called in immediately.  If the accident happens in a remote area and the police cannot be contacted, responsibility will fall on the party with a functioning vehicle to transport victims to the hospital, clinic or doctor’s office.  If the police arrive, chances are they will do so on motor bike, and if an ambulance service isn’t available (it often isn’t), they can demand someone at the scene with a vehicle to transport victims.

Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police have given permission.  This means waiting for the injured to be transported.  As mentioned, you might be called upon to transport victims. Police must assess the damages, possibly conduct a musyawarah and write their police report. 

IMPORTANT: If you need a copy of the police report, you should request one immediately.  If you are not given one, then you must find out where the local police office is request a copy.



The following provides information which only applies to Indonesian citizens.  It is included to highlight the fact that most drivers in Indonesia don’t have insurance.   If involved in a vehicular accident where the driver at fault is not insured, victims can seek compensation, but only for bodily injury or death. To apply they must report to the government sanctioned organization, Jasa Raharja. (See important information below)

Jasa Raharja- Asuransi Kecelakaan Lalulintas Jalan dan Penumpang Umum

   (Road Traffic Accident Insurance which includes coverage for Public Transport Passengers)

Compensation Procedure


1. How to obtain compensation