Bank Negara to improve process for motor claims

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara is working with the industry, consumer associations and relevant stakeholders on reforms to improve the efficiency of the motor claim settlement process.

“The goal is to reduce the turnaround time for the settlement of motor claims and enhance its transparency for the benefit of policyholders,” the central bank’s consumer and market conduct department director Lim Hsin Ying told StarBiz.

Noting that the motor claims process involved multiple parties and could be stressful for those making claims, Lim said all parties involved from claimants, tow truck operators, workshops, spare parts suppliers, adjusters and insurers, police, hospitals and lawyers must do their part to achieve better outcomes for the public.

Despite improvements seen over the years, Lim noted that fraud risk remains high, often necessitating prolonged claims investigations and negotiations, resulting in poor outcomes for the motoring public.

“A key focus of the reforms is to enhance transparency at various stages of the claims process that is vital to stemming fraud risk.”

Lim emphasised the need for improved transparency on the costs to drivers for motor repairs, such as information on the availability and pricing of vehicle spare parts.

She added that the fraud intelligence system has improved insurers’ ability to identify potential cases of motor claims fraud promptly.

The reforms will include efforts to provide better information to various parties on the claims process, which will improve the turnaround time in assessing the vehicles involved in accidents by an adjuster or insurer.

Measures will also focus on raising professionalism standards in the adjusting industry.

Lim advised consumers to be clear on what is and is not covered under the motor policy they plan to purchase.

She pointed out that certain motor policies may require policyholders to notify or seek approval from the insurer before sending their vehicles to a non-panel workshop for repairs.

“If there is a workshop that you prefer to use, do check if your motor policy allows for repairs at your preferred workshop or whether conditions or restrictions apply,” she said, adding that Bank Negara required such terms and conditions to be clearly stated in the motor policy and the product disclosure sheet, which summarised the key features, benefits and exclusions of all products offered by financial service providers.

Since the rollout of the phased liberalisation of the motor tariff in 2016, policyholders have more options to select the type of coverage they need, said Lim, adding that motor policies vary among insurers in terms of features and coverage provided.

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