Insurers aim to help reduce accidents by 20%

THE General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) has set a stretched target to help reduce road accidents nationwide by 20% this year from 521,466 recorded in 2016 and by 50% from 2020 onwards in collaboration with enforcement agencies.

Chairman Antony Lee said the current trend of accidents and fatalities caused by heavy and commercial vehicles posed the gravest concern to all.

“Although consumer education on road safety is important, enforcement by the relevant authorities is equally crucial,” said Lee.

Transport Ministry statistics showed that 521,466 accidents were recorded in 2016, up 7% from 489,606 in 2015.

Total deaths caused by road accidents also increased 7% to 7,152 in 2016 from 6,706 in 2015, while the numbers in the first nine months of 2017 revealed 6,083 deaths on the road from 400,788 accidents.

Lee added that PIAM welcomed the Road Transport Department’s Kejara System, which was aimed at curbing traffic offences, as information on errant and high-risk drivers was useful.

On the liberalisation of the motor tariff, he said information on traffic offenders would help insurers determine the risk profile so that bad risks were taken into account, while good drivers were incentivised.

“PIAM looks forward to working closely with all government agencies on a concrete action plan as soon as possible to achieve its target.

“On a positive note, the industry recorded a decline of 23% in motor theft counts (at 15,323 for all classes of vehicles),” he said.

PIAM deputy chairman Chua Seck Guan said the Phased Liberalisation of the Motor Tariff is proceeding smoothly since its implementation on July 1, 2017.

“The National Consumer Education Campaign has raised public awareness on the benefits to consumers and one of the expected outcomes of the liberalisation is the introduction of new and innovative products to provide better protection to consumers.

“The industry has to date launched 31 new motor and 22 new fire products in the market,” he added.

The general insurance industry recorded gross written premiums totalling RM17.65bil in 2017 with growth remaining stagnant compared to the previous year.

Overall, the industry displayed resilience with a positive swing in the second half of the year, rebounding from an 1.9% decline over the first six months. — Bernama

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