Car insurance claims up during festive seasons

General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) chairman Antony Lee.

PETALING JAYA: The balik kampung rush in conjunction with festive seasons is a busy time for motor vehicle insurance claims because of road accidents.

Over two million vehicles are expected to ply PLUS highways this Chinese New Year.

As for the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway and the East Coast Expressway Phase 1, there is an estimated 60% increase in vehicles.

General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) chairman Antony Lee said come festive season each year, more accidents tend to occur, resulting in a hike in the number of insurance claims.

“Based on the accident statistics from the police published by the Road Safety Department (JKJR), there are more road accidents recorded during the festive seasons every year, ” he said in a statement yesterday.

According to a JKJR report, 20,829 accidents were recorded and 216 lives were lost on the road from Jan 29 to Feb 2,2019 during the Chinese New Year period last year.

Lee, who outlined steps for road users should there be a motor accident, said the first tip was to “be calm, polite and courteous and do not admit liability or offer any settlement or payment”.

Then note down as much as possible the particulars of the drivers involved, such as their name, IC number and address, plus their driving licence and telephones.

Also take note of the name of the insurer of the other vehicle, the make or model and registration numbers of the other vehicle involved as well as registration number of tow trucks, if any, said Lee.

“Make a simple diagram of the accident scene. This will help you when making a police report later on, as you will also be required to do so.

“Snap photos and note down the extent of the damage to the vehicles or property involved, if the situation permits.

“Then immediately call either your insurer’s roadside assistance service (if provided) or Accident Assist Call Centre (AACC) 15-500 for assistance, ” said Lee.

AACC is owned by general insurers and takaful operators and managed by Telekom Malaysia with a dedicated 24- hour line.

“It is a public service provided by insurance companies and takaful providers as an industry to drivers who need roadside assistance due to a road accident or a breakdown or if you run out of petrol.

“It’s a free add-on service on top of the contractual obligations of your own policy coverage, ” said Lee.

He also urged drivers who meet with an accident to lodge a police report within 24 hours, adding that drivers must also cooperate with the investigator or loss adjuster appointed by the insurer.

Allianz Malaysia Berhad chief executive officer Zakri Khir also said that based on their data, there is usually an increase in accidents during the festive period.

“This will then translate into higher Motor Own Damage claims by our customers and the likely consequence of this, there will be an increase in Third Party Property Damage and Third Party Bodily Injury claims, ” he said in a statement.

Non-national cars have a higher payout compared to national cars as it is a well-known fact that parts for non-national cars cost more, said Zakri.

“Like it or not, accidents do happen. As much as we try to avoid them, it is important to get the necessary protection.

“This is where insurers like us play a crucial role, ” said Zakri.

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