Here are the questins posed by a third party claimant, and reply given by me.
Friends from the industry have told me, that insurers make it difficult for people who are claiming against it for motor insurance policies. I just got my car banged by someone and Income (who insured the other party) have been refusing to coorporate with my workshop for the third-party claim, despite my workshop sending in pictures, to get it expedited.
I'm told that this delaying tactic is common practice for Income when a workshop or insurance company wants to claim against it, and now I've experienced it first hand.
We have found, over the years, that the workshop likes to submit an inflated bill for motor repairs. If they can repair a car for $X for their customer, they will charge 2 times of $X for an insurance company, especially for a third party claim. The distributor's workshop (ie the distributor who sell the car) will charge even more.
Negotiation over the price of repair is the main cause of delay. We like to settle the claim early, but at a reasonable price.
We have advised third party claimants to report their claim to our Idac center immediately after the accident. This allows us to assess the damages and estimate a fair repair cost. As we handle many repairs each day, we are able to get a repair cost that is fair and acceptable to the repair workshop.
If your workshop cannot accept our price, and many other workshop find the price to be reasonable, then your workshop is trying to profiteer on the repair.
If you choose to bypass our request, and you go to your own workshop, and they send us an "inflated bill", what do you expect us to do? Do not blame us for making things difficult. I think that you and your workshop have to be fair to us as well.
If you wish to form a fair opinion about our claim process, I invite you to visit our office. You can look at the number of repairs that are done by us, and the customer satisfaction rate, including the satisfaction for third party claims submitted through our Idac procedure.
Sure, I know of workshops that charge inflated rates. But why can't the victim of an accident go to his own workshop? How can it be that I have to go patronise Income's workshops?
If your workshop is willing to charge a reasonable price, we agree to let the repair be done at your workshop. But, we have to agree on the price first.
There are many workshop that can repair the vehicle, using new parts (for a new car) and provide an acceptable standard of repair, for a reasonable price. This should be the "benchmark" price.
If you were involved in an accident, would you send in your Mercedes to just any workshop that the third party insurer assigns you to? Obviously not, because it's of no fault of yours that workshops are inflating prices and that your vehicle is banged into by someone else.
My honest answer is "yes". I will let my insurer handle the repair, provided that they undertake to ensure that the repair is of an acceptable standard. They are many workshops that can do an acceptable level of work at a fair price. Over the past years, I have a two accidents (also caused by other parties) and have been happy to let my vehicle be repaired at the quality workshop under NTUC Income.
While insurance firms hagger over costs, they often forget that their customers are already stressed out with an accident, struggling to repair things and move on.
Our policyholders are happy to let us arrange the repair. Based on our post repair survey, over 95% of our policyholders have expressed satisfaction at the quality of repair and customer service.
If the third party claimant is willing to follow this procedure, I am sure that they will find it to be stress free.
People buy insurance so that when the unexpected happens, we have something to fall back on. Claimants do not profiteer from the process. We expect insurance firms to help us, not prolong the uncertainty of a claim.
The correct procedure is for you to claim against your own insurer and let them claim from NTUC Income. It is their duty to provide this customer service to you, as you are their customer. If you are not at fault, they should allow you to keep the No Claim Discount.
By making your claim direct against us, you are not being fair to us, because you do not follow our process and insist on your right to make the claim in your own way. We also have our right to protect our interest.
If others in the industry try to profiteer, it cannot be that the insured is asked to pay the price. My car only rolled out four months ago. It's only fair that I go back to the distributor for the original parts - I'm sure you know there are not many workshops that have the parts to fix my vehicle.
I believe that our quality workshop is able to repair your car to a satisfactory standard. If they are not able to, we will certainly use your distributor.
Is it against "correct procedure" to claim against a third party? Sure, I can claim against my insuer first. But I will fight my case because I am confident of it.
I understand your wish to insist on your right. Do be considerate of the right of the other party as well.
We handle 50 repairs of our policyholders on the "tender system". It works quite well - even from the customer perspective. If you do not trust this system, we accept your point of view.
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