19 March 2006
I refer to the report entitled "Only 11 insurers left on Idac accident scheme" (St Times, 18 March).
The report covered the reasons why several insurers left the Idac scheme. I wish to tell the other side of the story - why NTUC Income choose to remain in the scheme.
Each day, about 60 of our policyholders and 30 third party claimants reported their accidents to an Idac center.
It is easy for claimants to visit any of 12 Idac centers located in various parts of Singapore. They can get the address by calling 6788 6616.
The accident report and damage assessment is usually completed within 20 minutes. There is no undue delay and hassle.
Most policyholders are willing to leave their vehicles at the Idac center for the repairs to be arranged by us. The repairs are usually completed within five days. If they are covered under our Quality Plus plan, we provide a courtesy car for their use.
We carry out an inspection of the vehicle after the repair, to ensure that the repair is carried out to a satisfactory standard. We also provide six month warranty on the repair.
If the policyholder prefers his regular workshop to repair the vehicle, we offer a cash settlement based on our best estimate of the repair cost. Less than 5% of policyholder choose this option.
We carry out a survey of our policyholders after the repair. We have consistently obtained high scores:
- 98% are satisfied with the service provided by Idac center
- 96% are satisfied with the quality of the repair
We have a small percentage of disputes, usually not involving Idac services. They involve the determination of the party responsible for the accident, potential loss of no-claim discount, and replacement of "wear and tear" parts. We try our best to resolve these disputes.
By using the Idac scheme, we are able to reduce our repair bill by about 15%, representing about 6% of total claims. We pass the saving to our policyholders through lower premium. We are able to offer premium rates that are 10% to 15% lower than the market.
Your report alleged that "Idac was feeding a top insurer early information about cases". This is an unfair statement. I wish to give our perspective.
The Idac scheme allows for immediate reporting of all cases into a centralised computer system. We use this information to contact third party claimants and make direct settlement with them. This helps us to reduce the cost of third party claims. We believe that this information is available to any other insurers, if they choose to use it pro-actively.
Finally, I wish to state that NTUC Income has a sufficient volume of business to start an assessment system on our own. We have decided to support an industry wide scheme, as it is the best way to overcome the inflated repair bills that have troubled the insurance industry in many countries over the past decades.
Tan Kin Lian
Chief Executive Officer
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