While driving in Malaysia in 2007, Mrs Lee’s car churned out black smoke at the engine bay. She stopped at a motor workshop and was advised to replace the extractor. She was assured that many cars from Singapore had made similar replacements at the workshop and they did not have any problem.
She agreed to the replacement of the extractor and was able to pass the annual vehicle inspection test, required by the Land Transport Authority, for the next four years.
In August 2012, she gave permission to her 32 year old son to drive the car. The son hit the rear of another vehicle. After lodging the accident report, Mrs Lee’s insurer discovered the replaced extractor and voided the insurance cover on the grounds that it was an unauthorized replacement. Mrs Lee was previously insured with another insurance company and had changed to the new insurer in June 2012.
The insurer rejected the repair of Mrs Lee’s car and also repudiated liability for the claim from the third party, which amounted to $9,500.
I found the voiding of the policy to be unjustified as the repair was carried out by a proper workshop in Malaysia and was necessitated due to a problem with the engine at that time. Furthermore, it had passed the vehicle inspection test conducted under the Land Transport Authority rules for the following four years.
It seemed to be quite common for an insurer to repudiate liability on questionable grounds, leaving the motorist in a difficult position.