Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Unauthorized modification to vehicles

I have came across two cases where the insurance company reject claims due to unauthorized modification of the motor vehicle. 

The motorist met with an accident and the insurer found that the vehicle was modified, and the modification was not declared to them. The repudiation resulted in the motorist having to pay for the repairs of his own vehicle and also to pay for the repairs of the third party claim. The third party claim is usually inflated. The total bill can amount to more than $10,000.

In one case, the motorist claimed that the modification was done several years ago, due to some engine trouble. The vehicle had passed the annual inspection test yearly. However, the motorist was not able to provide evidence to support this statement. The insurer suspected that the unauthorized modification was done recently.

In the second case, the motorist had bought the car recently as a used car. The previous owner did not tell him about the unauthorized modification.

I asked the motorist to get a statement from the previous owner that he had made the modification and did not inform the buyer about it. Based on this statement, the insurance company (EQ Insurance) changed its decision and accepted the claim "out of goodwill". The owner was relieved.

I wish to share this story to inform motorist that they are not allowed to make unauthorized modification to their vehicles, without getting approval from the Land Transport Authority. If they buy a used vehicle, they should send it for inspection to identify if there were any unauthorized modification or defects. It is worth spending the fee for the inspection.

I also wish to compliment EQ Insurance for their magnanimous gesture. I hope that they get more support from the public.

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