Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Motor policy covers collision

A slightly edited version of this letter was published in Straits Times today.

15 September 2012

Forum Page
Straits Times

I agree with the views expressed by Abbas Vakharia "Fatal Ferrari crash: 
Insurer's stance cause for consumer concern" ST 15 Sep 2012.

AXA's insurance policy clearly states that it covers the motor vehicle that is
accidentally damaged by the operation of several named perils, including "collision".

I am puzzled by a statement from AXA reported in Today paper that it covered 
only "accidents" and not "collision".

AXA's policy does have a clause, stating that the policy does not cover "any wilful act 
and/or wilful negligence" of the insured or an authorised driver. 

A "wilful act" means that the Ferrari driver intended to collide into the taxi
and even to take his own life. While the driver was reckless, I cannot image that 
he had intended to cause the collision.

I hope that the Insurance Commissioner's office will discuss this issue with AXA and 
clarify if AXA's stand is justified, based on the circumstances. Consumers need to be
assured that insurance companies will act fairly in meeting their obligations. Special attention is required from the regulator, as motor insurance is 
compulsory by law. 

Tan Kin Lian
Financial Services Consumer Association


Tan Kin Lian said...

I looked for an explanation on what is the legal interpretation of "willful negligence". There was an explanation of this term in the context of medical practice and is not used for motor insurance. There is an explanation of gross negligence, but not willful negligence. AXA can argue that the driver was grossly negligent in driving at a reckless speed, and the court can decide if this is the same as "willful negligence".

zhummmeng said...

Kudos to you, Mr. Tan. We cannot let the insurers, life or general to get away with responsibility.
The insurance companies exist to insure the public of their risks and NOT to get rich by rolling rotten products and avoiding paying claims.
MAS must realise the purpose of the insurance companies. it seems the the companies and their insurance agents think that they exist to enrich and to make them get rich quick. MAS must review their roles.

Tan Choon Hong said...

How can the insurer prove “willful negligence”? Do they have a black box in the driver’s head? Or is judgement to be swayed by the testimony of some shrink that the driver’s behavior was consistent with a desire to self-destruct?

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