Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cars' Insurance Rip-Off

Tuesday, 15 September 2009 17:31 (Malaysian Mirror)

KUALA LUMPUR - Thousands of cars are plying the roads without valid road tax because their owners are unable to get insurance coverage, according to the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca).

road-tax-2.jpgIts secretary-general, Muhammad Shaaini Abdullah, told Bernama that these were owners of cars of more than 10 years old which were considered "risky" and insurance companies were reluctant to provide cover for them.

He said that should such vehicles meet with an accident it would cause tremendous problems for the authorities, owners and victims because no claim could be made as there was no insurance coverage.

Director-General of the Road Transport Department Solah Mat Hassan confirmed that the department had received several complaints from motorists about not being able to obtain insurance coverage for such vehicles although they were roadworthy.

Insurance is mandatory

Under the Road Transport Act, he, said, it was mandatory for the motorist to get at least a third party insurance coverage before the department could renew the road tax.

"While we sympathise with the motorists, we cannot do anything but enforce the law if they are found to be without valid road tax," he added.

He called on the insurance companies to find an amicable solution to the problem.

road-tax-1.jpgIn response to Bernama's query via e-mail, General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) executive director CF Lim said:

"Currently the motor insurance market is experiencing high loss. As such, many insurers have either declined or are scaling back on underwriting risks, especially third party insurance and insurance for older vehicles."

However, he said, motorists who found it difficult to get the required insurance could obtain it from the Malaysian Motor Insurance Pool (MMIP) jointly operated by all the 33 general insurance companies in the country.

Lim said the MMIP provided insurance for vehicles which were considered high risk and those unable to obtain from the normal market.

"In other words, the MMIP is the insurer of last resort."

MMIP premium too high

The MMIP had formed a strategic partnership with Pos Malaysia since July, and motorists could obtain the insurance from the 684 Pos Malaysia branches in the country.

Since Pos Malaysia was also an agent for the Road Transport Department, motorists could also renew their road tax at these outlets which were convenient one-stop centres, he added.

However, Muhammad said, many motorists were reluctant to use the services of the MMIP because the premium was very high.

He called on Bank Negara, as the agency in charge of insurance, to immediately review the rates and make them affordable.


By Admin:

Insurers are using this excuse to force motorists to convert their third party coverage to comprehensive coverage at an increased premium. Whatever happened to the compulsory Personal Accident policy that motorists were subjected to previously when renewing third party insurance coverage? Bank Negara definitely have to step in and solve the problem and reduce the burden on motorists that own older vehicles, come rain or shine! CIAO!

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