I REFER to Monday’s letter, ‘Minor accident turns into a shocker’ by Mr Kevin Chua Hock Meng.

Mr Chua wrote that his motor insurance premium had increased sharply after NTUC Income settled a claim against him which he had disputed. Our records show that his car was involved in an accident in December 2007. In the accident report and in subsequent communications with us, Mr Chua disputed the claim submitted by the other party involved in the accident.

Based on this information, we decided to appoint a lawyer to fight the case in court. However, the court found Mr Chua’s brother-in-law, who was driving his car at the time of the accident, to be 90 per cent liable for the accident.

Through our negotiations, we managed to reduce his liability to 80 per cent. Despite this, the total payout Mr Chua was liable for, including legal costs, turned out to exceed the initial claim amount by the other party.

The outcome of Mr Chua’s case illustrates the basis for our practice to settle claims by using the most economical and effective option. In most cases, this involves settling directly with claimants instead of going through a lengthy and costlier legal process.

On the issue Mr Chua raised about his no-claims discount being lowered by 30 per cent, we wish to clarify that this is the standard industry practice when policyholders make a claim under their motor insurance policy. In such cases, there may also be premium loading at the point of policy renewal that results in higher premiums. We thank Mr Chua for giving us the opportunity to make these clarifications.

Mr Pui Phusangmook,
Senior Vice-President & General Manager,
General Insurance Division,
NTUC Income

Source: ST Forum 19 Mar, 2009

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