I’ve always likened the rising number of new vehicles on the road daily was akin to playing snooker with 100 red balls on the table. The reason for that analogy is because the table isn’t getting any bigger, thus it’s just a matter of time before those red balls are going to ‘touch’. Morbidly, it’s the same with vehicles on the road. So in terms of insurance claims that result from these unintentional meet-ups, it was no surprise to learn recently that net claims paid out for bodily injury and property damage due to road accidents in the first nine months of 2013 had risen to a staggering RM 4.10 billion, compared to RM 3.68 billion in the same period in 2012. This figure was revealed by the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) recently.
“Road accidents can result in great financial losses and untold suffering to the victims and their families. It is impossible to put a figure on such losses,” said PIAM Chairman, Chua Seck Guan. Chua said that the general insurance and takaful industry share the concerns of the Government and all other responsible road users about the impact of road accidents on individual road users and at the national level. With Chinese New Year just around the corner, PIAM and the Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) is reminding road users travelling home this festive season to adhere to traffic rules.
Statistics have shown that the rate of road accidents rise during festive holidays like Hari Raya and Chinese New Year. In view of the heavy movement of vehicles on the roads during the festive season, it is important for all road users to practice safe driving and be extra observant.
Chua said that PIAM and MTA believe every road user has a role to play in preventing road accidents and urges all road users to adopt a more pro-active approach to prevent road hazards. “But if you do find yourself involved in an accident, the industry is here to help. Collaborating with MTA, PIAM has set-up a road accident assist hotline (the Accident Assist Call Center or “AACC”) to provide emergency assistance,” Chua added.
The 24-hour hotline 1300-22-11-88 also offers accident towing services and attends to claim inquiries. In an effort to promote the awareness for the hotline, PIAM and MTA distributed information about the AACC to motorists at the Sg. Besi toll booth on Sunday 26th. The flyers also contained safety and accident emergency tips.
In view that road accident risks may increase significantly during the festive seasons, PIAM and MTA have advised road users to take the following measures in the event of an accident:
a) Obtain name (s) and address(es) of other driver(s) involved.
b) Note their vehicle registration number(s) and make of vehicle.
c) If you can, take some pictures of the damaged vehicles(s) and accident scene.
d) Ask for the name of their insurers and their policy or certificate number.
e) Note names and address of independent witnesses and make a rough diagram of the accident.
f) It is your duty to produce your Certificate of Insurance when required to do so by the police. If this information is not available at the scene of the accident, you will be required to produce it to the police within five days.
g) If there is injury to any person or damage to another vehicle, or other property, give your name and address of the owner of the vehicle you are driving and its registration number to anyone who has reasonable grounds of wanting them.
h) Do not discuss whose fault it was as this may create difficulties for your insurers in their handling of your claim.
i) Inform your insurers as soon as possible even if you do not intend to make a claim. This is a condition of your policy.
j) Fill in the insurer’s accident report form completely and include any additional relevant information not mentioned in the direct questions.
About the AACC
In line with the Government‘s effort to ease the burden of the Malaysian public and to enhance the efficiency in submission of motor accident claims, the insurance industry has taken the initiative to finance the establishment of this call centre. The insurance industry has received many complaints on the challenges faced by the public who are involved in road accidents. These challenges are further compounded by unscrupulous parties who take advantage of the situations.
The call centre was established following consultation with a Joint Working Committee comprising of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Ministries of Health and Finance, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Judiciary, Consumer Associations, Bank Negara Malaysia, the Malaysian Bar Council and the transport operators associations.
About the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM)
The Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) was formed in May 1979. PIAM is the national trade association of all licensed direct and reinsurance companies for general insurance in Malaysia. Currently, PIAM has 30 member companies. More information on PIAM can be obtained from its Web site: www.piam.org.my.