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Steps to Smooth Processing of Claims  
 


Consumers often complain about processing delays in their insurance claims.

The most common general insurance policies purchased by consumers are to cover vehicles. By knowing what to do in instances of damage to your vehicle in accident would help alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with the incident as well as ensure a speedy claims process.

More often than not, the stumbling blocks in the claim process are insufficient information given on the claim form, lack of supporting documentation or the lack of understanding on what the policies actually cover.


How to make a claim?

If you are involved in a road accident, make notes of the accident including the names and addresses of all drivers and plate number of vehicle involved in the accident. Also note the make and model of each vehicle involved and insurance identification. Record the names and addresses of as many witnesses as possible.

When making your police report, provide the police with whatever information they require and obtain a copy of the report. Contact and inform your insurance agent or insurance company regarding the accident and seek advice on what forms or documents are required to support the claim.

Normally, the claim form is to be submitted with (i) the police report lodged by the driver, (ii) photocopy of the Identity Card, (iii) Driver's Licence (iv) Vehicle Registration Card and (v) Road Tax disc.


How soon should you call your insurer?

Insurance companies expect you to do this as soon as possible. Any unreasonable delays may prejudice your case. The best advice would be that when in doubt, it is better to notify your insurer sooner rather than later.

If someone else is claiming against you for damage to their vehicle or for personal injury, it is very important to contact your insurance company immediately. You will be told what to do and it is very important to follow the instructions given.


What about repairs?

In a vehicle accident where your car is considerably damaged, the first step is to ascertain whether your policy covers damage to your vehicle. If yes, take your car to a PIAM-authorised repairer and inform your insurer immediately that you have done so. If your insurer recommends or requires that repairs be done at a specified workshop, then take your car there as advised. Any estimates should be sent to your insurer for checking purposes.

Alternatively, the insurer will send an insurance loss adjuster to assess the damage to your vehicle, after which the insurer will authorise repairs. The insurer will authorise repairs subject to a satisfactory claim form being submitted together with the relevant documents.

If you have an 'excess' on your policy, you must pay the amount of the "excess" direct to the repairer. The "excess" is that part of the claim that you have agreed will be borne by you. Check your insurance policy for this "excess" amount. The excess is payable irrespective of who is to blame.

If your policy does not cover damage to your car and you make a claim against a third party, you would need to notify the other driver in writing of your intention to claim from him and ask him to notify his insurers.

If possible, write to his insurers if you have details - quoting his policy or certificate of insurance number and send an estimate of damage as soon as possible.

The other driver should tell his own insurers of the accident as his insurers will only be able to deal with your claim if they have been asked to do so by their policyholder. Lastly, you should inform your own insurers that you are claiming against the third party.

Disputes

If you become dissatisfied with the way your claim is being handled and the issue on hand is not resolved even after you have written to your insurance company branch manager and to its head office, you can refer your complaint to:

PIAM's Complaints Action Bureau
PO Box 12555
50782 Kuala Lumpur


or to:

Financial Mediation Bureau
Level 25, Jalan 4
Jalan Sultan Sulaiman
50000 Kuala Lumpur


All general insurance companies also subscribe to the Financial Mediation Bureau which is an independent dispute resolution body to mediate any disputes between yourself and your insurance company.

Please send your questions on general insurance to:

Persatuan Insuran Am Malaysia,
3rd Floor, Wisma PIAM,
150, Jalan Tun Sambanthan,
50470 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : 03 - 2274 7395/9
Fax : 03 - 2274 5910

 
 
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