Sunday, March 22, 2009

Inflated Insurance Claim

First, we have the greedy bankers, now unscrupulous lawyers banding together with errant workshop owners and doctors to inflate injury claims from even minor accidents. The "profit" to be eventually shared between the workshop owner, the lawyer and the claimant.

General Insurance Association (GIA) reported that bodily injury claims had shot up 86 per cent - from 8,704 in 2007 to 16,174 last year with a record underwriting loss of $214 million. Insurers are definitely not doing enough to combat the abuses and simply passing on the costs to motorist. Many claims are suspicious definitely with the help of crook lawyers who exploit the loop holes in the law.

More than 20 years ago, I had a friend whose partner was a workshop owner. I was introduced to him as a brave stunt man. After much probing, my friend later explained that his partner normally will inflate the insurance claim by ramming a minor accident vehicle into a tree himself to make it more serious. Before that, he will dismantle those parts that he need to replace when he repairs the vehicle later. He will then take photographs of the severely damaged vehicle to submit the inflated claims.

In order for a smooth claim, my friends partner entertained the insurance surveyors at the nightclub and bribe them over drinks and girls.

Another incident happened a few years back when my company van driver got into a minor accident with another van. We sent the van for repair that cost less than S$300 and imagine our shock when the opposite party claimed our insurance S$6,000 for the minor repair to his van. That's outright cheating, ridiculous and unbelievable but the insurance company paid up, just to avoid long costly legal battle with the claimant's lawyer.

More enforcement need to be done and the errant workshop owners and their accomplice brought to justice to prevent the situation from getting worst at the expense of the motorist.

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