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Rochor Road Ferrari crash payout rejection is test case by AXA

Outcome of insurer's bid to reject payout has implications for reckless motorists

Published on Sep 9, 2012 12:00 PM

AXA Insurance Singapore is making a test case out of its bid to reject any payout to the family of Chinese national Ma Chi, the Ferrari driver who died in a high-speed crash which left two others dead and two injured.

If it succeeds in its High Court move, there will be insurance implications for other motorists, especially owners of the growing number of high-performance sports cars here.

The insurer claims Mr Ma's recklessness meant that the May 12 tragedy was a "collision" and not an accident, and therefore it should not pay any compensation to his estate.

If the courts agree, the insurer will be allowed to claim from Mr Ma's estate all third-party compensation it pays to the other victims.

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Background story

Taking a new route

"AXA's stand is rare and bold. The viability of its line of argument depends on the specific facts. Given the number of fast cars and how they are driven on the roads of our small city state, there is obviously an interesting issue that should be decided."

SENIOR INSURANCE LAWYER NIRU PILLAI, adding that there were many more cases of speeding defaults than drink driving


AXA Insurance Singapore has made it clear that it will honour all its legal obligations arising from the Ferrari car crash that left three people dead and two injured in May.

Sports car driver Ma Chi died at the scene while cabby Cheng Teck Hock, 52, died in hospital along with his Japanese passenger, Ms Shigemi Ito, 41.

Motorcyclist Muhammad Najib Ghazali, 26, and Mr Ma's passenger, Ms Wu Weiwei, in her 20s, were injured.

While AXA is asking the courts to back its position to reject liability and any payout to Mr Ma's estate, it said the families of the dead and injured third parties will be compensated as required by law.

Its officials have been in contact with those affected to ensure their needs are addressed in an appropriate manner, it told The Sunday Times.

"AXA is committed to continue providing appropriate and effective insurance cover for our customers and is committed to conducting our business in a responsible manner," it added.

Video footage of the May 12 crash showed Mr Ma's speeding Ferrari running a red light in Rochor Road near Bugis Junction before ramming into a taxi, which then hit a motorcycle.

K.C. Vijayan