Difference between private and insurer settlement

We thank Mr Kenneth Kong Kitson for his feedback and have since contacted him to explain our processes ("Greater transparency needed in motor insurance claims"; Oct 27).

Mr Kong rightly questioned the difference in the repair quote for a one-day job given by the owner of the car, and the final price of repairs made by the authorised workshop of AXA.

A one-day job is a type of repair process usually done for cases where there is a private settlement between the owners of cars involved in an accident, or where the policyholder is paying for the repairs. These cases do not involve insurance companies and repairs are quoted with a simple estimate on only repair works.

When a proper car insurance claim is made to AXA, we receive a quotation for repairs from an authorised workshop, chosen by our insured car owner. An independent surveyor is appointed to conduct a physical survey of the car to ensure that only damages consistent with the accident are authorised for replacement.

Thus, we are unable to comment on the price of one-day jobs where AXA is not involved with the evaluation of the scope of repair.

About Mr Kong's point on clarity on the amount of car insurance coverage, customers under the AXA Private Comprehensive policy are covered under "own damage, third-party property damage, and third-party bodily injury".

At AXA, when there are conflicting accident circumstances, we encourage our customers to claim under their own AXA policy, to benefit fully from our claims service guarantee. Through this, we are able to authorise repairs at minimal inconvenience to our customers, ensuring that all repairs are completed properly, and the vehicle is restored to a road-worthy condition quickly.

AXA believes in appointing independent surveyors who are trained professionals. Having said that, we encourage customers to work with our surveyors, to provide inputs and feedback in our assessment of car accident damages. We agree with Mr Kong that it is not unreasonable for customers to request greater transparency.

We assure everyone that our interests and that of our customers are completely aligned. We want to keep car repair costs down to reasonable levels, without compromising the safety of car users.

Cheryl Lim (Ms)
Head of Communications
AXA Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2015, with the headline 'Difference between private and insurer settlement'. Print Edition | Subscribe