As long as rogue operators continue with their illegal activities, motorists will have to bear the brunt of higher annual insurance premiums ("A long way to go in weeding out inflated and fraudulent claims" by the General Insurance Association; Monday).
GIA has identified the root cause of the problem of fraudulent claims, which is "collusion between motor surveyors and unethical workshops".
In order to stamp out this practice, the following actions are necessary:
If the surveyor's report is false, the surveyor should be penalised, either by being blacklisted or having his licence revoked.
He should be charged in court if there is evidence of fraud.
- A copy of the surveyor's report should be extended to all interested parties.
- Should any party disagree with the report, then the matter has to be investigated thoroughly, independently and objectively.
- If the report is false, the surveyor should be penalised, either by being blacklisted or having his licence revoked.
- He should be charged in court if there is evidence of fraud.
- Make it mandatory for parties to the accident to lodge a police report for record purposes.
- This will enable insurance companies to refer the case to the police in the event of a false claim.
- The police should charge the party for making a false report.
- Streamline the process for speedy settlement, such as referring the matter to the Small Claims Tribunal.
- The insurance company concerned should be fined heavily by the regulatory body if it is ascertained that it had taken the easy way out by paying a claim that is not justified.
Ultimately, while it may not be possible to eradicate this menace totally, every effort must be made by stakeholders to get rid of this fraud.
Andrew Seow Chwee Guan