Stringent guidelines needed on car accident claims

Earlier this year, I was involved in a minor accident where my car collided with another car.

There was no damage to my car, and the other car suffered a small dent on its rear bumper.

To save everyone the hassle of going through the insurance claims process, I offered to pay upfront for the repair at any workshop.

The other party flatly refused and insisted on sending his car to the authorised dealer, as it was new.

About six months later, I had a rude shock when my insurer informed me that the other party was claiming a repair bill of more than $9,000.

I found this outrageous and absurd.

Any skilled workman would have been able to restore the small dent instead of replacing the entire bumper.

Even if the bumper had to be replaced, surely it does not add up to $9,000.

Was this repair and expected bill approved and endorsed by the insurance claims adjuster?

I am certain I am not the only motorist who has encountered such a situation.

Grossly inflated accident claims are why Singapore's vehicle insurance premiums have continuously risen.

This blatant abuse of the system has to be stopped.

It is high time the General Insurance Association of Singapore comes together with the insurance claims adjusters to implement a set of transparent and stringent guidelines on accident claims.

In situations where repair is a viable option, with the damaged area returned to its original state, the owner should not be able to demand a new part replacement.

If soft laws cannot stop errant behaviour, then the Government should step in with hard laws.

Yong Chai Yim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2018, with the headline 'Stringent guidelines needed on car accident claims'. Print Edition | Subscribe