Malaysia’s insurance industry pays out around MYR15.7 million (US$3.5 million) each day in insurance claims for road crashes, an insurers’ association has revealed. The payouts include property damage, bodily injury, and vehicle theft.
General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) chairman Antony Lee said that aside from the high costs, the number of deaths caused by road accidents in the country is worrying, The Sun Daily reported.
Of the MYR8.32 billion in premiums collected by the motor insurance sector last year, MYR5.38 billion was paid out in claims, Lee said.
“Based on the statistics, PIAM has seen road deaths climbing slowly. In 2012 it was 6,917 deaths and by 2016 it was 7,152,“ he said. “Every death costs the country about MYR2 million to MYR3 million in economic losses. The highest number of deaths involved young male motorcyclists – in 2012 it was 4,178, and in 2016 it stood at 4,485.
“Serious accidents on the road resulted in large claims involving death and injuries,” Lee said, adding that pillion riders were the most at risk due to having nothing to hold on to and an obstructed forward view.
“Malaysia is ranked the third highest for road accidents in ASEAN, and we are not far from second-ranked Vietnam,” he said. “Thailand takes the number one spot. The road conditions in those two countries are worse than here but Malaysia is closing fast on Vietnam for the number of crashes.”
According to Lee, if insurers can access and share information about traffic violators, it can understand the behaviour of motorists and customise their products. Also, frequent violators may find themselves having to pay high premiums, or cope without coverage entirely, forcing them to clean up their acts and improve their driving.