Last Updated: 7 Mar 2018

Under what condition should an insured declare he/she has claims/accident?

The motor insurance industry now has a common database that the insurance company can access and check on the claims record by NRIC No, ACRA No or Vehicle Number; as long as an official report was made of the accident, the above info would be captured by the system so the records would show up.

It is ultimately still legal responsibility of insured to declare the claims history, whether or not the insurance company has such a system to check. In fact, it is normally a bit embarrassing if the insured withholds the information on a claim and later on, the insurance company discovers it. It puts the insured in less favorable light as the insurance company may think the insured is less than honest!

  1. When the insured drove the vehicle (including other vehicles he own or rented or loaned to him/her). As long as there was an accident or a claim, he/she should declare.
  2. Eg: if the insured is now insuring for a Honda but he/she owns another vehicle, a Mercedes and there was a claim/accident involving the Mercedes, then this should be declared. Also, if the insured was driving another vehicle not belonging to him/her and there was an accident or  claim, he/she also needs to declare

  3. When the insured owned a vehicle but another party (eg the spouse or anyone else the insured authorised to drive) drove the vehicle and had an accident/made a claim. This situation is often overlooked as the insured thought since he/she did not drive the vehicle, it was not considered a claim. Since the vehicle was owned by insured hence such incidents should also be declared as a claim.
  1. Even for windscreen claims it should also be declared and same goes for those privately settled between/among the parties involved.
  1. In all the above situations, the claims should be declared whether or not the insured is at fault. So even if the insured is not at fault, the claim should be declared " of course, insured can qualify by providing relevant information.

Eg: another vehicle hit the rear of insured's vehicle and/or insured has successfully claimed against the third party. At the end of the day, the insurance company would decide if this claim is "at fault" or "not at fault".

 

Do note that some conservative insurance companies have a standing policy that as long as the client has an accident/claim within a certain period of time, they would NOT underwrite the policy, whether or not the insured is at fault or otherwise. Thus, it is imperative that the insured declares and let the underwriter decide.

If insured did not declare truthfully or properly, the policy could be void, ie there may be no cover when there is a claim.

Disclaimer: This information is provided on a complimentary basis. The reader may wish to seek separate professional advice accordingly.