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The date, 1st July 2010 will mark another day for a major change to a long established Motor insurance practice…. this time is about the manner the No Claims Discount (or NCD) is to be confirmed. We expect some rough moments ahead as we viewed this new confirmation procedure as being haphazardly handled…. but hopefully not! Was this the reason why the implementation is made to coincide with the day when increase (from current 5% to 10%) in the mandatory discounting for direct motor insurance purchases takes effect? The public if indeed they did face problems with their NCD confirmation, there is still a sweetener to those bad memories!
WHAT IS NCD? Any motor vehicle owners should know what NCD is all about. It is about discount given to policyholder (or registered owner) on renewal if the motor vehicle did not incur any insurance (result of own fault) claims on the previous policy. The percentage of discount allowed would increase over each policy renewal in the absence of any claim made on the policies…. subject to a maximum as prescribed in the policy wording (tariff format). The following are an illustration as to the range NCD and entitlements:
|Beginning of||PRIVATE VEHICLE||MOTORCYCLE||COMMERCIAL|
|4th Year||38 1/3%||25%||25%|
The Insured is nevertheless allowed to transfer their earned NCD % to a different vehicle BUT only allowable to a single policy-single vehicle at any one time.
THE CURRENT NCD CONFIRMATION PRACTICE…. The existing practice is such that on renewal, the Insured brings his previous policy documents and declare the NCD level at the Point-of-Sale of the insurer or agent’s office- the agent or the insurer’s service personnel would allow the Insured the prescribed NCD percentage. The Insured then make the payment after the relevant No Claims Discount is given.
The insurer would then conduct an NCD check at the backend after receiving submission from the Point of Sale (PoS). This check is conducted with the industry Centralised NCD database, which is currently managed by Insurance Services Malaysia (ISM). If the NCD percentage is incorrect with a higher percentage of discount given to the Insured, then the process of recovering the balance would have to take place immediately. Insurer would make immediate attempt to recover by sending out a registered mail notifying the Insured of the discrepancy, and the Insured must pay up within the next 14 days….“three main reasons why the NCD is incorrect. First is because of an “own-fault” claim having been filed and registered……, second, the previous policy has not expired at time of purchase and thirdly, could be due to the NCD not being updated by the previous insurer(s) to the Centralised NCD database”
Failing to do so would risk having the policy cancelled without any further notice! The act of terminating the cover is provided in the declaration form which was signed during the purchase made at the PoS.
THE NEW NCD MANTRA? Effective from 1st July 2010, all insurers, takaful operators and Malaysian Motor Insurance Pool (MMIP) must have their PoS systems (whether owned by the insurer or by any third party) fully integrated to the Centralised NCD database via the ISM system. Purpose is to streamline the allocation of NCD at the front-end PoS to a more efficient level, reduce operational bottleneck at the back-end as well as improving transparency among all stakeholders, which include consumers. (Point-of-Sales (PoS) system simply means the computerised system at the point where the customer buys the insurance)
What the Insured should expect with this new mantra or practice can be summarised as follow:
- Insurance purchased NEW from an insurer – confirmation of NCD must be obtained directly (call) from the ISM-NCD system at the PoS. “Insurance purchased new” simply means Insured buy his or her policy with a NEW insurer. ALL STAKEHOLDERS MUST IN THE FIRST INSTANCE TAKE WHAT’S CHURNED OUT BY THE SYSTEM AS CORRECT. Any dispute thereto, can only be resolved at the back-end between the relevant parties. Thus Insured must PAY FIRST BEFORE ARGUING….. then work out something via the back-end – meaning if the Insured’s contention is TRUE, insurer will issue an endorsement with premium refund to the effect.
- In the case of RENEWAL (with the same insurer), the Insured can rely on the insurer’s back-end system for confirmation of the NCD level.
- Insured is still required to sign the NCD declaration form, albeit this time is solely for reason of claim that may either be reported late or discovered at a later date. If a claim is subsequently registered within the ISM-NCD’s managed Centralised database, there would be a CLAW-BACK of premium due from the Insured – meaning Insured must settle the balance due within a prescribed time-frame.
- Since the allocation is very much system driven, the desired end results may not be too efficiently achieved – meaning, DO EXPECT SOME UNHAPPINESS SOMEWHERE BUT, looks like from the existing ISM’s Standard Operating Procedures for Point-of-Sales (PoS) integration there are more GAINS FOR CONSUMERS rather than for the INSURERS. We shall check this out at the later paragraphs (below).
- If the Insured is transferring the NCD from his overseas’ motor insurance policy, he or she has no choice but to PAY UP FIRST BEFORE attempting to resolve it at the back-end.
- In the case of the transfer of NCD between SOLE PROPRIETOR and INDIVIDUAL (unless done with the same insurer), the current system has no mechanism for new insurer to update the previous insurer…. which means there are possibilities of a LEAK IF UNKNOWINGLY, the previous insurer allowed the NCD to be applied to another motor policy.
- While the industry has done numerous NCD-database sychronisation exercises, things are unlikely to be orderly. You know, lah! When such thingy involves database, people, system and processes, the end results are always with some PARALYSIS…. In any case you get an NCD % lower than expected, please don’t go HIGH-BLOOD okay! Just get the agent or the personnel at the Customer Service counter to assist you with the next step. But in any even if you get a HIGHER NCD % than what you should be getting, CONSIDER THIS YOUR BONUS…. keep it to yourself! But if YOU are a GOD-fearing guy, go ahead and bless your insurer, they needed it! “….if you get a higher NCD %, consider this as a BONUS, but keep it to yourself!”
- During the initial stages of this implementation, it is expected that things are NOT stable, thus it is BEST you check YOUR NCD online at this site: ISM – NCD Online Check
THE ISM’s STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE….. Insurers’ loss but consumers gain! If you are an insurance practitioners or agents, you may be interested to view this file-link:
Please REGISTER BY GOING TO THE LEFT-HAND LOWER COLUMN – once you are registered, you can come back to this site, log in, click on the link and the file will automatically open for this eReport.
Download eReport?eReport: Point-of-Sales & ISM\'s managed Central NCD database Integration (34)
Analysing from the Standard Operating Procedure worked out by ISM, Insureds stand to gain more in the process (at least that’s for the initial stages of implementation)….. AT THE EXPENSE of the insurers / takaful operators, perhaps. You can read by clicking and registering for the embedded document here.
Do give us some comment….. MORE OPINIONS MEAN MORE FEEDBACK TO THE INDUSTRY, which also means such procedures can be further improved.
REMEMBER! WE ARE COUNTING ON YOU……
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Prior to making an NTUC car insurance claim, you will have gone through a series of events beginning with a road collision. This is usually a traumatic experience for many. Therefore it is advisable to go through a few standard steps in your mind as you read this, in case you or a family member (or a friend you know) gets into such situation.
If you’re involved in an accident, remember:
1. Pull yourself together, remain calm and recognise there is something you can do in this situation, however ugly it may seem.
2. If possible, take some photographs of the damaged vehicles. Include the background so the road and surroundings can be seen in the photo. Take some close-up photos of all damaged vehicles too.
3. Drive your car to somewhere safe. (Like the side of the road). But if the accident involves injuries, let the cars remain where they are. Then call the police (and if necessary, the ambulance) immediately.
4. Note down the car plate numbers of all vehicles involved. Then collect the names, NRIC number, address and contact number of all drivers. If there is any witness, take down his contact too. If you can, get the name of insurance company the other car is insured with.
5. If the accident involves only small damages, aim to conclude the incident with a private settlement agreement.
6. You must make a police report within 24 hours if the collision involves: (i) Pedestrians or cyclists, (ii) Foreign vehicles, (iii) Government vehicles or property, & (iv) A hit-and-run party.
Note: Avoid talking about responsibilities or liabilities with anyone (or their representatives) involved in the accident. Let your insurance company settle everything. You’ll have a better chance of solving the issue.
To make an NTUC car insurance claim, you have to first file an accident report at the IDAC (reporting centre) or ARC (NTUC Authorised Workshops for accident reporting). Then you may submit your claims at any of the 5 NTUC branches below:
(i) Ang Mo Kio Branch
53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, #03-18/19/20/21 AMK HUB Singapore 569933
(ii) Bras Basah Branch
75 Bras Basah Road, NTUC Income Centre Singapore 189557
(iii) Jurong Branch
Blk 134 Jurong Gateway Road #03-309B/C/D Singapore 600134
(iv) Tampines Point Branch
2 Tampines Central 6 #01-01 NTUC Income Tampines Point Singapore 529483
(v) Woodlands Branch
900 Woodlands Drive #05-06 Woodlands Civic Centre Singapore 730900
The opening hours for each NTUC branch are as follows:
• Monday-Friday: 10.00 am – 6.30 pm
• Saturday: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
• Sunday & Public Holiday: Closed (except for Ang Mo Kio Branch which opens from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm)
These NTUC branches are distributed across the island for easy accessibility. Also, you don’t have to worry about any technicalities. The customer service officer will help you fill the claim form.
In doubt? Call NTUC Income’s 24-hr hotline at 6788 6616 to inquire about claim details. You can also arrange for free towing service (within Singapore) via this contact number too.
Note 1: For your convenience, you can now MMS your accident-related pictures to 9877 9113 as part of your accident report. If you do so, please indicate your vehicle number and date of accident using this format: <vehicle number>, <ddmmyy>.
Note 2: If you are late or fail to report the accident you’re involved in (whether or not you sign on the Private Settlement Agreement), your No Claim Discount (NCD) can be forfeited.
What Happens After You File A Claim?
IDAC/ARC will assess the damage on your vehicle. Then repairs will begin within 2 working days. If you are insured under an authorised workshop plan, your car will be repaired by one of NTUC’s authorised workshops. Otherwise you can move your car to any workshop of your choice.
With any NTUC’s authorised workshops, you can enjoy a 12 months warranty for your repair.
NTUC Income’s quality workshop will advise you on whether or not you should make a third party claim. If you are clearly not at fault, the workshop will help you file a third-party claim.
Otherwise you will be advised to make an own damage claim first, leaving NTUC Income to fight your case for you. This means you have to pay the policy excess when you collect your car from the workshop.
Note: If both parties are insured with NTUC Income, you will be encouraged to make an own damage claim. Then NTUC will assure you that your NCD will not be penalised if you are not at fault. Nevertheless complications may arise if you choose to renew your car insurance with another insurer in the coming year. This is due to your own damage claim record.
Accident in Malaysia – What To Do
For all types of accident involving any vehicle registered in Malaysia or Singapore, you must make a police report with the Malaysian Authorities within 24 hours. The authority may require the offending party to pay a fine of RM300.
While the reporting is underway, you may then call NTUC’s hotline (6788 6616) to arrange for a tow truck, if required. You can claim up to $200 for towing service if you wish to.
Upon returning to Singapore, you still have to file an accident report at any IDAC or ARC.
Why Am I Served A Writ of Summon?
Insurers will advise legal professionals to accept service on their client’s behalf. But some lawyers are pretty oblivious to this. Therefore a few writ of summons may eventually end of in your post box. What you should do it send it to NTUC Income immediately so they can appoint a lawyer to enter appearance on your behalf with the next 8 working days.
Why Does My Repair Take So Long?
Sometimes spare parts take a long time to arrive in Singapore. NTUC makes arrangement to ship in unavailable parts at their cost. But they do not use air freight. If this is necessary, additional costs may be paid by you. Nevertheless if you need to use your car urgently, you can always work on alternative arrangements with the insurer and with the workshop.
This notice will inform you about our policies and procedures concerning the personal information about you that we collect, maintain and disclose, in connection with the insurance policies you obtain from us.Information we may provide to others
We may disclose information about our applicants, customers and former customers, as permitted or required by law in conjunction with our normal insurance operations, such as:
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