Etiqa ‘taking measures to fulfil obligation’, but car owner still in limbo following January accident

Businesswoman Joanna Foo May Po is still disheartened over the fact that her predicament, following an accident on Jan 5, remains unresolved.

Foo met with an accident in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, after she tried to avoid a motorcyclist who suddenly entered her lane. She hit the road divider and veered off the road, damaging her 2012 Volkswagen Golf. Despite sending her vehicle to her insurance company’s “super premium panel workshop”, Foo said the matter has not been resolved.

Following queries by Twentytwo13, Etiqa Insurance and Takaful said the “matter was ongoing and Etiqa does not disclose details regarding claims cases”.

“However, we would like to assure that we have taken all the necessary measures to fulfil our obligation to the customer in a fair and transparent manner,” read the brief email.

When informed of the company’s reply, Foo said she hoped to hear from Malaysia’s central bank soon.

“I’ve lodged a complaint with Bank Negara Malaysia and I’m waiting for their reply before deciding on what to do next,” said Foo this morning.

Foo had earlier told Twentytwo13 that she was not informed, from the beginning, of the process and details of the claim. She claimed her policy included a new spare part replacement coverage, but on the list of repairs, it was stated that she would have to pay a betterment fee.

According to the General Insurance Association of Malaysia, a betterment fee will apply if a new original part replaced a damaged component. The insurance company will require the car owner to bear the difference in costs as “the vehicle is in better shape than before the collision”.

Foo claimed that nearly three months later, she was informed via WhatsApp that her car was ready to be collected. The text message also included a photograph of her car. She noticed the workshop had changed the front headlights, which were not part of the repair list.

She went on to claim that there were other parts, including the gearbox transmission and mechatronic, that had been replaced but were not on the repair list. She also alleged that original parts were not used to repair her vehicle.

Claiming she didn’t get “proper clarification” regarding the matter, Foo demanded that her car be towed to the official Volkswagen service centre in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.

Foo said she met a representative from the insurance company during a joint inspection, who told her that the insurance company would get a quotation from the car manufacturer to repair the car.

She was told the insurance company’s panel workshop would bear the cost.

Foo documented the meeting in an email, but Etiqa replied that repairs would be on the sum covered. She claimed this was against an agreement during the joint inspection.

Following a quote by Volkswagen which came to RM214,046.50, the insurance company allegedly told Foo her car was beyond economical repair and suggested writing it off.

While hoping for the matter to be resolved, Foo’s vehicle remained at the service centre in Shah Alam, Selangor.