by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Monday, May 23,1994;
All motorists should check whether their insurance policy is from Mercantile Insurance Sdn. Bhd. instead of finding out after an accident together with all the attendant hassle, shock and losses
All vehicle owners should check whether their insurance policy is from Mercantile Insurance Sdn. Bhd. instead of finding out after an accident, together with all the attendant hassle, shack and losses.
I believe that although it is a week since the cessation of business of Mercantile Insurance Sdn. Bhd. and suspension of its payments to claimants and creditors, only a very small percentage of the 140,000 Mercantile motor policyholders are aware that they are now in deep trouble over their motor insurance policies.
Many newspapers readers may be reading about the injustice of the Bank Negara in not honouring dollar-for-dollar all Mercantile Insurance policies, without realising they are the subject of the whole controversy for the past week.
Policyholders of Mercantile Insurance Sdn. Bhd. should realise that they have lost the insurance protection they had paid when they bought or renewed motor insurance policies, following the directive from Bank Negara a week go ordering Mercantle Insurance Sdn. Bhd. to cease business and suspend all payments.
Many Mercantile policyholders who have cars in the workshops after accidents prior to the May 18 Bank Negara directive have found that they could not get their cars out unless they are prepared to settle the repair bills themselves – as the Bank Negara has announced that there would not be 100 per cent payment of claims.
The advice of Bank Negara that the 140,000 Mercantile insurance policy holders should terminate their current policies and purchase new one s is also unhelpful, as most general insur¬ance companies revised their underwriting guidelines recently to reject new proposals for third party cover.
Most motor vehicle owners buy policies from agents without knowing from which company they are buying the insurance, and they will be subject to a lot of hassle, inconvenience, shock and losses if they are only to’ find out that their insurance policy is Mercantile after being involved in an accident.
The 263,000 Mercantile insurance policyholders – 140,000 of whom are motor policyholders – should organise themselves to speak with one voice to protect their rights and inter¬ests. But first of all, the 263,000 policyholders should check their insurance policies to realise that their rights arid inter¬ests have been adversely affected and that they need to do some¬thing to protect their rights and interests.