Many people know that it is an offend to drive while using mobile phone, yet you will find some many irresponsible drivers talking or checking their whatsapp while driving. Not only will they get fined if caught by traffic police, but their insurance company can decline to accept liability when met with an accident.
In 2011, there was a case where the insurer declined to pay for the cost of damaged. It was then brought to the Financial Mediation Bureau. Summary of the case as below:
The Insurer has declined the insured (car owner) claim for cost of repairs on the ground that the Insured has failed to take reasonable precaution to safeguard the insured vehicle from loss or damage.
As admitted in the police report, the insured was using mobile phone while driving, failed to notice the turning in front and collided into a divider. The insurer alleged that insured has taken a deliberate risk and/or has deliberately courted danger by using the mobile phone whilst driving.
The Road Traffic Rules 1959; Rule 17A(1) prohibits the use of hand-held telephone whilst driving: No driver, whilst driving a motor vehicle on a road, shall use, or attempt to use, a hand-held telephone or any other communication equipment unless it is used through a hand-free kit.
The insured seemed to be indifferent to the fact that talking on a handphone while driving endangers the driver himself and other road users. Moreover, using one hand to hold the handphone has reduced his ability to control the vehicle. It can be concluded that the accident is attributed to the carelessness and/or recklessness of the insured and could be avoided.
Based on the above, the Mediator has confirmed the insurance company’s repudiation of liability towards the claim.
Thus, the insurer would have to absorb the cost of repair himself. So, next time if you think of answering a call/making a call while driving, think twice.