Flash floods hit Shah Alam – car owners without personal risk insurance face heavy bills

Just watch these scenes from Shah Alam last night. According to the head of Selangor bomba Norazam Khamis, the flooding around Shah Alam stadium in Seksyen 13 was about 1.2 meters high. It was reported that the water rose to chest level as a result of a heavy downpour which lasted from 3 p.m. Other areas affected by the flash flood included Seksyen 9, 10, 4 and 7.

Everyone knows this is not an isolated incident; it was Shah Alam yesterday and it could be Cheras, Puchong or KL city tomorrow. Some areas are more susceptible to flash floods than others, but development and new infrastructure have introduced flooding to more areas now, and the weather seems to be more severe these days, and not just in Malaysia as well. Experts have indicated that global warming is the cause.

When we come across news reports or WhatsApp images of floods being transmitted, the usual reaction is like “wow, that’s bad enough” or “finish all those cars”. It sounds like someone else’s problem if your home isn’t in an area historically prone to flooding, but what about where you’re going?

Whether parking in the city center or on the Federal Highway en route to Klang for makan, you could walk into the eye of the storm without realizing it. And these things happen fast, usually too fast for us to escape, and that’s if there is a way out.

If you’ve renewed your auto insurance on your own, instead of having it run by a runner or agent, you’re familiar with flood or special risk coverage, which includes coverage for natural disasters and natural disasters. Check these optional boxes and you will be reimbursed by the insurer if your car suffers damage due to natural disasters, for a fee of course.

What is the typical cost? Allianz offers special risk coverage for 0.25% of the vehicle’s sum insured, and this includes coverage against floods, typhoons, hurricanes, storms, landslides, landslides and other convulsions. of nature. Etiqa offers the same for 0.5% of the sum insured, but there is also “basic flood coverage” (floods and storms only) for 0.25%.

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From my own plans with Etiqa, basic flood coverage appears to be less than 0.225% – see examples above. Basically at 0.25% of the insured value it is an additional RM125 for a RM50,000 car and an additional RM250 for a RM 100,000 value car.

An example is your car run over by a fallen tree due to a storm. You will not receive a cent from the insurer if you have not opted for optional special risk coverage. If you have done so and the car is declared a total loss, you will be compensated on the basis of the market value at the time of the incident, or the agreed value if you paid more for this fixed sum option.

If being caught in a flood can happen to anyone, then why doesn’t everyone add flood or special risk coverage to their auto insurance? Of course, this is to save money, and I was also guilty of it at the time. We believe that this will not happen to us because our area is low risk and if we are careful where we park.

When you decide to tick the box, you can also remember that nothing ever happened the times you went for extra coverage and the premium was wasted. The same goes for the windshield.

“As a claims professional, I cannot stress enough the importance of always adding special risk coverage to your auto insurance. Sure, you’d spend a bit more on your auto insurance premium, but looking back, it’s an investment that protects your vehicle against unforeseen events and calamities, ”said Damian Williams, claims manager at Allianz General Insurance Company.

“Just because you don’t live in a flood-prone area doesn’t mean a flood won’t happen. Every year we see a lot of these incidents and unfortunately only a fraction of people can be the subject of a flood damage claim, ”he added.

If you are an uninsured victim of flood damage, is there any form of recourse? The government and DBKL have publicly stated that they will not compensate flash flood victims because it is an act of God. The last point can be argued – pointing to insufficient drainage, poor planning, etc. in the first place, right?

It goes without saying that the more protection you have the better, but that assumes that the protection is free. Additional coverage for your car comes at a cost, as you will find out by checking all of the available option boxes, but considering how frequent, unpredictable and severe flash floods can be here in Malaysia, Basic Flood Coverage should be the first foil team name, as they say in football – in other words, a must have.

Ask yourself: is the likelihood of your car being stolen so much higher than the likelihood of being caught in a flood, so much so that the protection for the first is maximum, and zero for the second?

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Justin D. O'Neill

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