Bank and insurance companies waiving fees and speeding up process for Malaysia's flood victims

Bank and insurance companies waiving fees and speeding up process for Malaysia's flood victims

PETALING JAYA - Banks and insurance firms are helping to get flood victims back on their feet by way of fee waivers, expedited claims and express loan applications, among others.

MSIG Insurance Malaysia will be giving policyholders priority status and releasing settlement payments as quickly as seven to eight days after a claim is made, depending on the case complexity.

The firm urged its 4,000-odd policyholders on the east coast to take advantage of their priority status, as so far, only 285 claims have been made with 86 disbursements.

"These victims have a long road to recovery ahead of them. From rebuilding their homes and businesses to ensuring their health and well-being is taken care of," said Chua Seck Guan, MSIG Malaysia chief executive officer.

He added that the firm was going above and beyond to expedite and smoothen the claims process and urged affected policy holders to contact them.

The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) has assured victims who purchased flood cover as part of their general insurance policies that its members are ready to pay out claims for losses caused by the floods.

"All policyholders, both businesses and individuals, located at the flood-stricken areas are therefore advised to check their fire and motor policies to determine whether they are covered for loss or damage resulting from the floods," it said.

Besides expedited claims, all 29 PIAM member companies will be allowing the payment of annual premiums on an instalment basis.

The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (Liam) announced it would be restructuring premium payment modes from an annual to a monthly basis, as well as extending the grace period for payment.

It will also duplicate lost policy documents at no cost, replace medical cards for free and reduce or waive interest charges for policy loans.

"We believe that these measures will help to ease their burden and help them get back on their feet again," said Liam president Vincent Kwo in a statement.

Besides swifter payouts, AIA is offering waivers on replacement fees for medical cards, duplicate policy contracts and mortgage documents for those in the five flood-hit states in the peninsula.

Customers also get a grace period of three months to pay premiums for the month of January, with no interest.

For mortgage loans a penalty waiver of up to six months will be given upon request, and loan applications can be processed within five days.

Maybank is offering a six-month moratorium on instalment payments for loans and the waiver of charges for affected customers seeking replacement ATM cards, cheque books and passbooks destroyed in the floods.

Maybank's insurance arm Etiqa will expedite claims processes from customers who have taken its flood insurance policies.

It has also allocated RM300mil (S$112mil) in special emergency financing facilities to aid existing loan customers, including small and medium enterprises (RSME) packages, on a case-to-case basis.

Maybank CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the additional money could help to re-start their lives and businesses.

"This includes cash to help them repair their homes, purchase necessities and furnishings or for working capital to ensure that their businesses can quickly generate income again."

Ambank Group, too, will accommodate a six-month repayment moratorium for its flood hit customers upon request subject to validation, its chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said. It has also waived replacement fees for various documents.

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