- 15,000 sign-ups for special perils in Jan, post-flood
The recent flood exposed the country’s shortcomings towards disaster response and urban planning and raised questions on insurance protection and whether Malaysians are underserved.
Currently, insurance for homes or vehicles can be purchased directly from the insurance provider (over the counter or online), through intermediaries such as agents, or via platforms like Pos Malaysia, online insurance marketplaces, or insurtech startups.
“In Malaysia, we have options when it comes to insurance products and how we purchase insurance. So, it is not a question about being underserved. However, we are guilty of choosing to forgo flood cover (home insurance), windscreen or even special perils cover (protection against landslide, flood, and other convulsions of nature) when buying car insurance, all in favour of a cheaper policy. This is what leaves Malaysians grossly underinsured,” said Sean Wang, Chief Executive Officer of Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad (Allianz General).
“The recent floods vividly confirm that insurance is a need – especially when we have assets that we need to protect. There is a need to break the vicious cycle of economising our insurance policy. Either that, or we risk continuing to be underinsured and shortchanging ourselves in the process,” added Sean.
Allianz General revealed that only 11 percent or approximately 123,000 out of 1.11 million customers chose special perils cover as part of their private car comprehensive cover in 2021. However, following the floods last year, the Company saw a take-up rate of 22 percent or approximately 15,000 out of 68,000 customers (new and renewals) between 1 to 17 January 2022 alone. For motorcycle insurance, the Company has built-in special perils cover for its Allianz Motorcycle Plus product, launched in 2019, at no extra charge for customers.
Besides that, following the floods, Allianz General provided towing assistance to 1,590 customers whose vehicles were affected by the floods up until 16 January 2022, with only 193 vehicles (178 private cars and 15 motorcycles) having valid flood cover as part of their insurance policies.
“Our biggest issue is our dependency on the government, NGOs, and even corporate Malaysia to provide a safety net when faced with a widespread calamity like the recent floods. But, in truth, when one is faced with a single tragedy, and faced with having no compensation or no means of replacing your damaged assets that the reality of why we need insurance hits hardest,” said Sean.
“It is not a situation that you want to put yourself through. We must address the lethal combination of misconception and ignorance at work here. Malaysians must understand that they hold the responsibility of attaining not just adequate cover, but the right protection for their assets within their means,” added Sean.
To increase insurance adoption, the government launched the Perlindungan Tenang Voucher Programme in September last year, offering eligible Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) recipients an RM50 voucher for the year 2021 and subsequently increased the voucher amount to RM75 voucher in 2022 for redemption towards purchasing affordable insurance plans under the Perlindungan Tenang Initiative.
Under the Perlindungan Tenang Initiative, Allianz General currently offers Allianz KampungKu (home insurance for “kampung” houses or household contents against fire, flood, and windstorm risks), Allianz PerlindunganKu (personal accident), and Allianz Kasih Hayat (life insurance).
To learn more about how you can take advantage of the Perlindungan Tenang Voucher Programme with Allianz Malaysia, visit allianz.com.my/personal/whats-new/perlindungan-tenang-voucher-programme.html.