Problems exist in VN insurance regulations: expert

October, 10/2019 - 08:01

Trần Nguyên Đán, an insurance and financial risks management lecturer from HCM City University of Economics, talks to Tuổi Trẻ newspaper on inconsistencies in current insurance regulations.


Chú thích ảnh

Trần Nguyên Đán, an insurance and financial risks management lecturer from HCM City University of Economics, talks to Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper on inconsistencies in current insurance regulations.

How do you respond to the claim that under the current insurance regulations, both the insurance buyer and the third party (victims), if any, face difficulties during the settlement of an accident?

Current insurance regulations only cover relations between the policy holder and the insurance company, which I think should be remedied.

The third party is the victim, yet they have no right to complain or demand compensation from the insurance company – except in cases where those at fault have died.

If the person responsible for the accident flees and denies civil responsibility for the accident, the insurance enterprise could actually refuse to perform its responsibility regarding compensation. The current insurance law only focuses on protecting the insurance company, not the victim, so the spirit of 'insurance' in our policies is not clearly manifested.

Tuổi Trẻ newspaper has received complaints from victims saying the compensation request was rejected by the insurance company. Is this common?

I have received a complaint from a (State-owned) electric company saying that a crane had caused a power cut.

In that case, the electric company was the third party, or victim. The company demanded that the crane be removed immediately so they could fix the line and restore power.

However, the insurance company argued that the power line was already fixed and the driver had moved the crane without informing the insurance company, and refused to pay compensation.

Don’t you think that such policies have adversely affected not only policy holders but also third parties?

Whether those at fault in an accident have the financial means to compensate victims or not depends on whether they are able to claim money from the insurance company.

As per regulations, when an accident occurs, representatives of the local government or the police must arrive at the scene, affirming that such accident happened and there must be photos of the victim and the scene of the accident.

However, in reality, the first thing everyone does is to take the victim to hospital. Yet, in such a case, the insurance company will refuse to pay the claimed insurance money since the at-fault person has moved from the scene. The traffic police should be there to write the accident report, if not, the insurance company will refuse to pay compensation.

What do you think about the requirement for people to collect evidence and documentation relating to the accident if they want to claim compensation?

The collection of all evidence or documentation of the accident is the responsibility of the insurance company since they have the resources to do so.

However, in Việt Nam, insurance companies said that their clients have the responsibility to give them the evidence instead based on the wording of the insurance law: "The insurance companies have the responsibility to co-operate in collecting documents."

This clearly runs against the spirit of insurance. It seems that in Việt Nam insurance companies have played the role as a judge.

All the client should do is send a notice to the insurance company and the insurance is supposed to assume that the client's claim is valid and that the client is eligible for compensation or a pay-out. The company has the right to look for evidence saying otherwise, if they fail to do so then they must pay up.

Do you think it’s high time to revise insurance regulations?

We can't expect insurance companies to have the goodwill to change their behaviour. They are, after all, profit-oriented.  Laws are made and enforced to ensure equality and protection for the weak.

When the Insurance Law is more friendly and accessible, more people will buy insurance, the insurance budgets will swell and more insurance claims would be approved. If people think their claims are likely to be denied by the insurance companies, then they will just choose the cheapest plan. 

The revisions to the current regulations and law should improve the bad reputation of the insurance sector that it has gained in the public eye. — VNS