In Malaysia, it is mandatory for drivers to insure their vehicles annually in order to renew their road tax. With many players in the market, it is up to them to choose their preferred insurer or takaful operator that can provide the coverages that they need.
The local motor insurance industry was previously regulated by a tariff structure under Bank Negara Malaysia but everything changed in July 2017. Known as the de-tariffication of motor insurance, insurers and takaful operators are now allowed to use their own methods in determining premiums or contributions rate.
Smart Investor recently spoke to Junior Cho, General Manager of Zurich General Insurance Malaysia Bhd to see how the company has revamped its motor product to benefit customers while setting itself apart from its competitors.
Q: Beginning 1st July 2017, the motor insurance and takaful tariffs have been liberalised. How has Zurich Malaysia responded to the evolving market landscape?
It has been an exciting time for us after the de-tariffication of motor premiums and contributions as we are able to provide our customers with more innovative and competitively-priced motor products that are better aligned to their needs.
In preparation for the de-tariffication at that time, we not only conducted extensive consumer researches to fine-tune our product features and benefits, but also analysed our internal customer data to ensure that our premium and contribution rates are priced competitively. As a result, we are pleased to have launched Z-Driver which is available for both our insurance and takaful consumers.
Q: Tell us more about the Z-Driver. What are the main benefits and features?
Z-Driver is our comprehensive motor plan with value add-ons for 360° protection on the road. When we were finalising this product, we wanted to make sure that our consumers are provided with great flexibility and practicality from the various benefits and features that really suit their needs.
Everyone enjoys discounts when they are considering a product, don’t you think so? With this product, your premium or contribution rates are as much as 10% lower if you are in the lower risk segments. To the ladies, SUV drivers, and cautious drivers out there, rejoice as you are considered to be those with a much lower risk to us!
As for those who regularly rely on a car for daily commute, fret not as you can enjoy complimentary unlimited use of a courtesy car for as many times as you need, in the event of theft or accident.
Last but not least, we allow for unlimited named drivers for private cars at no additional charge. This is great considering how customers previously had the dilemma of naming their second driver when renewing their motor insurance/takaful.
Q: What are the factors used to determine Z-Driver’s premiums?
In addition to the usual standard motor rating factors, your premium or contribution rates are determined by your risk profile which includes the likelihood of you making a claim and how costly that claim might be. This is more commonly known as the risk-based pricing model.
Let me share with you some of the common factors that we use to determine your motor premium / contribution:
- Type of coverage
The coverage you choose may affect the cost of your motor premium/contribution.
- What you drive
Other than the standard motor rating factors such as the vehicle model, vehicle age and engine capacity, we also take into consideration the following:
- Vehicles’ susceptibility to damage, occupant injury or theft;
- Cost of repair or replacement of vehicle due to theft or total loss;
- Likelihood of accidents caused by your vehicle that causes damage to other road users;
- Modification to your vehicle.
- Where you live
Due to generally higher rates of theft and accidents, urban drivers pay more for motor
insurance or takaful as compared to those in small towns or rural areas.
- Your driving and claims history
For drivers who have been involved in multiple accidents, you are more likely to pay a higher premium as compared to drivers with a clean driving record. As for new drivers who have not had motor coverage before, you may also need to pay more for your insurance or takaful protection.
- Your age and gender
Understandably, younger drivers will need to pay a higher rate as they still lack driving experience as compared to older drivers. As for gender, it is shown statistically that women are safer drivers and as such, they will get to enjoy lower premium or contribution rates.
Q: You mentioned 360° protection on the road. How can drivers determine what is best for them?
For drivers to determine which type of coverage and add-ons they require, they first need to understand the potential risks they could face when driving.
For example, drivers who are constantly on the move in flood-prone areas are advised to protect their vehicles with a water damage cover which includes reimbursement up to RM5,000 on towing and vehicle cleaning services.
Other than flood, drivers at areas susceptible to damages due to natural disasters could also get further peace of mind by including the Special Perils coverage in their motor insurance / takaful plan. More savings here as we offer 60% discount off the tariff rate for this coverage!