According to a report by The Star, a Ferrari owner has successfully recovered RM1.5 million from an insurance company four years after the accident.
The Ferrari was purchased by Bespoke Motoring Sdn Bhd in August 2018 and insured for RM1.79 million. The Ferrari sustained significant damage as a result of a collision with another vehicle on the MEX Highway on October 5 of that year.
Lee Koon Tong, a designated licenced driver, was operating the vehicle at the time. Lee said before the court that an “unknown” car from his left side had abruptly changed lanes. He claimed that while trying to avoid a collision, he lost control, causing the Ferrari to “swerve and spin into oncoming traffic”.
Another vehicle struck Lee’s automobile as he attempted to shift it a few hundred metres farther to the right side of the road. Following the accident, Bespoke Motoring reported it to to his insurance company and made a claim. On February 22, 2019, the insurance company finally made a settlement offer of RM1.5 million, which the company accepted.
However, it withdrew the settlement offer two months later, asserting that Lee was intoxicated at the relevant time and that he had filed a police report only a few days after the collision. In answer, Lee stated that because he was on medical leave, he could only file the report later.
The Insurance company said that Bespoke Motoring “misrepresented” the details of the collision in the claim form, calling it a false claim that constituted a material breach of the terms of the contract. The company’s decision to revoke the licence was subsequently challenged in court, and Bespoke Motoring sought to recoup the RM1.5 million compensation.
Judge Liza Chan determined in her ruling that AmGeneral Insurance was unable to present enough proof to back up its choice to reject the coverage. “The plaintiff (Lee) only filed the police report one day after the collision, and the defendant (AmGeneral Insurance) already knew that Lee was driving against the flow of traffic.
The defendant received a claim form in which Lee maintained his account of the incident. He also acknowledged that he was not drunk when he was summoned by the police as a result of the accident, according to Chan.
The court concluded that the insurance company looked into the collision for nearly five months, and during that time, their internal investigators looked into Bespoke Motoring’s claim and determined it to be legitimate because Lee’s account was consistent. According to the court, the defendant’s acceptance of the claim and the provision of a settlement offer made any alleged breach by the plaintiff (Bespoke Motoring) irrelevant.
She added that a tow truck driver had stated that Lee seemed to be intoxicated at the scene of the collision, according to testimony given by the insurance company’s fraud investigation officer during the trial. “The witness openly acknowledged that he was unable to provide any additional information regarding the truck driver. What the driver said is undoubtedly “plainly inadmissible hearsay evidence,” according to Chan.
She said that a traffic officer’s testimony had “shot down in flames” claims that Lee was intoxicated.She claimed that despite police inquiries, Lee had never been accused of driving recklessly or dangerously in violation of Section 42 of the 1987 Road Transport Act. “I am confident in my decision on his evidence because there is consistency in his police report and claim form,” she added. “Lee’s evidence on why he was driving against the flow of traffic and how the accident transpired is not inherently unlikely, and I accept his evidence.
The judge determined that there was no fraud nor “active concealment” or “deliberate suppression” of information in order to discredit Bespoke Motoring’s claim after carefully examining all of the available evidence.