Insurance industry insiders optimistic

The devastation lingers. With the effects of Typhoon Hato still very much apparent.

The chairman of the board of Macau Insurance Agents & Brokers Association, Chui Chi Kin, told Business Daily that the destruction wrought by Typhoon Hato last Wednesday could improve the insurance business in the long run.
“I think the storm can pose a positive impact,” said Chui. “It might have increased people’s awareness.”
A similar opinion is held by the Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration of the University of Macau, Jacky Yuk Chow So.
“After this superstorm incident I think people won’t save the money of not buying insurance,” said So.
As a result, although the insurance industry would suffer a bit in compensating claimants, in the long run more people would be willing to insure their properties, opined So.
Right after the typhoon struck, Jiang Yidao, President of the Macau Insurers Association and Managing Director of China Taiping Insurance (Macau) Company Ltd., told Macao Monetary Authority (AMCM) that the city had lost over MOP1 billion due to the typhoon, saying that the insurance industry will face a great challenge ahead, in particular regarding the number of personnel required to handle claims.
Chui, on the other hand, said the amounts of claims were uncertain given that renovations are still ongoing.
“We need to gather information from all insurance companies in the city and send it to AMCM; there are currently five to six insurance companies,” indicated Chui.
The chairman said most people are claiming money for the insurance of their houses since many had suffered broken windows during the typhoon.
“Those who wish to claim money from their insurance company may find themselves in need of paying a basic price, let’s say MOP1,000, in order to claim the rest of the amount,” said Chui.
As such, more would approach the government instead since the government has just rolled out funding offering MOP30,000 to households which had their windows broken during the storm.
“Claimants cannot get the money from both the insurance company and the government,” the chairman pointed out.
Regarding the usual preference of insurance, Chui said the majority subscribe to third party liability (TPL) cover, which does not include damage from flooding.
“Fewer would purchase comprehensive cover to cover flooding because it is quite expensive [in comparison to TPL],” said Chui.

Serving claimants
Local insurance companies have set up a 24-hour hotline to anwser queries from claimants.
Urged by AMCM, insurance companies have appointed staff to approach clients who have purchased insurance services.
AMCM also requested the industry to submit a report within this week on data related to the loss and claims created by the supertyphoon.