Family of dead Ferrari driver sues insurers
AXA Singapore had told Mr Ma's family that the crash was a "collision", not an accident.
Tue, Aug 14, 2012; AsiaOne
The wife and mother left behind by deceased Ferrari driver Ma Chi are taking the vehicle's insurers to court after the companies said they intend to withdraw coverage for the deadly crash.
The Straits Times reported insurers AXA Singapore had told Mr Ma's family that the crash on May 12 at Rochor Road [YouTube: witness footage] was a "collision", not an accident.
What this means in the insurance industry is that the driver was aware that his actions would cause an accident, thereby voiding the insurers' liability to make a payout.
Mr Ma's family wants the High Court to reject this finding by suing the insurers.
The lawsuit is believed to be the first such reported case in Singapore and is becoming a public interest issue as to how accidents are treated as "collisions", under which an insurer can reject liability. The accident in May left three, including Mr Ma, dead and two others injured. He had allegedly run a red light, crashed into a taxi, which then hit a motorcycle.
According to The Straits Times, AXA first informed the Ma family of its decision last month. In the same month, the family had replied that they disagree with AXA's position.
The company then responded by asking the family not to liquidate any of Mr Ma's assets, and said the case should be arbitrated. AXA also asked the family to supply a list of his other assets.
Wendell Wong, lawyer for the Ma family, then filed a suit asking the High Court to rule that the crash was indeed an accident and not a "collision" as claimed by AXA.
The family released a statement on Monday, "It is not an easy decision but the family feels that we need to seek the assistance of the Singapore courts as the insurer made the decision to repudiate liability first.
"We just want to follow the Singapore laws as to what we need to do following the accident that affected people's lives."
A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for next month.
AXA motor insurance contract [pdf: view][alt link]