There are 2 main weather seasons in Malaysia i.e. rain and no rain, and like every year, the former is starting again. Yet in its Impact of Pandemic on Protection survey, Zurich Malaysia found that 59% of Malaysian motorists still do not have adequate protection against flood damage. As such, drivers who are not prepared for this situation, or think they will not be affected, are exposed to potential losses.
This is definitely a cause for concern during the monsoon seasons that brings about flash floods. The current Northeast Monsoon season has started and typically goes on until March. The Malaysian Meteorological Department has issued warnings for certain states which are expected to have higher than average rainfall of between 450 mm and 1,000 mm in November and December.
In addition to flooding, landslides and falling trees are potential perils that Malaysian motorists are seldom prepared for. Zurich finds that only 1 in 3 active motorists (34%) reported having coverage for storms including falling trees, and only 29% are covered for landslides. The survey also found that in terms of renewing their motor vehicle insurance and takaful, Malaysians still engage agents to do so. Out of 990 respondents who own a motor vehicle, 38% chose to go through an agent despite the availability of online portals.
However, online portals were the most preferred method with 43% of the motorists utilising them. This shows the importance of digital tools in today’s market. Meanwhile, 16% of Malaysians opted to visit a physical kiosk or post office themselves to renew their insurance personally.
In terms of motor insurance and takaful coverage, a noteworthy trend is that most Malaysians prefer plans that cover all drivers (36%) instead of just named drivers in the policy (34%). This is particularly useful if the car owner is in the vehicle but not behind the wheel, e.g. taking turns driving on a long interstate journey.
Some Malaysians may only sign up for protection solely to have a valid motor insurance or takaful as mandated to be able to renew their road tax and drive. This is evidenced by 47% of vehicle owner respondents reporting they are unsure of their coverage content.
The survey was conducted in late September 2021 and engaged 1,201 Malaysians from all states. 990 of those surveyed were vehicle owners. The survey is an effort by Zurich Malaysia to understand the local consumer landscape and design protection plans that best suit customers’ lifestyles and needs.