11 July 2024

Motorists who have their cars insured by Thailand’s Southeast Insurance will have their cars repaired and the garages will be compensated by the company, according to the Insurance Commission’s Secretary-general Suttipol Taweechaikarn.

The insurance commissioner offered the assurance after several garages have refused to work on cars covered by Southeast Insurance, for fear that they may not be paid by the struggling insurance firm, which is saddled with hefty claims for compensation from COVID-19 patients.

The commissioner said that guidelines were worked out at a recent meeting, between the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC), Southeast Insurance, representatives of the Auto Repair Association of Thailand and the Association of Central Garage Insurance, held to ensure fair treatment for both the insured and the garages.

Under the guidelines, Southeast Insurance must compensate the garages for repairs charged to the firm’s customers within three days of the garage filing the claim.

If the garages are not sure that they will be refunded by the insurance firm, the company, in this case, must settle the payments with the garages three days before the completion of the maintenance or repairs.

Currently, Southeast Insurance has contracts with about 390 independent garages and 281 car dealerships to provide repair and maintenance services.

Suttipol said that, during the recent discussions, the two associations proposed that Southeast Insurance should arrange for spare parts to be provided to contracted garages and to disburse payments to them quickly after acceptance of their repair bills.

The garages, however, must submit their assessment of repair costs to the insurance company in advance.