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Top tips and insurance advice from an insurance claim specialist


An interview with Lim Wen Hwei, DirectAsia’s talented Claims Manager. A woman who manages to make insurance advice both interesting and amusing. No mean feat!

First off, DirectAsia likes to celebrate happy things. What is the happiest thing that has happened to you this week Lim Wen Hwei?

This has been a great week for compliments from customers. We received the results of a detailed customer satisfaction survey. We were humbled and happy about the positive things customers had to say about how we handle their claims. This kind of feedback makes our day because we know we are helping people, often when they are having a difficult time.

How may claims do you handle in the average month?

Around 700. So it’s good to know what we are doing well!

Educate us. We know what a teacher or a doctor does all day. What does a Claims Manager do?

No day is ever the same!  I’m talking to our claims specialists, surveyors, workshops, lawyers and loss adjusters. There are 16 people in our core team. For every claim, it’s very important that we stay informed. There is an element of detective work to the job. This makes it very interesting.

What is the best thing about your job?

The people.  Everyone does his or her best to help resolve each claim successfully.  I like it when people are happy with what we do.  I’m also very pleased when we’re able to turn things around if a customer complains about the way their claim is being handled.

What is the worst thing about your job?

The same person who deals with compliments also deals with complaints - so no one person has to handle all the difficult parts of the job. We like to handle complaints very fast  - an acknowledgement within 24 hrs, resolution within 3-5 working days unless more legwork is required.  We always keep in regular contact with any customer who complains, and it’s great when we can sort things out quickly.

What is the most important thing you want people to know about claiming on their insurance?

For car insurance – you must file a GIA report at an approved Accident Reporting Centre (more details here). If you don’t, it can affect your No Claims Discount.

For travel insurance – If you need to claim for medical expenses, you must be aware of how much your policy covers and what documents to submit to your insurers.  Also, you are required to pay the expenses you are claiming for up front and then apply for reimbursement through your travel insurance policy.

What is the one thing people don’t understand about claims?

If you buy a car or a house you want to know what you are getting.  It’s the same when you are buying insurance. Make sure you know what you are paying for – what is covered.  If you regularly drive a car in Singapore and then you drive into Malaysia, does your insurance cover you over the border?  Does your insurance policy cover your hand phone in a travel insurance policy? DirectAsia offers cover for hand phones but not all insurance companies do.

What’s your number one piece of practical advice for Singaporeans wanting to make the most of their insurance?

You have to decide between buying a policy that is cheaper and covers less, and a policy that costs a bit more but offers more protection.

Also, read customer reviews before you buy insurance. Does the insurance company meet its claim promise?  Will you be able to talk to an expert when you need them? How long will it take for your claim to be resolved? Knowledge is always power.

Tell it to us straight. Apart from legally required insurance for our vehicles. What insurance would you advise anyone to invest in?

Travel and Home. Some people still believe that their luggage will never be lost, they will not become ill on holiday, their precious home and possessions will always be safe.  I’m a claims expert, take it from me, 101 things can and do happen.

Insurance is a cost effective way to protect yourself and your family against the bad days.  And a bad day can get a lot worse if you don’t have the right policy in place! It only takes a few minutes to sort out insurance with DirectAsia, we even have people buying just before their flight boards.

We all know the phrase “accidents happen”, but why is it so important to have the right insurance?

The word ‘insurance’ means safeguard, guarantee or support.  Smart people know that if they buy the right insurance - with a company like DirectAsia that meets its claims promise - they will be in good hands on a difficult day.

If you are sick, you want the best doctor.  If you have something stolen, you want a great detective working on your case.  If you need to make an insurance claim, you want to be confident that your claim will be handled honestly, quickly and to your best satisfaction.

Are all insurance companies the same?

One word. No. Customers need to be aware of the culture of the insurance company they are buying from.  Are they easy to get hold of? Are you passed around from person to person? Does the company have a policy of sitting on customer claims for as long as possible? Get recommendations, or read customer reviews online before you buy.

What is the nicest thing a DirectAsia customer has ever said to you?

I’m thinking of a customer who complained about our service.  After we got his email, he got a prompt reply from us and we went the extra mile to explain the challenges we had with his claim. He was very happy with our attitude towards his situation.

We don’t hide behind our Terms and Conditions.  If we can, we resolve the claim.  If we can’t we will always explain exactly why and do our best to educate people on how to buy the right insurance. We often send a gesture of goodwill, like a voucher, to a customer if it’s appropriate.

What is the biggest myth about car AND travel insurance? (2 answers)

That every insurance company has a special department full of mean-spirited claims people just waiting for the opportunity to turn claim down.  That’s just not true of DirectAsia.

The other biggest myth is this – “I never buy insurance because nothing has ever happened to me and I won’t need it.” That’s not true of life on this planet!

A recent report by the BBC asks, “Why does Singapore top so many tables?” What do you think?

We are proud to be the “Little Red Dot!” We are a buzzing, energetic country that embraces diverse cultures. We are competitive, talented and hard working. Can do attitude!

We are always looking for clever ideas to save hard-working people money. What is your money saving tip for living in Singapore?

Compare before you buy. Don’t stick to old, tired habits. The internet has opened up ways to shop in the comfort of your own home, and to find out what you are really buying before you part with your hard earned cash!

Thanks for the meaningful conversation Wen Hwei, and for all the great tips!

Visit www.directasia.com to get a quote online or call us at 6665 5555 for happier insurance now!