Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why AXA withdrawing coverage for Ferrari crash

He had been speeding in a part of town which was built-up, and where traffic was to be expected at all hours. He also failed to stop at the traffic lights, which had been red for a "significant" period of time.

These are some of the reasons why the vehicle insurer of Ferrari driver Ma Chi, 31, is withdrawing its coverage for the crash in May, which left three dead.

The reasons were outlined in a defence and counter-claim filed in the High Court on Monday by lawyers acting for AXA Insurance Singapore.

The document said: "Ma Chi was doing an act which he knew or ought to have known was courting imminent danger to himself and others."

The crash, it added, was "highly probably, foreseeable and to be expected".

In the counter-claim, the insurer's lawyers said that the incident was due to a "collision", not an accident.

In the insurance industry, this means that the driver was aware that his actions would cause an accident, thereby voiding the insurer's liability to make a payout.

It also stated that amounts from claims made for those injured or killed in the crash should come from Mr Ma's estate.

On May 12, Mr Ma allegedly beat a red light and crashed into a ComfortDelGro taxi, which then hit a motorcycle at the junction of Rochor Road and Victoria Street.

Mr Ma, a financial investor from Sichuan, died at the scene while cabby Cheng Teck Hock, 52, died in hospital along with his Japanese passenger, Ms Shigemi Ito, 41. Both the motorcyclist and a female passenger in the Ferrari were injured.

According to a Health Sciences Authority toxicology report dated June 5, Mr Ma had not consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

AXA first informed Mr Ma's family of its decision to repudiate its liability in July. Last month, the family - through its lawyer, Mr Wendell Wong- filed a suit asking the High Court to rule that the crash was indeed an accident.

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