The wife and mother of the dead Ferrari driver are taking the vehicle’s insurers to court after they said they were withdrawing coverage for the deadly crash.
The insurers, AXA Insurance Singapore, had told Mr Ma Chi’s family that the crash on May 12 was a “collision” – not an accident, according to the suit filed in the High Court last week.
In the insurance industry, this means the driver was aware that his actions would cause an accident, thereby voiding the insurers’ liability to make a payout.
By suing AXA, Mr Ma’s family wants the High Court to reject this finding by AXA.
The lawsuit, believed to be the first such reported case in Singapore, is emerging as a public interest issue as to what the circumstances, under which an insurer can reject liability by treating accidents as “collisions”, are.
In the crash, Mr Ma had allegedly run a red light in Rochor Road. He rammed into a taxi, which then hit a motorcycle. The accident left three, including Mr Ma, dead and two others injured.
AXA first informed the Ma family of its decision to repudiate its liability last month.
In the same month, the family replied, stating they disagreed with AXA’s position, according to court documents filed.
AXA responded by asking the family not to liquidate any of Mr Ma’s assets, and said the case should be arbitrated.
They also asked the family to supply a list of his other assets.
The family’s lawyer Wendell Wong 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.
“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,” said a statement released by the family yesterday.
“We just want to follow the Singapore laws as to what we need to do following the accident that affected people’s lives.”
A High Court pre-trial conference has been scheduled for next month.
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