Published on November 25th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Will your car insurance pay for a sinkhole accident?
We also explain the dangers of sinkholes on our roads.
Sinkholes used to be very rare in Malaysia but recent months we have seen more sinkholes coming up in Klang Valley and also Petaling Jaya. Just a day ago this Perodua driver drove into a sinkhole in the middle of the city and when the pictures were shared with us it came with the question, ‘will the car insurance cover the cost of damages’ (first party insurance) or ‘would the driver need to make a claim against the town council’?
Well, when we checked with our Insurance provider, Allianz General Insurance, they replied that they will cover the damage incurred on the Perodua Myvi as long as the driver was carrying a first party Allianz insurance policy. For other car insurance providers, the answer might have been different.
Now, the next question is, can the driver make a claim against the town council who maintains the road?
When we checked with our legal advisor we were told that sink holes are caused by natural events or natural disaster, therefore no claim can be made against the town council.
So now comes the question, what causes sinkholes?
The internet tells us that sinkholes develop when underground soil and rock are eroded by a lot of water or rain and at times of very heavy rainfall the risk of sinkholes will increase.
They can seemingly appear out of nowhere and progress quickly; a sinkhole swallowed a car within minutes along Jalan University (near Lisa De Inn hotel) a few months ago.
While sinkholes are more common after heavy rain and flooding, there are several warning signs people can look out for and ways to prepare for them. However, Malaysians are not used to this issue as it is only recently that we are seeing sinkholes.
So, how do you spot a sinkhole on the road?
Drivers should be particularly vigilant on roads after prolonged periods of rain and flooding as excess water can erode soil beneath the surface of the road. Having very dark window tint, especially cheap window tint which at night is not crystal clear and wipers that are not cleaning your windshield properly could reduce your vision and you could drive into a sinkhole.
So, what do you do when you drive into a sinkhole?
It is very important that you and your passengers get out of the car as quickly as possible and stand as far away as possible because the sinkhole may get deeper and it is not uncommon for a sinkhole to fill up with water.
Be safe on the road and be alert on what is in front of you at all times.