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Motor insurance claims are on the rise yet again. Net claims paid out for bodily injury and property damage due to road accidents has increased to RM1.384 billion in the first quarter of 2014, from RM1.319 billion in the same period in 2013, the Persatuan Am Insurans Malaysia (PIAM) has revealed.

This follows on a report earlier in the year stating that net claims incurred by general insurers and takaful operators in the first nine months of 2013 had shot up to RM4.1 billion, compared to RM3.68 billion in the same period in 2012.

In a statement, the association said that the general insurance and takaful industry is committed to promoting safe driving habits and road safety among Malaysian motorists, and urged all road users to adopt a positive and defensive road safety attitude in order to ensure their own safety and the safety of other road users.

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It added that it was perturbed by the increase in road accident fatalities, citing a recent report by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) which said over 2,000 people perished as a result of road accidents in the first four months of 2014.

“It is indeed a worrying trend with the escalating number of fatal road accidents involving road users due largely to some road users’ lackadaisical attitude and plain recklessness in many cases,” said PIAM chairman Chua Seck Guan.

The PIAM comment echoes that said recently by the Road Safety Department (JKJR) – the department stated that rising road accident rates are caused by, among other things, the attitudes of road users who believe that it would not happen to them. According to JKJR director-general Datuk Dr Tam Weng, it is because of this mentality that road users neglect the rules, contributing to increased crashes and fatalities.