Insurance companies may let down Carina Plaza residents

March 30, 2018 | 17:08
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People suffering damages from the fire at the Carina Plaza building may not receive compensation from insurance companies.
insurance companies may let down carina plaza residents
Victims of the fire may not receive compensation from insurance firms

According to the authorities, the Management Board of Carina Plaza had not been elected until the time of the fire. Therefore, in this case, the insured subject may only be the building’s investor. This also means that if the building's management violated the insurance contract on fire prevention and fighting for assets, they could be refused compensation, according to Circular No.220/2010/TT-BTC.

“In fact, the fire prevention system in this building seriously violated regulations as the sprinkler system had no water to spray, the fire alarms were inactive, and there was no water in the fire hydrant. There were many other issues, including the fact that the management board was not elected according to regulations, but the investor assigned an administrative for the building’s maintenance on its behalf, and maintenance funds were not handed over to the residents’ representative. Therefore, if the authorities conclude that there were violations, the insurance policy holder may be denied compensation,” said an insurance expert.

Phung Dac Loc, former general secretary of the Vietnam Insurance Association, said that while waiting for the final conclusions, insurance companies may first pay humanitarian assistance for residents, then subtract it later on from the insurance coverage paid to the investor. However, it is not entirely sure whether the investor will be found eligible for insurance compensation.

However, according to a representative of a large insurance company from Ho Chi Minh City, while issuing insurance contracts for such buildings, the insurance company may be more lenient with the terms so that the people can be compensated.

To date, the insurance firm PVI has not announced the official detailed information of insured subjects, but people in the Carina Plaza building could possibly receive compensation because the building was insured by PVI insurance package worth VND357 billion ($15.7 million).

PVI also covers some of the damaged cars in the building’s basement. Currently, the insurance company is checking the extent of the damage and is making a plan to repair the vehicles.

Thus, PVI has three types of insurance for the Carina Plaza fire, including the apartment’s property insurance, public and products liability insurance for the apartment management unit worth VND500 million ($22,000), and insurance for some of the damaged cars in the basement.

Many people consider the VND500 million ($22,000) insurance value for public and products liability miniscule compared to the damage caused.

On March 28, Bao Viet insurer received claims for two damaged cars that had vehicle insurance and Saigon Hanoi Insurance Joint Stock Corporation (BSH) received a claim for a Kia Morning car that had material insurance.

Along with the insurance policies of PVI, Bao Viet, and BSH, Bao Minh and PTI also sold insurance policies for the Carina Plaza residents. PTI also said that they received five claims for damaged cars.

By Van Anh

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