Council Meetings (Oral Question): Fraudulent Insurance Claims Involving Loss Adjusters (2014.10.22)

MR CHAN KIN-POR (in Cantonese): President, the main reply points out that over the past three years, no loss adjuster was successfully prosecuted. Actually, this is only one side of the story. This is because there was a recent court case about a loss adjuster, only that no sufficient evidence was found. Also, as Members all know, and as also mentioned by Mr Frankie YICK just now, that there is a very significant case involving more than 10 companies and hundreds of cases. This is a terrible situation that has never happened before. It shows that a lot of things are hidden. Given this situation, may I ask the Government, when there is such a glaring loophole, that is, anyone can open a loss adjuster firm without being subject to any regulation, whether the authorities will initiate any regulation as mentioned earlier?

SECRETARY FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES AND THE TREASURY (in Cantonese): President, loss adjusters are service providers by themselves and if it is about claims lodged with insurance companies or any negotiations for such, the insurance company concerned will act in a most professional manner and hire a loss adjuster to oversee the work, such as determining whether the amount of compensation claimed is reasonable or not. If it is found to be in the negative, the amount will be decided by negotiation between the parties concerned. So we think that speaking from the perspective of insurers, there are measures in place to protect their interests. Of course, we notice the problems raised by the Member and we would think that the effective ways to tackle the problems are by increasing publicity of these offences and taking enforcement action against offenders.

MR CHAN KIN-POR (in Cantonese): President, I wish to add one point and that is, I have asked the OCI on behalf of the insurance industry to regulate loss adjusters.

I have this supplementary question. I believe most loss adjusters are professional. But even if only a very small number of them break the law, the whole industry will be affected. May I ask the Government, as a matter of fact, both the insurers and the public at large will use the service of loss adjusters, so when consideration is given to imposing regulation such as at least requiring them to be registered or launching various other measures, how can it be guaranteed or ensured that the insurers or the public at large will not be victimized by these unscrupulous loss adjusters?

SECRETARY FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES AND THE TREASURY (in Cantonese): President, with respect to this question, we would think that, first of all, the insurers have the professional expertise and capability to negotiate with the loss adjusters. This is the first point. Certainly, if it is found that loss adjusters have engaged in any acts of fraud, the insurers should have ways to handle them, of course, if these are genuine acts of fraud such as champerty and fabrication of evidence, these are criminal offences. I think that the approach which I have just mentioned should be adopted.

Insofar as the current situation is concerned, it is our view that with our co-operation with the insurance industry, we can address problems not just about loss adjusters but also how premiums can be made more reasonable and whether other factors should also be considered. In this respect, I very much welcome the provision of more information and advice by the insurance industry for our reference.

Scroll to Top