PETALING JAYA: Syndicates have emerged among drivers of Uber and Grab ride-sharing services to claim insurance by lying about the cause of their vehicle accidents, an association for regular taxi drivers has alleged.
Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (Pers1m) deputy president Kamarudin Hussain told FMT that some Uber and Grab drivers were being taught to lie when they were involved in road accidents.
He claimed their modus operandi was to delete the e-hailing app after any accident in order to claim insurance, which would not be paid if a private vehicle was operated for commercial purposes.
A check at the Grab website confirmed that the company would not bear any responsibility if any of its drivers got into an accident.
Kamarudin said this type of fraud would pressure insurance companies into charging customers higher premiums to deal with the risk.
“This is unfair as it will not just affect certain people but all Malaysians will also feel the heat,” he added.
Kamarudin also called on regular taxi drivers not to support Uber or Grab as they could end up as the eventual losers if the e-hailing companies abandoned them.
He said the two e-hailing companies might turn to regular taxi drivers if more of their own drivers quit after the government legalised the e-hailing service and imposed rules and regulations, which would likely inconvenience their drivers.
This would pressure Uber and Grab into offering jobs and hiring taxi drivers to cover their shortages, he predicted.
The Land Public Transport Act 2010 amendment to regulate services using e-hailing applications was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat in April and is expected to be debated next month.
Under amendments to the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987, the government is also seeking to introduce an intermediation business licence to regulate e-hailing services as public vehicles.
He urged taxi drivers to use local e-hailing service applications such as EzCab instead.
However, he advised local taxi companies which provided e-hailing service apps to work out a strategy so that they could compete with Uber and Grab.
“Local taxi companies should be smart at times like this. They should create better promotions such as Uber and Grab are doing right now,” said Kamarudin. “This will definitely attract more customers.”