AIA defeats S’pore policyholder’s breach of contract claim

Andrea Tan

American International Assurance Co., won dismissal of a lawsuit by a Singapore policyholder who sought S$1.95 million ($1.46 million) for breach of contract.

Singapore High Court Judge Tan Lee Meng upheld an earlier dismissal and struck out another claim by Zhu Yong Zhen who also alleged that her former lawyer colluded with the insurer against her, according to a ruling released publicly today.

“Madam Zhu obviously did not understand the role of the courts in the litigation process,” Tan wrote, noting that she also complained that the assistant registrar who made a number of orders against her had sabotaged her case.

Zhu’s dispute with AIA was related to policies the American International Group Inc. unit sold between 1986 and 1994 with a feature under which the policy would accumulate enough dividends so that a holder would be covered without paying further premiums, according to the judgment. AIA announced a plan for other affected policyholders in 2003.

Zhu declined to participate in that process and in August 2008 proposed to AIA that their dispute be settled by the insurer investing S$1.5 million in a health supplement business she planned, according to the ruling.

A policy benefit illustration document shown to Zhu was not part of her contract, Judge Tan ruled.