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Thailand insurance companies face surge in demand; suspend sales

Thailand insurance coronavirus
In the light of the coronavirus infection, Thailand’s insurance companies are currently modifying protection conditions

The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) plans to suspend insurance sales for Covid-19 as it nears the policy threshold of 500,000 to 700,000. OIC is the regulator of Thailand’s insurance sector. 

Some Thailand insurance companies are modifying protection conditions to suit the coronavirus infection situation. These conditions imposed by Thailand’s insurance companies include adding a 14-day waiting period from the time of purchase to coverage date, media reports said.

Such policies have become extremely popular during this time. The insurance sales have risen sharply in Thailand due to the rapid spread of Coronavirus infections. In fact, 25 Thailand insurance companies have been authorised by the Office of Insurance Commission to offer insurance for Covid-19. Of those insurers, 20 of them have already released their insurance products, media reports said.

The OIC is playing an important role in monitoring Thailand’s insurance industry. That said, there are rising concerns that some individuals with high cover might expose themselves to the virus to claim the payouts. 

Suthiphon Thaweechaiyagarn, Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) secretary-general, told the media, “As of March 18, more than 2 million insurance policies have been sold with a total premium of over Bt1 billion by 25 insurance companies. However, some companies have halted the selling of insurance that pays immediately when customers test positive for Covid-19 due to the higher rate of infection in Thailand. We have advised insurance companies to evaluate the risk and their reimbursement capability closely to make sure that increasing numbers of infected won’t affect payout of benefits to customers and their financial status in the future.”

Also, the OIC is expected to propose a plan to the Ministry of Finance for low income households. Under this plan, the insurance premium could reach as low as Bt99 per year, with benefits of up to Bt100,000 in case of infection. 

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