The Insurance Authority (IA) of Hong Kong has extended until March 31 the temporary facilitative measures allowing non-face-to-face distribution of certain insurance products, as part of safety precautions to prevent spreading of COVID-19.
According to the regulator, the scope of products covered and the implementation details of the measures remain unchanged.
These include Qualifying Deferred Annuity Policy (QDAP), Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) products, term life policies, and refundable policies without substantial savings component or renewable policies without cash value that provide insurance protection. Other long-term insurance products, such as investment-linked insurance, are excluded from the scheme.
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the Insurance Authority instituted the measures to help contain the virus’ spread while allowing business to continue. Hong Kong regulations normally restrict sales of long-term insurance products to face-to-face methods.
With the temporary measures in place, insurers and intermediaries can distribute products via different non-face-to-face means, such as digital, telemarketing, post or video conferencing. However, they are required to make upfront disclosure at the point of sale and provide an extended cooling-off period of at least 30 calendar days for the protection of policyholders.