Regulator sides with insurer after bus crash fiasco

Insurer refused to compensate a liability insurance claim made by a brother of one of the accident’s victims

Regulator sides with insurer after bus crash fiasco

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The Financial Supervisory Committee (FSC), Taiwan’s financial regulator, ruled in favour of an insurance company that declined to compensate the brother of one of the fatalities in last week’s deadly bus accident in Taipei.
The victim, surnamed Lee, perished due to the accident involving a bus belonging to Iris Travel Service Co. Both her parents also died in the tragedy, and her brother was unable to claim compensation on her behalf.
Lee was covered by travel agency liability insurance from Union Insurance Company and liability insurance from Fubon Insurance. The policies were worth NTD2 million (US$65,000) each.

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Fubon Insurance earlier rejected Lee’s brother’s claim, saying only family members with lineal relationships were eligible for compensation.
On Thursday, the FSC released a decision that sided with Fubon, saying that the brother could only be entitled to compensation if he could prove that he raised his sister.
The FSC cited Article 194 of the Civil Code, which states only linear relatives (parents or children) can make claims for liability insurance. Siblings and cousins were not included in the clause.
“While anyone can claim compensation for casualty insurance and life insurance, liability insurance only works for lineal relatives,” Insurance Bureau deputy director-general Shih Chiung-hwa told The China Post.
The accident, which killed 33 people and injured 11, was the deadliest vehicular accident in Taiwan in the past 30 years.
Yeh Shu-hung, a lawyer consulted by The China Post, agreed with Fubon and the FSC, but he said that if the brother could prove that his sister died before his parents, then he could be considered a legal claimant.
“If the sister had died first, Lee’s parents would have automatically become the legal claimants to claim compensation,” Yeh said. “Subsequently, their death following the sister’s would have given Lee the right to inherit as the legal claimant.”

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