Thai insurers swamped by demand for COVID-19 cover

Companies may have underestimated the risks brought by the disease

Thai insurers swamped by demand for COVID-19 cover

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Thailand’s insurance regulator has revealed that several insurers are looking to suspend sales of insurance for COVID-19, as they have reportedly come closer to their policy threshold of 500,000 to 700,000.

Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn, secretary-general of the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC), said that some insurers are revising protection conditions, such as adding a 14-day waiting period from purchase to coverage date, a Bangkok Post report said.

Thaveechaiyagarn added that the popularity of such policies was unprecedented, with sales spiking sharply in recent weeks due to the rapid spread of infections. The OIC has authorised 25 insurers to offer insurance for COVID-19, with 20 of them having already released their products.

As of March 18, over two million COVID-19 insurance policies had been sold, most of which gave a lump-sum payout in case the policyholder was diagnosed with the disease.

During the Thai General Insurance Association’s meeting last week, several participants expressed worries about the insurance policyholders’ moral hazard and that insurers may have underestimated the risks, the report said.

The OIC will continue to closely monitor the industry, Thaveechaiyagarn said, noting the possibility that some individuals with high sums insured could deliberately expose themselves to the virus and get infected in order to collect the payouts.

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