While insurers in Thailand are paying more attention to the online distribution of their products, the market’s chief regulator believes there’s more to be done to improve their delivery.
“Online insurance in Thailand can be a survival approach for some insurance products facing fierce competition such as travel and auto,” Suthiphon Taweechaiyagarn, secretary-general of the Office of the Insurance Commission, told the Bangkok Post.
“The online channel helps reduce the cost and brokerage fees,” he added. “But online insurance is still not fully integrated. Although product sales and insurance claims can be done online, these claims are still paid in cash.”
While availability of insurance online is still quite low in Thailand, insurers, especially in the motor insurance segment, should develop new products to meet consumers’ changing needs, Taweechaiyagarn said.
One example he gave was specialised insurance products for vehicles that are not used on a daily basis, such as rental cars. This, he said, can help lower operating costs and bring in profit, while still keeping prices low for consumers.
Taweechaiyagarn said that many insurers in Thailand are investing heavily in insurance technology, and once these insurers are able to thoroughly integrate their online insurance, the country’s insurance market will likely grow exponentially over the next four to five years.