OIC reduces interest for premiums

OIC reduces interest for premiums

Move to help firms hit by coronavirus

A meeting at the Office of the Insurance Commission sees all participants wearing masks as a precaution as many insurers offer Covid-19 products.
A meeting at the Office of the Insurance Commission sees all participants wearing masks as a precaution as many insurers offer Covid-19 products.

The Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) has lowered the minimum interest rate for pricing premiums to 1% from 2% and allowed 70,000 tourist buses affected by Covid-19 to either seek premium refunds or extend their auto insurance period as part of its efforts to alleviate impacts from the outbreak.

The insurance regulator also asked insurers to prepare business contingency plans in case the coronavirus situation worsens, OIC secretary-general Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn said after a meeting about additional relief measures with Thai Life Assurance Association, Thai General Insurance Association, Thai Insurance Brokers Association and the Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

The OIC also relaxed the capital adequacy ratio requirement for insurance companies and extended the deadline for financial report submission, both annually and quarterly, by 30 days on a case-by-case basis.

However, companies must inform the agency of their reasons for late reporting and why it is necessary.

"The OIC has conducted stress tests for insurance companies under two sensitivity cases. First, business impacts from the Covid-19 outbreak, and then the economic downturn caused by the virus spread. The stress test outcome indicated their capital adequacy ratio remains resilient," he said.

Earlier, the OIC launched relief measures including providing insurance products for coronavirus coverage and Covid-19 health insurance policies to 70,000 medical workforce via the Public Health Ministry.

Commenting on relaxation for auto insurance policies held by tourist bus operators, Mr Suthiphon said there have been 70,000 vehicles affected by the virus epidemic.

Under the relief measures, tourist bus operators can ask for insurers to refund premiums or extend the suspension period, but this period applies only tourist buses that are not used for at least 30 days.

If operators of tourist buses want to renew their auto insurance policies, they can receive up to a 30% premium discount for voluntary insurance that is taken out.

The privilege runs through June 30.

He said Covid-19 health insurance products are gaining popularity among individuals and corporations, while demand for travel insurance remains tepid.

At the moment, 20 insurance companies offer Covid-19 insurance policies to the public, up from 14 last week.

The higher number of insurers providing virus insurance policies reflects strong demand from consumers, said Mr Suthiphon.

The 20 insurers include Prudential Life Assurance (Thailand), AIA, Muang Thai Life Assurance, Muang Thai Insurance, Bangkok Life Assurance, FWD Life Insurance, Dhipaya Insurance and Bangkok Insurance.


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