Covid-19 policies wind down

Covid-19 policies wind down

A medical check-up is offered to a taxi driver by a healthcare practitioner. Several insurance firms have stopped selling pandemic policies. VARUTH HIRUNYATHEB
A medical check-up is offered to a taxi driver by a healthcare practitioner. Several insurance firms have stopped selling pandemic policies. VARUTH HIRUNYATHEB

Some 6.8 million coronavirus insurance policies were taken out in less than two months since they were made available, with many companies already ceasing sales of lump-sum payout plans, says Suthiphon Taveechaiyagarn, secretary-general of the Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC).

The number of policies more than doubled from 2.6 million sold as of March 18, said the OIC.

Several insurance firms have stopped selling pandemic insurance policies that offer lump-sum payments to limit their risk as the disease has been spreading rapidly in Thailand.

This category raised concerns among insurers about policyholders' moral hazard because the low premium could encourage holders with more valuable insurance packages to expose themselves to the virus in hopes of making claims amid a spike in the number of infected patients.

The coronavirus insurance premiums range from 99 to 1,250 baht.

Anon Vangvasu, executive vice-president of Bangkok Insurance (BKI), said his company stopped selling coronavirus protection on Friday.

BKI, which pioneered this specific insurance provision, stopped selling lump-sum payment policies once the sales volume hit the underwriting risk earlier last week, before ceasing medical expenses and coma payment policies on Friday.

Mr Anon, who is also chairman of Thai General Insurance Association, said the association will request Covid-19 insurance policyholders' profiles and information from insurers to check how many policies, especially lump-sum payment types, are taken out.

All insurance companies have stopped offering lump-sum payment policies, but packages covering medical expenses, daily compensation and comas are still available, he said.


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