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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Regulator sued by insurers for prohibiting cancellation of COVID policies

The insurers’ regulatory agency is being sued by two insurance companies for preventing the cancellation of insurance policies offering lump sum payments to policyholders who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) Secretary General Suthipol Taweechaikarn went to the Lak Si District Central Administrative Court in Bangkok for a scheduled hearing in the case where he and the OIC are being sued by the two insurance companies.

Mr. Suthipol said he wanted to take the case to the highest court. Furthermore, he stressed that the ICO had acted legally and in the interest of the citizens who had taken out insurance policies. He explained that attempts by insurers to cancel their COVID policies during the crisis period, after promising coverage until the end date of each policy, were considered by the ICO as a form of exploitation. He added that such attempts undermine public confidence in insurance companies.

According to the secretary general, his office must oppose insurers setting a precedent by invoking changes in risk factors to cancel existing policies. He explains that insurance companies issued 24.4 million COVID policies in 2020 and made huge profits, which prompted them to continue selling those policies in 2021.

Over the course of the year, companies faced a massive number of claims as more policyholders took out COVID-19.

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