Dispute about Covid-19 insurances in Thailand – do people get “deliberately” infected?

Thailand’s Syn Mun Kong Insurance, one of the country’s larger non-life insurance companies,  in a surprise announcement on its Facebook page on July 16 said that it would terminate all Covid-19 policies it has with customers.

The decision was made due to the “unmanageable risk” brought about by the rapidly deteriorating virus situation in the country, the company said.

It added that the policies would be cancelled 30 days after clients receive a respective termination letter. No refunds would be given for premiums paid before the decision was made, the insurer said.

The move prompted furious reactions from customers on Syn Mun Kong’s Facebook page and on other social media channels, with people calling it “irresponsible,” demanding their money back, questioning the legality of the cancellation and calling on the country’s insurance regulator to intervene.

Insurers say people get “deliberately infected” to claim payouts

The move comes some ten days after the industry lobbying group Thai General Insurance Association publicly claimed it suspects that there were cases of people getting themselves “deliberately infected” with Covid-19 so they can claim insurance.

Someone insured could be paid out up to 100,000 baht ($3,050) if they were infected with the virus, for paying an annual premium of only 400 to 500 baht,  the association said, alleging that “some families” had earned 700,000 baht from insurance claims after all family members were infected.

While the association has yet to produce proof for its claims, some insurers including Bangkok Insurance and Viriyah Insurance have already stopped selling lump-sum policies at the end of June and said they would offer new Covid-19 insurance programs to new customers.

Insurance regulator says cancellation is illegitimate

In the case of Syn Mun Kong Insurance, Thailand’s insurance regulator Office of the Insurance Commission said the company was not in the position to arbitrarily terminate Covid-19 insurance contracts, threatening legal action or fines if the insurer moves forward with its plan.

The regulator said it would block the terminations if Syn Mun Kong fails to strictly adhere to all conditions stated in the contracts and does not honour the legally binding agreement made with customers.

Thailand is currently in its third and worst wave of Covid-19 infections, with daily new cases surpassing 10,000 for the first time on July 17 and the daily death toll reaching a new record of 141.



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Thailand's Syn Mun Kong Insurance, one of the country’s larger non-life insurance companies,  in a surprise announcement on its Facebook page on July 16 said that it would terminate all Covid-19 policies it has with customers. The decision was made due to the “unmanageable risk” brought about by the rapidly deteriorating virus situation in the country, the company said. It added that the policies would be cancelled 30 days after clients receive a respective termination letter. No refunds would be given for premiums paid before the decision was made, the insurer said. The move prompted furious reactions from customers on...

Thailand’s Syn Mun Kong Insurance, one of the country’s larger non-life insurance companies,  in a surprise announcement on its Facebook page on July 16 said that it would terminate all Covid-19 policies it has with customers.

The decision was made due to the “unmanageable risk” brought about by the rapidly deteriorating virus situation in the country, the company said.

It added that the policies would be cancelled 30 days after clients receive a respective termination letter. No refunds would be given for premiums paid before the decision was made, the insurer said.

The move prompted furious reactions from customers on Syn Mun Kong’s Facebook page and on other social media channels, with people calling it “irresponsible,” demanding their money back, questioning the legality of the cancellation and calling on the country’s insurance regulator to intervene.

Insurers say people get “deliberately infected” to claim payouts

The move comes some ten days after the industry lobbying group Thai General Insurance Association publicly claimed it suspects that there were cases of people getting themselves “deliberately infected” with Covid-19 so they can claim insurance.

Someone insured could be paid out up to 100,000 baht ($3,050) if they were infected with the virus, for paying an annual premium of only 400 to 500 baht,  the association said, alleging that “some families” had earned 700,000 baht from insurance claims after all family members were infected.

While the association has yet to produce proof for its claims, some insurers including Bangkok Insurance and Viriyah Insurance have already stopped selling lump-sum policies at the end of June and said they would offer new Covid-19 insurance programs to new customers.

Insurance regulator says cancellation is illegitimate

In the case of Syn Mun Kong Insurance, Thailand’s insurance regulator Office of the Insurance Commission said the company was not in the position to arbitrarily terminate Covid-19 insurance contracts, threatening legal action or fines if the insurer moves forward with its plan.

The regulator said it would block the terminations if Syn Mun Kong fails to strictly adhere to all conditions stated in the contracts and does not honour the legally binding agreement made with customers.

Thailand is currently in its third and worst wave of Covid-19 infections, with daily new cases surpassing 10,000 for the first time on July 17 and the daily death toll reaching a new record of 141.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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