Representatives of nine insurance companies, along with some 30 individuals claiming to have suffered a combined Bt3 million in damages, on Monday lodged a complaint against two executives of SMP Insure Co for alleged fraud.
Police urged people to be wary of phone calls pitching car insurance packages, and to check with the cited insurance companies first to confirm such offers are legitimate.
Tanupat Rattanapulchai, deputy secretary-general for legal, litigation and policyholder protection at the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC), led the group to file the complaint with the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) in Bangkok.
He said his office had received complaints from more than 200 people against the insurance-broker company, which made sales pitches over the phone offering various promotions.
However, after the consumers agreed to buy the policies from companies on the list and paid the premiums, they never received the policy books from the insurers.
Customers’ subsequent inquiries with the insurance companies found that their policy purchases had never been forwarded by the “seller” and therefore there was no record of them.
Moreover, he explained, the plaintiffs said their contacts with SMP Insure Co had also been met with a statement that certain expenses must be deducted from the refund amount, avoidance tactics or even silence.
A Saraburi resident told police that he had given SMP Insure Co’s salesperson his credit-card number for “checking for further information”, but later found a premium payment amounting to Bt15,000 had been charged to his card without his consent. His request for a refund fell on deaf ears, he said.
Tanupat said SMP Insure Co’s website had allegedly used other insurance companies’ logos to boost its credibility, when in fact the OIC had found that the firm had no licence to sell insurance policies. The two executives – identified only by their first names as Chanyuth and Waraporn – had their insurance-selling licences revoked months ago, he said.
The agency itself had also initially filed a complaint at Sutthisan police station in Bangkok against the company for alleged embezzlement and document forgery, and will launch legal action against the website for violation of the Computer Act, he added.
The nine stock exchange-listed insurance companies having filed complaints with the CSD are: Viriyah Insurance; Bangkok Insurance; Syn Mun Kong Insurance; Navakij Insurance; Muang Thai Insurance; Safety Insurance; Assets Insurance; Southeast Insurance; and Tokio Marine Life Insurance (Thailand).