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SATURDAY, October 01, 2022
Insurance regulator suing 2 companies over Bt18bn in unpaid Covid claims

Insurance regulator suing 2 companies over Bt18bn in unpaid Covid claims

SATURDAY, April 02, 2022

The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) will take legal action against executives of two companies after they failed to honour Covid-19 claims totalling more than 18 billion baht.

Southeast Insurance and Thai Insurance filed to terminate their businesses and return their licences to the OIC on January 28, after an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 claims. Both companies are subsidiaries of Thai Group Holdings.

OIC secretary-general Suttipol Taweechaikarn said the two insurers had been given time to rectify financial issues stemming from their Covid insurance policies that promised lump-sum payments to those infected by coronavirus.

However, the shareholders of both insurance companies refused to increase their capital and instead insisted on closing the businesses.

As a result, the Finance Ministry revoked their licences on April 1 to protect customers. Southeast Insurance owes 13.5 billion baht in unpaid Covid claims while Thai Insurance owes 4.6 billion baht.

“Along with their failure to increase capital to cover claims, we will investigate whether the two companies committed other offences toward the end of their business operations and pursue appropriate legal action,” said Suttipol.

A source said on Friday that Southeast Insurance and Thai Insurance will close all of their service centres immediately.

Over 8 million existing customers of both insurers have reportedly been transferred to 31 insurance companies – 15 general insurers, 10 casualty insurers and six life insurers.

The source said that around 500 out of the two companies’ 1,300 employees have been transferred to other subsidiaries of Thai Group Holdings, while about 600 have already found new jobs, leaving around 200 left unemployed by the closure.