False Covid-19 insurance claims in excess of THB500 million
Covid-19 insurance claims for over 500 million baht have been made by people using falsified documents since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Thai General Insurance Association said.
Association chairman Anon Vangvasu said on Tuesday that most of the false claims have been found among customers of “Jer Jai Jop” insurance, which promises to pay immediately on testing positive for the new coronavirus.
“As the infection spread to large numbers of the population, insurance companies have had to verify huge volumes of documentation submitted to support the claims,” he said. “This sometimes makes the inspection not thorough enough, while the money has already been paid to customers who were later found to have used falsified evidence.”
Anon added that some people were found to have used fake patient records by inputting patient ID of other infected patients who had been admitted to the hospitals, while many others have filed fake positive test results.
“Using falsified documents to commit insurance fraud is punishable by maximum three years’ imprisonment or 300,000 baht fine, or both,” Anon warned.
The rising Covid-19 claims in Thailand also has caused turmoil among the insurance companies. In March, Syn Mun Kong Insurance (SMK) filed for protection with the Central Bankruptcy Court after it failed to pay claims amounting to a whopping 164 billion baht to 1.95 million people who had purchased its Covid insurance policies.
On July 16 last year, at the height of the pandemic, the company announced that it would cancel all its Covid-19 insurance policies and would return the money to buyers. However, the Office of the Insurance Commission put the brakes on its attempts to renege on its commitments, saying SMK had to honour the policies it had sold. The same message was also conveyed to other insurers. Soon after, many companies halted sales of policies that pay immediately upon testing positive.