Insurance firms ordered to honour Covid-19 claims within 15 days
The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) has ordered insurance firms to compensate Covid-19 policyholders 15 days after receiving all documents. This order is effective as of September 1.
Hundreds of insurance policyholders have recently complained that insurance firms have left them waiting despite being provided with all relevant documents.
OIC secretary Suthipol Taweechaikarn said his agency has acknowledged this issue and had officials monitor the situation closely. He said in response to the order, many companies have adjusted their system to make payments faster.
The OIC has ordered companies with more than 100 outstanding compensation issues to establish a special division that only deals with Covid-19 cases. The examination of documents must be completed within three days and compensation paid within 15 days if all documents are in order. The company must inform the customer on the same day if documents are incomplete.
In disputed cases, insurance firms must report them to the OIC within seven days and report developments to the OIC every 15 days.
The OIC said it will establish four teams to investigate these cases.
Suthipol said the OIC may temporarily ease rules for insurance firms so they can make payments more quickly, especially since they have to deal with thousands of applications daily. He said the OIC is fixing issues and confirmed that all insurance firms are strong.
Meanwhile, Arnon Wangwasu, president of the Thai General Insurance Association, added that insurance firms were hiring more people to look after this issue. He said the number of claims submitted has risen 100-fold and since many members of staff are working from home, the process is delayed.
Southeast Insurance, for instance, has hired 180 people to deal with this issue directly. It has also set up a system of receiving claim applications via Line and can address 1,000 to 1,500 cases daily. The 10,000 or so outstanding cases should be solved within two weeks, the company said.
The company also said many customers have sent rapid antigen test results for Covid-19 instead of RT-PCR tests, and that it has had to ask for new results.
Arnon has advised policyholders to have the following documents ready when applying for a claim:
• An RT-PCR Covid-19 test result from labs certified by the Department of Medical Sciences
• Identification card
• Details of bank account registered with the company.