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B98mn in defaulted COVID insurance payouts hit Phuket

B98mn in defaulted COVID insurance payouts hit Phuket

PHUKET: Some 30 people gathered at Phuket Provincial Hall to demand action be taken over insurance companies refusing to pay out COVID-19 coverage claims. In total, 831 people in Phuket have been affected by the defaulted payouts, amounting to B98 million.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 28 March 2022, 04:59PM

The group, led by Dechanan Suwanno and Winit Yuraman, submitted a formal request for Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew to take action to protect the people whose COVID insurance policies had not been upheld.

Three companies were specifically named by the group: Southeast Insurance, Thai Insurance Co and The One Company.

In January, the Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) said that Southeast Insurance, which late last year had found itself heading for dissolution due to being unable to uphold policy claims, had not been approved for liquidation, stressing that all coverage for policyholders was still in place.

The swift clarification from the OIC followed a statement by the insurance giant to the authorities that it planned to cease operations.

Before that, in late December, the Finance Ministry revoked the business license of The One Insurance, formerly known as Assets Insurance, after it failed to raise its capital to solve its liquidity issue and settle Covid-19 insurance claims for lump sum payments.

According to the Finance Ministry, The One Insurance’s liquid assets stood at B162 million, drastically lower than the company’s outstanding claims that had surged to more than B2.44 billion. 

“There hasn’t been any action that should have taken place. Today we have gathered documents of those who have suffered from unpaid COVID-19 insurance claims,” Mr Dechanan said.

Mr Dechanan explained that the most common policies provided coverage of up to B100,000, but that most of the claims unpaid were for amounts not exceeding B50,000.

“Therefore we are calling for action that is beneficial to everyone from the said insurance companies, including submitting a petition to the Phuket Damrongtham Center [Provincial Ombudsman’s Office],” he said.

“I would like those who are in trouble to come and claim the right to receive compensation from the COVID-19 insurance that they have taken out," he said.

Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong and Thanat Kumsantia, Director of the OIC Phuket office, met the group to receive their complaint.

Mr Thanat assured the group that the OIC had launched an investigation into the failure of the companies to pay out COVID-19 claims.

“The Phuket OIC office has a complaint system. For those who have filed a complaint, we will keep track of the status of your steps in the process to order the company to pay you.

“If that process is not effective, the next step will be legal action [against the company],” he said.

“If the companies are deregistered or unable to pay, you will be paid by the fund, but that process will take time,” he said.

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Kurt | 31 March 2022 - 09:33:41

BigaAResort, thank you for explanation. I wish you strenght. I learned that when one is older than 75 it is very difficult to get a new affordable insurance.

BigaAResort | 30 March 2022 - 12:07:45

Kurt,QBE is a worldwide so called solid based English Insurance,I got my from the the Australian branch what more can one ask for,but ,because i did not want all the extras like day money while in the hospital , helicopter transport,VIP ambulance etc.that's why they passed me on with out to ask me,going  to court in Thailand ?well waste of time ! So guy's be careful when you get older

Kurt | 30 March 2022 - 10:29:46

@BigaAResort,  is QBE a Thai insurance? Before we become 70+ years old we better have a solid international insurance. Thai insurances don't want to insure 70+ risks, something what actually is insurance business, right? When they get the chance they dump you, after first many relative risk-free wallet draining years. Don't have a Thai insurance when you 70+!

BigaAResort | 30 March 2022 - 09:42:05

My QBE insurance (for hospital cost only) was sold after 25 years( no claim) without telling me to a unknown insurance company,they charged me 4 times more, or quit . I was 76 than.Now I am on my own, That's how they get you off there chest before you get to old and cost them money 

JohnC | 29 March 2022 - 09:11:53

@kurt. Duh!!!

Fascinated | 29 March 2022 - 09:05:03

No different to insurance companies all over the world in fleecing people. Very quick to take money, very slow, if ever, to pay out. Always check the small, small, small, small print- their legal teams know all the scams and sidesteps.

Kurt | 29 March 2022 - 09:02:40

....Never before claimed any damage. So, I changed insurance. Didn't accept to be take for a ride.  Never trust a Thai insurance.

Kurt | 29 March 2022 - 09:00:08

2 Years ago, after more than a decade having 1st class car insurance with same company, my car wind shield got a crack, was replaced. 2 Months later was insurance renewel date. Instead my premium went down ( car 1 year older, lesser value), the premium went up! Guess how much?  Up with what the new wind shield costed them 2 months earlier! So, insurance wise I was taken for a ride!  Never claimed 

Capricornball | 28 March 2022 - 18:09:49

And this just after the big push to try and attract wealthy foreigners...another demonstration of fly-by-night companies barely hanging on and getting approvals from the gov't to press on...and even if the gov't says no, shady ripoffs press on anyway. As many people have commented, Thailand has a long way to go before smart honest people want to do business here.


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