News Non-Life04 May 2018

Thailand:Pilot of low-cost microinsurance plan starts this month

04 May 2018

The Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) has approved a microinsurance policy at a low premium of THB10 (32 US cents) per person, that would pay compensation worth THB100,000 in case of death from an accident.

The microinsurance plan is being marketed to businesses with large customer networks, says the Thai General Insurance Association (TGIA).

"Micro-insurance can reach people via business operators, which have wide customer networks, such as mobile operators, gas stations, counter services, and coffee shops," said TGIA secretary-general Anon Vangvasu.

The THB10 microinsurance policy is sold by four life insurance companies -- Thai Life Insurance, Ocean Life Insurance, Muang Thai Life Assurance and AIA -- and 10 non-life insurers for coverage starting from this month, reports The Bangkok Post. The product is available to those aged 20-70 years old.

If the THB10 microinsurance policy proves to be a success and reaches people at all social levels, the OIC may then present the model to the government to implement other plans to those who cannot afford to pay for regular insurance protection premiums, Mr Anon said.

For example, the government or a company can purchase a microinsurance policy to cover people in specific areas or time periods, he said.

"Insurance operates under the idea of averaged risks. If one product is offered to only one individual at THB500, then the cost remains THB500. But if it is developed for 10 or 100 people, the average cost per person will decline to THB50 and THB5 each, respectively," he said.

Several companies have purchased the THB10 microinsurance plan in bulk to provide free accidental coverage to retail customers.

Promoting microinsurance is a part of the OIC's five-year insurance development strategy for 2016-20.

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