News Coronavirus watch24 Mar 2020

Hong Kong:Insurance Authority closes office until 29 March


With Hong Kong experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases over the past week, the Insurance Authority (IA) has closed its office to the general public this week (23 to 29 March) to contain the outbreak.

However, the regulator will continue to operate its enquiry and complaint hotline services as normal from 8:45am to 12:45pm and 1:45pm to 6pm on working days. Email responses to enquiries and complaints will also continue as normal.

Meanwhile, all IA staff except ‘skeleton staff' will work from home.

The regulator will also continue to review the situation and announce any updates on its website.

Apart from directly regulating around 110,000 insurance intermediaries, the IA is also responsible for handling complaints related to the conduct of insurance intermediaries, conducting investigation into alleged cases of non-compliance and taking enforcement action in accordance with the law and established regulations, codes and guidelines.

Ever since Hong Kong started recording coronavirus cases, the IA has suspended or cut back on operations. It had first suspended operations from 29 January to 2 February and provided limited public services for the whole of February before resuming normal public services on 2 March.

The IA has also been collaborating with the industry to provide essential relief measures for the insuring public during this challenging period.

Last month, it introduced a set of temporary facilitative measures to reduce the risk of infection from face-to-face meetings between intermediaries and their clients. These measures will last until end of the current tax assessment year, which falls on 31 March 2020.

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