COVID-19 insurance policy complaints jump 25 times

  • By Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporter

As of Wednesday last week, 4,948 complaints about COVID-19 insurance had been filed with the Financial Ombudsman Institution (FOI, 金融 消費 評議 中心) – 25 times higher than the 189 complaints for the whole of last year, official figures showed.

Only 6.6 percent of the complaints, or 331, had been settled by insurers and policyholders, leaving 4,617 unresolved, the data showed.

In contrast, 55 percent of all 189 complaints last year were resolved, the agency said.

Photo: Bloomberg

The FOI said it steps in to help resolve complaints if consumers are not satisfied with the solutions provided by financial firms.

The agency could advise financial firms to pay up to NT $ 1.2 million (US $ 40,293) in compensation if it thinks consumers make a case for their complaints, it said, adding that the whole process takes less than five months.

As of Wednesday last week, 69 consumers had asked the FOI to review their complaints, and the agency had reconciled conflicts for 21 cases and given advice about compensation for three cases, it said.

The most common complaints are insurers refusing to validate a policy purchase or pay compensation for positive COVID-19 infections based on rapid antigen test results, the agency said.

Twelve non-life insurers have promised the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) that they would finish writing off all COVID-19 insurance policies by the end of this month, and about 550,000 purchases are still being addressed, the commission’s data showed.

Data showed that so far this year, 5 million COVID-19 insurance policies have been sold.

In related news, as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced that it is listing monkeypox as a category 2 notifiable communicable disease, the FSC said that the insurers would also have to compensate those who purchase insurance against notifiable diseases.

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