Insurance firms halt some travel policies due to virus

TAKING A HIT:
Insurers had paid out NT$5.47 billion in compensation for COVID-19 insurance policies as of Monday last week, and sales of new policies have stopped

  • By Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporter

Several local insurance companies have halted sales of overseas travel insurance policies that cover against medical expenses due to sudden illness, in a bid to curb potential losses amid payouts for COVID-19, company data showed.

As a result, people might find it more difficult to purchase insurance policies with coverage of medical expenses for sudden illness, which is required of travelers by some foreign governments, such as in the EU.

Since many insurances only offer travel insurance that compensates for losses in accidents or covers expenses for emergency rescue, travelers, if infected with COVID-19 abroad, would likely have to pay for their medical treatment.

Photo: CNA

Insurers are halting sales of travel insurance as the amount of compensation for COVID-19 insurance policies had grown to NT$5.47 billion (US$183.92 million) as of Monday last week, nearly twice the premiums of NT$2.79 billion from sales of such products, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) data showed.

All insurance companies have terminated sales of COVID-19 insurance policies, with only a few vaccine insurance policies still available, the commission said.

Fubon Insurance Co (富邦產險) yesterday said on its Web site that it had suspended its travel inconvenience insurance policy as it is modifying the terms of the product, but still offers another policy, dubbed “travel safety insurance.”

Unlike the former policy, which covers against medical expenses, the travel safety insurance policy only covers expenses of emergency rescues, as well as losses from theft and fire, corporate data showed.

Cathay Century Insurance Co (國泰世紀產險) last week announced that it would stop selling its travel inconvenience insurance and Schengen travel insurance because of numerous COVID-19 alerts overseas.

The insurance arm of Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) continues to sell another policy, also called “travel safety insurance,” which compensates those who are hurt in accidents abroad or their families if they die, corporate data showed.

Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽) and CTBC Insurance Co (中國信託產險), insurance units of CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), no longer offer travel insurance that covers sudden illness on their Web sites.

Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) has not suspended its travel insurance with coverage for medical expenses due to sudden illness, making it one of the few local insurances that still offers such a policy, corporate data showed.

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