Life insurers offer typhoon victims financial assistance

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 - Page 13

Life insurance companies yesterday offered a moratorium on payment and other types of financial assistance to customers affected by Typhoon Soulik, which wreaked havoc across the nation on Saturday.

CTBC Life Insurance Co (中信人壽), Mercuries Life Insurance Co (三商美邦), Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽), Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) and AIA Taiwan (友邦人壽) all offered customers a three-month moratorium on premium payments if they incurred financial losses because of the powerful storm.

BNP Paribas TCB Life Insurance Co (合作金庫人壽), Cigna International Taiwan (康健人壽), Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台壽), China Life Insurance Co (中壽) and Transglobe Life Insurance Inc (全球人壽) made similar gestures.

The goodwill gesture reflects the sharp competition among insurers in the nation. Taiwan ranks high in terms of worldwide insurance penetration, with the public buying a wide variety of insurance policies.

Typhoon Soulik left two dead, one missing and 123 injured, and caused more than NT$369 million (US$10.2 million) in agricultural losses, the latest government figures show. It also damaged 237 schools to varying degrees.

BNP Paribas TCB Life, a joint venture of Taiwan Cooperative Financial Holding Co (合庫金控) and the French BNP banking group, said in a statement the company was checking to see if any of those affected were its customers and would provide swift compensation, if necessary.

The insurer will also provide clients with quick loans that are interest free for three months to help them reconstruct their homes, the statement said.

Nan Shan Life said it had set up a Soulik task force that would reach out to clients in hard-hit areas and offer speedy compensation for damage incurred.

The insurer also urged customers to contact the company by telephone if they need assistance.

CTBC Life, the insurance arm of CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), said it was verifying the names of victims reported in the media and would provide prompt assistance if any of them were company clients.

CTBC Life clients can download compensation application forms at the iBon electronic kiosks at 7-Eleven convenience stores, sparing them the trouble of visiting the company to make an application, the insurer said in a statement.

Shin Kong Life, the main subsidiary of Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控), said it would call customers to offer help and would extend the grace period for mortgage payments for victims for up to 12 months.

All insurers will issue new insurance contracts free of charge for clients who lost their copies during the storm.