Life insurance and property insurance companies yesterday agreed to accept a digital virus certificate for insurance claims instead of a doctor’s diagnosis to avoid further burdening hospitals, they said in separate statements.
The Non-life Insurance Association of the ROC (產險公會) said in a statement that its members are considering accepting policyholders using digital certificates rather than doctors’ COVID-19 diagnoses to file insurance claims.
However, the association said that individual property insurers still have the right to decide whether to compensate policyholders according to its insurance terms and based on individual cases, it said.
Photo: Kao Shih-ching, Taipei Times
The Life Insurance Association (壽險公會) said in a separate statement that its members have agreed to accept the digital certificates for insurance claims, along with the right to examine the authenticity of policyholders’ certificates, it said in a separate statement.
Digital virus certificates would be updated with a QR code with which property insurers could examine the policyholder’s information on a government Web site to check whether it is consistent with the information on the certificate so that insurers do not need to worry about forgery, Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa (施瓊華) told an online news conference.
While insurers on Monday said that one of the reasons they prefer doctors’ diagnoses is that they can resolve disputes directly with physicians, Shih said that insurers could ask policyholders to authorize them to examine data from the hospitals that conducted the tests.
Some insurers are concerned that small clinics would conduct polymerase chain reaction tests casually to benefit policyholders, but clinics or hospitals cannot conduct a test unless a doctor examines a person’s symptoms and asks for a test, Shih said.
Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Thomas Huang (黃天牧) also urged property insurers to accept the digital certificates so that they can play “a positive role” in society and build a long-term relationship with clients.
“In the US, some insurers suffered huge losses in one year because they needed to compensate policyholders who incurred losses in natural disasters, but it was not necessarily a bad development. Their business recovered the following year, as consumers believed that they were responsible insurers and continued to buy their policies,” Huang told the news conference.
The public’s trust in financial companies should serve as the foundation of the companies’ sustainable operations, and while fiscal deficits could be improved, it would be difficult to remedy a trust deficit, he added.
Among all 12 property insurers that offer COVID-19 insurance, five have sold more than 500,000 policies and two sold more than 1 million, the commission’s data showed.
The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday reported 50,828 new COVID-19 cases — including 48 imported — and 12 deaths from the disease.
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