First ‘Pandemic Insurance Policy’ goes into effect today in Taiwan

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Taiwan Fire and Marine Insurance Co. Ltd. (台灣產物保險) announced on Monday that applicants who provided all necessary documents can expect their insurance policy to come into effect as early as Tuesday (Jan. 26).

The “Pandemic Insurance Policy” provided by the company has been extremely popular recently as the annual premium is only NT$500. 

Customers don’t have to wait until the diagnosis is confirmed, as long as they receive official notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 疾病管制署) to undergo quarantine, they can immediately receive NT$100,000 in insurance benefits.

The insurance policy has been deemed “heaven-sent” by most but it has also brought about concern from the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC, 金融監督管理委員會). 

The FSC urged the public against trying to profit from the policy and emphasized that there are still exclusions to the claims, such as no claims will be paid for violation of government regulations on virus prevention.

On Jan. 22, Taiwan Fire and Marine Insurance announced that since the number of incoming cases exceeded the company’s administrative workload and was expected to reach the accumulated amount of risk set by the company, it would stop accepting applications from 5 p.m. on Jan. 25.

As the Taoyuan General Hospital cluster infection cases increase, the insurance company was met with mobs of people trying to buy a policy for family members before the cut-off time.

Many questioned whether the company would be able to afford all the accepted cases, to which they replied they would have to wait until after all the numbers have been imported into the system to be sure. 

However, since the relevant figures involve company information, they would not be able to disclose the sales figures to the public yet, they said.

Taiwan Fire and Marine Insurance also announced that those who have already been asked to quarantine but haven’t submitted their filled-in application will not be eligible to take out the policy as the incurred risk is not covered by the claim.

The policy will only come into effect if they receive a quarantine notice after the application has been formally accepted by the company, they added.