Opportunity seen in new law requiring liability insurance for dorms

The Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) last month sent out an advisory on the new Dormitory Act to general insurance companies. Most firms are ready to sell liability insurance to this segment as having protection for dormitory tenants will help increase the confidence of both dorm operators and residents.

Moreover, insurance companies consider that the losses from this segment are not high yet, according to the OIC.

The new act was announced in the Royal Gazette on September 9, 2016. The number of dormitories registered with the Department of Children and Youth is 13,400.

The OIC is setting the premiums for liability insurance for the insurance companies.

Anon Vangvasu, president of the Thai General Insurance Association and executive vice president of Bangkok Insurance, said the liability-insurance requirement for dormitory operators presented an opportunity for insurance companies while increasing awareness about safety in the dorms.

However, premium income might not be much because even though the legislation is supposed to force the owners of dormitories to have insurance, many operators run such businesses without a dormitory licence, he said.

“Hence it still hard to predict after the act is implemented how many operators will buy this kind of insurance,” he said.

Thanachart Insurance is ready to sell this kind of policy as liability insurance is one of its focuses, said managing director Perapart Meksingvee.

He said the minimum life protection to the tenant was around Bt120,000 and total coverage for an incident not more than Bt5 million.

The company is one of 30 insurance firms to join the programme to provide personal accident coverage to low-income earners registered with the government.

It is also considering offering such coverage to disabled persons, under a programme initiated by OIC.

Asked about the possibility for Thanachart Insurance to underwrite health insurance for civil servants, on which the government has asked the insurance companies to make feasibility studies, Perapart said the problem with the civil-servant scheme was that the policies also cover their relatives, which is not easy to manage.

This is unlike personal-accident policies for low-income earners, where the claims are covered one by one.

“We are interested in [health insurance for civil servants] but we have to take time to study the details,” he said

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