Thai Insurers Sink into Bankruptcy Due to COVID Claims

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At least four Thai insurance companies have gone bankrupt after suffering losses from selling low-cost COVID-19 policies, raising fears of a domino effect that could weigh on the country's non-life insurance sector, Nikkei Asia reported. Syn Mun Kong Insurance is looking to raise capital and find new partners to stay afloat as it navigates a court-supervised rehabilitation. "Some foreign investors have expressed interest in joining us. We are in talks," said a source close to deals that could affect Syn Mun Kong's ability to retain its business license. The insurer, listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, filed a rehabilitation petition to the Central Bankruptcy Court in May after facing huge losses from claims covered by its COVID-19 policies. The Office of Insurance Commission has warned it might revoke the company's non-life insurer license as liabilities have risen above assets. COVID-19 outbreaks have plagued the insurance industry across Asia. Japanese short-term insurer JustInCase stopped selling coronavirus insurance and slashed hospitalization payouts 90%. Several other Japanese insurance companies have stopped selling COVID policies or significantly raised the price of premiums. In Taiwan, the Financial Supervisory Commission warned in late May that the local insurance industry could face more than 41 billion Taiwanese dollars ($1.3 billion) in COVID claims. Syn Mun Kong is the latest Thai insurer to enter rehabilitation. Prior to its collapse, three other companies had already folded due to COVID-19 payouts: Asia Insurance 1950 Public Company, The One Insurance Public Company and Southeast Asia Insurance. Read more.