, Taiwan

Taiwan insurance regulator tightens measures protecting senior citizens

It aims to ‘strengthen protection of the insurance rights and interests of senior consumers’.

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission has introduced new measures to help protect the insurance rights and interests of senior consumers.

The insurance regulator has revised the "Guidelines for Insurance Pre-sales Procedures" and the "Measures for Solicitation, Underwriting and Claims by the Insurance Industry" Claims".

The amendment introduces several key points. First is the suitability of the product from the product design side. Insurers are tasked to evaluate the potential impact of various product features on customers over the age of 65 which includes assessing whether the new products are suitable for sale to customers over the age of 65. Additionally, the insurance industry shall attach an explanatory document setting out the type of customers the new products are targeted at and stating whether the products are suitable for customers aged over 65.

Insurers must also advise sales personnel and sales channels whether the products are suitable to be sold to senior customers before selling them.

After the sale of the insurance products, the insurance industry shall re-examine and evaluate regularly whether the products have adversely affected the rights and interests of seniors, based on interaction and disputes with policyholders

The new measures will also require insurance companies to require personnel, including underwriting staff, to participate in annual training courses on the fair treatment of customers over the age of 65.

Sales personnel and underwriting personnel should evaluate whether customers over 65 years old have the ability to identify situations that are unfavourable to their insured rights, and the personnel should record the evaluation results in the solicitation report. However, if the features of the insurance products have already been assessed to have no potential impact on seniors, there is no necessity to carry out the evaluation.

The process undertaken in selling traditional insurance products should be recorded or videotaped for customers aged over 65 from over 70 previously and should be tightened when underwriting business for seniors so as to ensure suitability.

For customers aged over 65 who meet the conditions of purchasing insurance products, including the price, insurance companies should conduct telephone interviews, video calls or remote interviews after the sale and before agreeing to underwrite the insurance products. The insurers' personnel should ask questions, the answers to which would help confirm that the customer understood the insurance products and any unfavourable factors surrounding them.

Measures will also be in place for more transparency for investment-type insurance with the insurance industry providing insurance proposals to customers who wish to purchase investment-type insurance products, and the proposals shall disclose the computed value of the insurance policy for each year of the policy.

Insurance firms are also tasked to provide user-friendly access to senior customers as well as customers with disabilities to help them read sales documents related to investment-type products.

According to the FSC, since it will take into account the fact that the industry must need time to comply with the new regulations, the implementation of the tighter measures will take effect on 1 October 2022.

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