How our insurance regulator responds to covid-19

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In the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, insurance regulators across the Asia-Pacific have taken measures to provide relief to the insurance sector – both for insurance companies and their customers.

Almost all jurisdictions have urged companies to take steps to make concessions for customers, such as making premium payments and renewals easier, given the lockdowns and travel restrictions in place, as well as providing support to insurance companies.

Here is a roundup of what our Malaysian regulator did to help individuals and businesses pull through this Covid-19 crisis.

The Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) has provided guidance on the obligations for Malaysian insurers to cushion the impact of disruptions caused by the covid-19 on individuals and businesses. The obligations include:

(1) Creating a covid-19 test fund of MYR8 million (US$1.8 million) to cover costs incurred for screening of covid-19 by policyholders;

(2) Extending the period during which a policyholder can reinstate a policy that has lapsed;

(3) Providing options to enable policyholders to continue to meet their premium payments and maintaining their policies;

  • Waiving fees and charges imposed for changes made to policies;
  • Waiving penalties or consequences for late payments of premiums, particularly where policyholders are unable to access electronic payment channels during the pandemic;
    Offer a three-month suspension on payment of life insurance premiums without affecting the policy coverage. No interest shall be charged on the premiums deferred.
  • Facilitating requests for flexibility by affected policyholders to meet their premiums; and
  • Expediting and facilitating claims processes related to covid-19.

Relief for insurers includes:

  • Reducing the interest rate and profit rate stress factor caps as applied under the risk-based capital framework for insurers to 30%, effective from 31 June 2020;
  • Providing flexibility for insurers to meet timelines for regulatory submissions; and
  • Extending the timeline for ongoing consultations on published discussion papers and exposure drafts to 30 June 2020, and beyond.

Hope you find this a good read on recent development within the Malaysian insurance industry.

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