The Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) intends to allow financial institutions to sell insurance products via the telesales channel and post offices, aiming to expand insurance penetration in rural provinces.
OIC secretary-general Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn said that bank staff are still forbidden to engage in insurance sales outside bank branches, according to a report in The Bangkok Post. At present, banks are only permitted to sell life and non-life insurance products at their branches and online.
The OIC's new permission awaits ratification as the related regulation is being drafted. Once the draft is finished, the OIC will forward it to the Office of the Council of State for consideration.
The OIC is also undertaking other regulatory revisions including establishing a Centre of Insurtech Thailand (CIT) and enhancing fraud management mechanisms to prepare for disruptive insurance innovations. The CIT is expected to be set up in July.
The insurance regulator is also revising a law to allow the OIC to have direct supervision of insurance intermediaries, a shift from the current regulation that allows the OIC to regulate insurance agents via insurance companies.
Insurance agents remain the major distribution network for life business, while brokers are still the major sales channel for non-life insurance.