FSC Opens Remote Insurance Business and Promulgates Directives

To cope with the dramatic changes resultant from the COVID-19 pandemic, the insurance industry has been trying new approaches and models for providing insurance services remotely.  In response to this trend, Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (金融監督管理委員會, “FSC”) on 18 November 2021 promulgated the "Directions for Insurance Companies Concluding Distance Insurance Contracts and Providing Insurance Services" (保險業辦理遠距投保及保險服務業務應注意事項, “Directives”) by the 110 Year Jin-Guan-Bao-Shou-Tzi No. 11004941081 Order (金管保壽字第11004941081號令). 
The Directives establish common standards for all insurance businesses, which cover the following matters:
(1) the insurance business must apply for the new business trial before it officially provides remote insurance services (Article 4 of the Directives);
(2) consent of the customer must be clear and certain (Articles 5, 7, and 8);
(3) recognition of the customers’ identities is enhanced (Articles 6 and 8);
(4) the insurance business must request its insurance solicitors to accurately record complete video or sound tracks during the transaction for the remote insurance service (Article 9);
(5) the insurance business must adopt necessary measures to secure the safety of customers’ personal data (e.g., encryption) (Article 11);
(6) the Directives shall apply to remote services, such as security services, compensation services, and premium payment authorization services (Articles 10 and 15);
(7) in the event of a dispute between or among an applicant, the insured, and/or the insurer related to or arising out of remote insurance matters, the applicant or the insured may request the insurer to provide backups of the video or sound records, and the insurer cannot refuse such request.  If there is any inconsistency between or among the applicant, the insured, and the insurer, such inconsistency shall be construed in favor of the applicant or the insured (Articles 13 and 14).
The Directives take effect as of the date of announcement, 18 November 2021.  The FSC also stated that if the insurance business has operated the remote insurance business trial or if the trial was recognized successfully before the Directives take effect, the FSC allows a six-month grace period for those businesses to adjust their current models to correspond to and comply with the requirements of the Directives.
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