Amendments to the Non-life Insurance Act B.E. 2535 (1992) and Life Insurance Act B.E. 2535 (1992) were published in the Government Gazette on May 25, 2019. They will come into force 180 days after publication—i.e. November 21, 2019. These amendments are the first in a series of updates that the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) intends to introduce to modernize and improve Thailand’s insurance laws.
The amendments mainly focus on insurance intermediaries, i.e., agents and brokers. The key changes introduced by the amendments are as follows:
The amendments also prescribe a number of new offences and penalties, for which prosecution has previously relied on provisions under the criminal code. This allows for tighter control of these offenses through more industry-specific regulations, and brings prosecution under the remit of the state (via the OIC). The latter is important in ensuring the possibility of public criminal prosecution, which is permissible under general Thai criminal law, and therefore limiting the possibility of settlement. These new offences include:
Penalties for violation of the new provisions above extend to the managing directors, or other persons responsible for a corporate broker’s business operation, who have a duty to give directions in compliance with the provisions governing agents and brokers, whose command, action, or omission causes the violation.
The amendments also give the OIC the authority to issue a number of new regulations governing the activities of insurance intermediaries, including the collection and remittance of premiums, disclosure of information regarding the conduct of agents and brokers, etc.
For more information on the amendments, or on any aspect of insurance law in Thailand, please contact Athistha (Nop) Chitranukroh at [email protected] or +66 2056 5600; or Thun Buraphavat at [email protected] or +66 2056 5792.