Thailand Insurance Regulation: Highlights & Time to Go Ahead

Sivalap Sukpaiboonwat, Chucheep Piputsitee, Arunee Punyasavatsut


This paper presents Thailand’s insurance regulatory highlights and compares with 15 Asian countries. The comparison focuses on government regulators, minimum capital requirements, solvency regulation, policyholder protection fund and foreign ownership restrictions. Because of different complexity in insurance business and economic culture in each countries, the policymakers appoint insurance regulator who works under various departments, different from country to country, such as The Ministry of Finance (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand), a Central Bank (Malaysia, and Singapore), and some other Government Agencies (China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong). For licensed insurers, the highest minimum paid-up capital is USD52 million in Taiwan, and the lowest paid-up capital is USD1 million in Hong Kong due to Hong Kong liberalizing insurance market requiring no restriction in investment. Risk Based Capital has been evolving rapidly across Asian countries particularly in Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, The Philippines and Thailand. The protection funds for policyholders in the event of insurer insolvency were already established in most countries except Cambodia and Laos, who require deposit protection fund with local government. Regarding foreign ownership regulation, there are no restrictions in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam; whilst other countries, namely China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand, gradually release the market access restrictions. In assessing insurance regulation, this is helpful for understanding the current insurance legislation and future development for Thailand insurance regulation.

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