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FSC imposes sanctions on Mercuries Life Insurance Co.

The FSC, acting in accordance with Article 171-1, Paragraph 5 of the "Insurance Act," recently imposed administrative fines totaling NT$2.4 million on Mercuries Life Insurance Co., and also issued the company three official reprimands in accordance with Article 149, Paragraph 1 of the same Act, after discovering the following deficiencies in the company's conduct of its insurance business: (a) With regard to checks on the source of funds to be used by a prospective customer to pay for premiums -- Despite the fact that a single person served as both insurance solicitor and mortgage loan intermediary, and also despite the fact that the policy application was made at about the same time the prospective buyer took out a loan intermediated by the solicitor, the solicitor report failed to explain the source of funds to be used for premium payments, and failed also to question whether the loan in question was the source of funds to be used for premium payments. Moreover, with regard to the possibility that the customer might have used the mortgage loan proceeds to buy an investment-linked policy, the solicitor failed to confirm the source of funds to be used for premium payments, and did not inform the buyer of either the risks or the maximum potential losses. (b) With regard to telephone interviews in connection with the solicitation of new policies -- Even when telephone interviews revealed irregularities in the solicitation of new policies by banks acting as insurance brokers or agents, Mercuries Life provided notification of such irregularities directly to the solicitors rather than providing notification via the solicitors' banks. (c) The company's telemarketing sales pitch guidelines instruct solicitors to terminate a call if a consumer states that they are visually impaired or otherwise physically disabled, hold a Disabled Person Certificate, or have some other proof of disability. (d) In telephone interviews in connection with the solicitation of new policies, even when the person being interviewed about their experiences with the solicitation of new investment-linked policies gave responses that indicated irregular solicitation practices, the company failed to confirm whether the customer understood the problem. Moreover, with regard to an insurance agency whose solicitors were involved in a relatively large number of irregularities, Mercuries Life only dealt with individual solicitors on a case-by-case basis, and never evaluated whether it the agency itself should be subject to more rigorous supervision of its solicitation activities. (e) With regard to the investment-linked policies sold to customers aged 70 or older from January through May of 2020, the company's customary method of recording a sales process, and the "Template for Recording of a Sales Process" that it later adopted, were not conducive to confirmation of product suitability. (f) In handling the underwriting of new policies, Mercuries Life went ahead and underwrote a new policy without notifying customers in cases where they also had the option of simply reinstating an older policy of the same type.
Visitor: 1865   Update: 2022-01-13
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