Taiwan-based insurance firm CTBC Insurance is seeking approval to launch a web-only insurance company in Taiwan, reported Taipei Times.

Following board of directors’ approval, the firm filed an application to set up the proposed insurance company.

Earlier, Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa told reporters that CTBC Financial and Fubon Financial Holding had expressed an interest to establish such a web-only insurance company.

However, other insurance companies made inquiries related to application requirements.

The Financial Supervisory Commission said the web-only insurer will carry out sales completely online. It cannot sell policies through physical channels or salespeople.

A virtual insurer is required to be a minimum of 40% owned by a financial institute.

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Of this 40% stake, a minimum of 25% should be owned by a financial holding company with an insurance unit or a life insurance firm to ensure that the venture could comply with insurance regulations.

Review of the application is anticipated to take about five months, the commission said.

Furthermore, a web-only life insurer is required to have at least NT$1bn ($31.36m) paid-in capital while a non-life insurer must have at least NT$2bn capital.

Subject to approval, CTBC Insurance’s web-only insurance company is expected to be launched in the second quarter of next year.

In August 2022, Fubon Financial president Jerry Harn was cited by the news agency as saying at an investors’ conference that the company had uncertainties over launching a virtual insurer.