The Jakarta Post
Policyholders of the ailing privately-owned life insurer PT Asuransi Jiwa Adisarana Wanaartha (WanaArtha Life) have demanded the Attorney General's Office (AGO) and the Central Jakarta District Court unfreeze the insurer’s securities account to let the company pay the customers' mature policies.
About 80 policyholders from North Sumatra and Riau Islands held a peaceful protest in front of the Maimon Palace in Medan, North Sumatra, on Friday to demand the unfreezing of the account, which is worth around Rp 4 trillion (US$270.89 million). The account was frozen amid a corruption investigation into state-owned insurer PT Asuransi Jiwasraya.
“Our funds have no relation whatsoever to Jiwasraya. We are pleading to the judges to tell the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to unfreeze our funds in the ruling in October,” Armin, WanaArtha Life policyholder and insurance agent, told The Jakarta Post.
Around Rp 1 trillion in the insurer’s blocked securities account belongs to policyholders from North Sumatra, he added.
The AGO blocked in February WanaArtha Life’s securities account, along with hundreds of investment managers and individuals' accounts, in connection to the alleged corruption and investment mismanagement at Jiwasraya, which is currently on trial at the Central Jakarta District Court.
The allegation came after Jiwasraya was unable to pay its policyholders’ claims worth Rp 18 trillion as it invested most of its premium revenue from its product JS Saving Plan into so-called pump-and-dump stocks.
Armin said the AGO’s action prevented policyholders and their heirs from claiming their mature policies and receiving cash benefits for daily necessities.
One of the policyholder’s heirs, A Sen, said he was deeply disappointed as he was unable to claim his mother’s insurance money following her death in January 2020 after being a customer since 2018.
“This really hurts me as I can’t claim my mother’s insurance money because the AGO has blocked it. My family have accused me of embezzling the money,” he said.
WanaArtha Life senior sales director Hendro Yuwono Salim admitted that the insurer was unable to disburse the claims demanded by the policyholders until the court’s ruling on the Jiwasraya case was announced. The freezing of the account by the AGO has also disrupted the insurer’s operations and affected its employees.
“We hope the ruling will unfreeze our account so we can operate normally and pay the policyholders’ claims,” Hendro told the Post. (ris)