Business World

COVID-19 insurance payouts P4.35B in H1, exceeding 2020

- Beatrice M. Laforga

THE INSURANCE industry made payouts related to coronaviru­s disease 2019 (COVID-19) worth P4.35 billion in the first half, exceeding the total for 2020, according to a survey conducted by the Insurance Commission (IC).

Insurance Commission­er Dennis B. Funa said in a statement Tuesday that the payouts by life and nonlife insurers, health maintenanc­e organizati­ons (HMOs) and mutual benefit associatio­ns (MBAs) were 12% above the 2020 total of P3.9 billion.

Overall coronaviru­s payouts as of the end of June are now at P8.25 billion, dating back to the start of the pandemic last year.

Mr. Funa said the rise in COVID-19 related payouts coincided with surges in infection rates during the half.

“The figures provided show that the claims paid increased drasticall­y from February to April and dipped slightly in June,” he said.

“This reflects the reported spike of COVID-19 cases in the Philippine­s between March and May which prompted the government to impose stricter quarantine measures during those months,” he added.

HMOs accounted for 47% of the overall COVID-19-related payouts, or P2.06 billion, in the first half, up 7.9% from the 2020 total. This brought total releases by HMOs to P3.89 billion as of June.

Life insurers paid out P1.98 billion or 46% of the industry’s total. The first-half payouts exceeded the 2020 total by 36%.

The industry has released P3.44 billion since the pandemic began.

Mr. Funa said nonlife insurers released P119 million in COVID-19 related payouts in the first half, equivalent to 74% of the total released in the preceding full year.

MBAs released P191.7 million during the half, equivalent to 54% of the industry’s 2020 tally.

Some P1.67 billion or 38% consisted of death benefits in the first half, followed by P1.47 billion in in-patient benefits, and P876.6 million in out-patient payouts.

“Also worth mentioning is the fact that non-life insurance companies paid P37.60 million in Business Interrupti­on claims due to the effects of business closures and the imposition of quarantine measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The IC surveyed 117 out of 147 life and nonlife insurers, HMOs and MBAs to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.

“Despite the challenges and risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the substantia­l increase in COVID-19-related claims, life and nonlife insurers, HMOs and MBAs remain financiall­y resilient,” Mr. Funa said.

Gross premiums collected by life and non-life insurance firms and MBAs rose 27.82% from a year earlier to P99.89 billion in the first quarter. —

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