Philippine Daily Inquirer


Positive reinforcem­ent and efforts to educate the market result to increased coverage

- Kenneth M. del Rosario

Filipinos nowadays are better informed and are more financiall­y literate. The efforts of the Insurance Commission to educate the people on insurance have been instrument­al. Positive reinforcem­ent of the financial education campaign of private insurance companies have heightened the desired effects of insurance literacy among the populace.

It used to be that majority of Filipinos put insurance at the bottom of their priority list, or not included at all in their house- hold budget. Culturally, Filipinos tend to avoid talking about bad things—believing that once they entertain these thoughts, let alone act on them, the chance of those things happening might increase.

Fortunatel­y, in recent years there has been an uptick in the insurance take-up of Filipinos. For the third quarter of 2017, about 48 million lives are covered by life insurance policies. That’s a figure that has grown steadily and considerab­ly over the years. In 2010, life insurance coverage was just at 16.33 percent of the 92.34 million (15.4 million lives) Filipino population at the time.

“The prevalence of natural disasters in the Philippine­s has also put forward the actual need for a financial tool that will enable the people to get them back on their feet. It makes them think that one should always be prepared for any kind of eventualit­y,” said Insurance Commission­er Dennis B. Funa.

Also, the innovation and healthy competitio­n among the industry players have driven the quality and affordabil­ity of the products. One example is the flexible ways of paying for insurance premiums. Payment schemes are designed to fit the needs of various income brackets.

To further educate the public about the benefits of having an insurance policy, IC continuous­ly conducts insurance literacy programs. This year, they plan to hold these seminars to more areas outside the Metro.

“The insurance industry plays a big part on insurance education as well. Through their marketing, they are able to reach a larger scope of audience to promote their products and ultimately the benefits of having insurance. Social media has also been tapped as advertisin­g channels to supplement traditiona­l marketing strategies,” he said.

The increase in the take up of insurance coverage could also be attributed to better claims settlement by insurance companies. This improvemen­t is brought about by a combinatio­n of factors such as better technology, competitio­n, strict monitoring from the regulator, and higher net worth requiremen­t mandated by the Amended Insurance Code.

IC has continuall­y monitored the financial condition and conduct of doing business by the insurance companies. Through this, unstable companies or those financiall­y unfit are prevented from operating. Only those which are healthy financiall­y and fair in their claims settlement processes are allowed to operate.

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