AL­MOST 50 MIL­LION FILIPINOS COV­ERED BY IN­SURANCE

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

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - REGIONS - 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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