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More poor Filipinos insured in ’16

/ 12:09 AM March 13, 2017

The number of Filipinos covered by microinsurance further rose to 28.4 million as of the end of 2016, Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said.

The end-2016 figure increased 8 percent from 26.3 million at end-September.

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An Insurance Commission report showed that 61 percent of the Filipinos with microinsurance coverage were members and dependents of microinsurance mutual benefit associations (MBAs).

Life insurers covered 30 percent of the total or 8.59 million, while non-life firms covered 9 percent or 2.54 million.

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Total microinsurance premium production jumped 36 percent quarter-on-quarter to P5.41 billion at end-2016, data also showed.

MBAs’ premium income accounted for more than half of the total or P2.9 billion; the life sector contributed P1.88 billion; while non-life had P631 million.

“There is a continuous increase in the net premiums written by the microinsurance industry. From 2012 to 2016, the average year-on-year increase in net premium income is 16 percent. In fact, the same increased by 20 percent from P4.5 billion in 2015 to P5.4 billion in 2016,” Funa said.

While the MBA sector “remains to be the leader in the microinsurance industry in terms of the number of lives covered and premium production,” Funa noted that “private insurers are now eyeing to gain from the selling of microinsurance products.”

Funa earlier said the government was targeting to increase the microinsurance penetration rate to 48.7 percent by 2022.

Microinsurance product prices computed on a daily basis should not exceed 7.5 percent of the daily minimum wage rate for non-agricultural workers in Metro Manila, or an equivalent of about P34.

Funa had said “microinsurance can help combat poverty by providing low-income sector of the society with access to risk protection products thereby protecting their lives, properties and livelihood.”

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The government wants wider microinsurance penetration to complement the Duterte administration’s Ambisyon Natin 2040. The project aims to wipe out poverty by 2040 and improve financial inclusion and income diversification. —BEN O. DE VERA

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TAGS: Filipinos, Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa, microinsurance, Poor
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