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COVID-19 stirs PH insurance firms to life

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 03:40 PM March 19, 2020

These are interesting times for the insurance industry.

Responding to the need for relief as COVID-19 wreaks havoc everywhere, insurers offered extended payment deadlines and added benefits if clients got ill or died of the disease.

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Perfectly timed for COVID-19, these insurance firms are offering what appeared to be added benefits to policyholders on top of grace periods for their premium payments.

Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) Inc. allowed payment of premiums 91 days past due dates that fall between Feb. 15 and March 31 since Sun Life service centers in Luzon are temporarily closed anyway for the enhanced community quarantine.

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Sun Life would also give priority to claims made in relation to COVID-19.

Pru Life UK also offered extended payment deadlines for 60 days instead of the standard 31 days for policyholders nationwide.

Allan Tumbaga, Pru Life UK chief customer marketing officer, said late payments would be “accepted with no interest charges.”

United Coconut Planters Life Assurance Corp. (Cocolife) would “extend full coverage to all COVID-19 cases for our health card holders” though it wasn’t clear if full coverage applied only to COVID-19 patients.

FWD Life Insurance Philippines also put in place a “COVID-19 special coverage” from March 9 to April 15 which would give policyholders additional medical benefit worth P100,000 if diagnosed with COVID-19 and within 48 hours after submission of claim.

If the policyholder dies of COVID-19 “an additional funeral benefit of P50,000 will be given to the beneficiary,” said Li Hao Zhuang, FWD president and chief executive.

FWD also allowed late premium payments up to 90 days from their due dates for COVID-19 patients and 60 days for others. Claims would be accepted beyond 30 days, the company said.

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Manulife Philippines said it would honor claims made for treatment and hospital expenses of policyholders infected with COVID-19.

Richard Bates, Manulife president and CEO, said the company waived the 30-day and 90-day requirement for submission of claims for COVID-19 cases. Premium payment deadlines have also been extended.

Allianz PNB Life pitched for its Allianz Well! product which it said “offers full medical treatment, hospitalization and even evacuation to the nearest medical facility to those who have confirmed diagnosis of the disease.”

“While the COVID-19 is a recently discovered disease, there are health insurance policies that can cover its treatment,” said Gae Martinez, Allianz PNB Life chief marketing officer. “Don’t hesitate to ask your insurance agent about it.”

The Insurance Commission earlier ordered insurers to fast-track claims related to COVID-19 and make their processes easier for plan holders infected with it.

Edited by TSB

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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