IC chief warns insurers: Discrimination vs PWDs illegal
MANILA, Philippines—The Insurance Commission (IC) has reminded insurers that they cannot discriminate against persons with disabilities (PWDs) in policies and premiums.
“There shall be no outright declination or refusal of any application to be covered by any insurance contract solely on the ground of disability,” said IC chief Dennis B. Funa in a circular issued on Thursday (Aug. 27).
Funa’s circular said a PWD “should have the opportunity to either accept or decline the premium that the insurers may offer.”
Funa said insurers must have “reasonable” risk assessment as well as premium formulation for PWDs applying for insurance policies.
“A premium is deemed reasonable if there is an information or data relied upon by the insurer that is relevant to the applicant,” Funa said. “Insurers should be prepared and must explain to the applicant the basis for their decision,” he said.
“For purposes of transparency and the ‘utmost good faith’ component of all insurance contracts, the underwriting process shall be disclosed to any applicant, whether a PWD or not, upon request,” Funa added.
Funa said that Republic Act (RA) No. 7277, or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, outlaws discrimination of PWDs in public accommodations and services, including in contracting or purchase of insurance products and services.
Funa warned that insurance companies violating the law would be held administratively liable and penalized with a fine of up to P200,000.
Violators also face suspension or revocation of their certificates of authority or licenses, he said.
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