IC OKs InLife partnership with Spanish e-commerce firm | Inquirer Business
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IC OKs InLife partnership with Spanish e-commerce firm

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:26 PM January 04, 2022

MANILA, Philippines—The Insurance Commission (IC) has approved the forthcoming partnership of homegrown The Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd. (InLife) with a Spanish firm to offer health care plans to Filipinos working and living in Spain.

In an IC ruling issued on Dec. 31, 2021 and published on Tuesday (Jan. 4), Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa affirmed to InLife vice president Armand Santos that the proposed venture with Madrid-based Elsa Care Technologies Inc. cannot be considered as cross-border selling, which was prohibited under existing rules.

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In September 2021, InLife informed the IC that Elsa Care was hosting an e-commerce platform which Filipinos in Spain can access, and through which they can sponsor the purchase of InLife’s “prime care” insurance policy — a critical illness plan renewable yearly — for their families here in the Philippines.

“Information on ‘prime care,’ specifically marked as sold only in the Philippines, is viewable to Elsa Care members who access the platform and nominate a family member (proposed owner-insured) residing in the Philippines. The proposed owner-insured can then check eligibility requirements and apply via our InLife e-store,” the insurer told the IC last year.

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“Upon the proposed owner-insured’s application, the member can then utilize Elsa Care’s payment methods to remit the premium payment directly to InLife. All fulfillment and activation processes will be done through a unique URL provided to the proposed owner-insured through an email sent by InLife,” it told the regulator.

InLife later told the IC in October 2021 that its proposed partnership with Elsa Care does not constitute doing insurance business outside the Philippines, as the Spanish company will not be an InLife agent.

Also, InLife submitted to the regulator a clear payment and refund process for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who may buy its product through Elsa Care.

“Based on InLife’s submissions, the OFW-member does not apply for [the plan] through the Inlife e-store but, instead, merely nominates a family member residing in the Philippines,” Funa said.

“While the member-OFW can sponsor the purchase of [the policy] by the proposed owner-insured — in effect, pay the premium — it is the proposed owner-insured, not the member-OFW, who will undergo an eligibility check based on health conditions through the InLife store. If eligible, the proposed owner-insured can then proceed with the rest of their application,” Funa added.

“All activities related to doing insurance business are conducted by InLife in the Philippines. It is further noted that the member-OFW based in Spain cannot purchase [the insurance] for himself from Elsa Care’s platform or through the InLife store,” Funa said.

The IC has been enjoining insurers to tap e-commerce and remote selling in light of the new normal wrought by the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

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TAGS: Dennis Funa, Insurance, Insurance Commission, ofws, Spain
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