Shopee’s insurance affiliate gains local foothold | Inquirer Business

Shopee’s insurance affiliate gains local foothold

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 02:05 AM August 11, 2022

The industry regulator has cleared the entry of new insurance player SeaInsure Life Insurance Co. Inc. (SeaLife), owned by an affiliate of e-commerce giant Shopee.

Insurance Commission (IC) Head Commissioner Dennis Funa issued on Aug. 4 SeaLife’s license to do business as a life insurer in the Philippines.

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“SeaLife, previously Reliance Surety and Insurance Co. Inc. (RSI), was acquired in February 2022 by SeaInsure PG Private Ltd. (SeaPG), a Singaporean insurance company under tech conglomerate Sea Ltd. that currently functions as the holding company for Shopee. As part of the approval process in the issuance of the license in favor of SeaLife, RSI surrendered its license on July 26, 2022,” Funa said.

Consolidator

“Since its acquisition in February, SeaPG converted RSI from a nonlife insurance company to a life insurance company. In March 2022, the IC approved the transfer of the nonlife insurance portfolio of RSI to SeaInsure General Insurance Co. Inc. (SeaGen), which undertook that all policies insured by RSI beyond the cut-off date, if any, and any valid non-life insurance-related claims that may arise in the future, shall automatically be assumed by SeaGen,” Funa added.

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To recall, SeaPG last year acquired two licensed Philippine nonlife insurance companies: RSI, as well as AA Guaranty Assurance Co. Inc., which had been rebranded into SeaGen.“The entry of Sea Ltd., through SeaPG, to the local life and nonlife insurance industries is a testament to foreign entities’ confidence in the Philippine insurance regulation,” the IC chief said.

Big backer

SeaPG parent-firm Sea Ltd. is a Singaporean global consumer internet company listed on the New York Stock Exchange with three core businesses across digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services.

“Sea Ltd. [had] guaranteed provision of sufficient capital to SeaLife relative to its compliance with statutory net worth and solvency requirements,” he added.

Back in March, global insurance credit rating agency AM Best said it expected small nonlife firms to merge, consolidate, or be acquired to ease their burden from the mandatory bigger capital.

Funa last month told the Inquirer that Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, President Marcos’ chief economic manager, wanted insurers’ minimum capitalization to rise to P1.3 trillion as scheduled by this year’s end, despite the lobby from life and non-life players to delay its implementation under the Amended Insurance Law.

From at least P900 million currently, all insurers’ net worth had been mandated to increase by Dec. 31 of this year, even as industry players had been pushing for legislation to retain the prevailing capitalization level.

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TAGS: Insurance Commission, insurer, license, Shopee
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