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Bringing insurance closer to people

By Herminia S. Jacinto


The rush for the coming Easter break has started over the weekend. Airports, bus stations and highways are clogged with both vehicles and people on their way to their much-awaited long vacations. The last week must have been a very busy one for people shopping for their vacation outfits and the traditional "pasalubong." Nothing can be forgotten, so the checklist must be reviewed many times. If the house is to be left without anyone, the locks and electrical connections are checked before leaving.


Insurance people have an additional checklist. Is the fire insurance cover of the house in force? Do we have comprehensive insurance coverage for the vehicles that will travel to their destinations? With so many vehicles on the road, the chances of accidents occurring are doubled. How about travel insurance? Do we need them, or do we just pray that there will be no need for them? One must bear in mind that travel insurance must be bought before and not during the travel period! One need not worry, however. Just go online and get your travel insurance from any of the insurance companies that sell them. Or get your favorite insurance broker or agent to do it for you. Technology has brought insurance to your homes. One can start his travel with peace of mind knowing that his properties are either insured or held covered by the insurance company representatives.


Long before the use of technology in getting an insurance cover, insurance companies had already come up with various ways of making it easy for buyers of insurance to get their insurance protection. One way is through bancassurance. Bank clients who visit their favorite bank branch are introduced and referred to a financial advisor who can attend to their insurance requirements. The financial advisor represents the insurance company, which is normally owned or belongs to the same group as the bank. The bank branch becomes a one-stop shop for the client for both his banking and insurance needs. In the Philippines, the life insurance companies, which are the leading insurance producers, belong to the top 5 banks in the country.


For the non-life insurance requirements of the insured, some lines of insurance, like the Comprehensive Third Party Liability (CTPL) insurance and other simple covers that do not require inspection of the property or examination of contracts and other documents, are now available on the websites of most non-life insurance companies. Those covers that require face-to-face meetings with the insured, and their intermediaries can be transacted virtually. The exchange of documents can be done through email and couriers. Hello, Lalamove and Grab! There is no more reason for one to find it difficult to get or renew his insurance covers. Some good news first! Recently, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner released a memorandum circular to all non-life insurance companies to increase the benefits of the Compulsory Motor Insurance Coverage Limit from P100,000 to P200,000 without increasing the premiums to be paid by the vehicle owner.


The abovementioned directive from the insurance commissioner shows that both the regulator and the insurance companies have constantly been looking for ways to make insurance coverage accessible and affordable. My colleague, Michael Rellosa, executive director of the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA), wrote in his column early this month that the insurance industry is now in the process of reviewing the pricing or the rates to be charged for fire insurance with the intention to make it affordable for the insurance buyers. However, the rates should also be acceptable to our reinsurers, who are our partners in the business. Since the reinsurers will share the risk, they have to quote the price, which will enable them to respond to our claims in the event that a loss occurs. The process of pricing insurance or determining the correct rates is a long one that involves referral to historical data and experience of the insurance companies. And the study has to conform with present practices and events.


The insuring public who are now on their way to take their Easter break is assured that your insurance company is always at your service.


Enjoy the holidays! Happy Easter to everyone, especially our beloved clients!



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