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Covid insurance claims hit P16B

INSURANCE claims related to Covid-19 totaled P16.71 billion between 2020 and 2021, with life insurance coverage accounting for more than half of the benefits, or roughly P9.05 billion, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

It said in a statement on Saturday that this was based on the Insurance Commission's (IC) report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, which also pointed out that 23 percent of Covid-19-related claims were paid between the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 and the end of 2020, with the bulk of the claims — 77 percent or P12.82 billion — being claimed last year.

IC Commissioner Dennis Funa said in the report that P9.05 billion in claims for life insurance plans translates to nearly 9,500 death payouts.

For his part, the DoF said Dominguez noted that compared to data from the Department of Health of roughly 51,000 deaths related to Covid-19 as of the end of last year, less than a fifth, or 18.6 percent, were covered by insurance based on IC data.

The low insurance coverage rate for pandemic-related deaths, he added, emphasizes the need of securing financial protection in advance of calamities and other unexpected incidents.

Meanwhile, Funa explained that the rest of the pandemic-related insurance claims in 2020 and 2021 came from health maintenance organizations (HMOs), which accounted for 39 percent of the payouts or P6.44 billion, mutual benefit associations (MBAs), which accounted for 5 percent of the payouts or P833 million, and non-life policies, which accounted for 2 percent or P382 million.

"Notably, the out-patient benefit, meaning people who were not confined in the hospital, have the highest number of claims paid with 413,000 for the whole of 2021. Followed by claims under other benefits at 54,000," he was quoted as saying in the report.

Death benefits accounted for P6.8 billion, or 53 percent, of the total payout last year, Funa added, followed by in-patient benefits, or those confined in hospitals, at 27 percent, or P3.5 billion.

Out-patient benefits amounted for 15 percent of claims in 2021, or P1.92 billion.

"It is noteworthy that within 2021, all four industries have already exceeded at 35 percent of their claims payment for the entire 2020," the IC head continued.


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