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Insured losses from Taal eruption now at P36M

A month after the eruption of Taal volcano, insurance companies have begun receiving claim notices from their clients affected by the calamity.

The Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association said seventeen of its members have reported receiving 157 notices of claims amounting to an estimated P36 Million worth of damage to homes, businesses and motor vehicles.

These claims are now being processed, with some of them already paid.

Among the companies that reported receiving claims for the Taal eruption, one insurer had a high of more than P14 million, half of which were from damages to property, while the other half were from other forms of insurance such as casualty and business interruption.  They also received a P258,000 worth of claims for motor vehicle damage.

The insurer with the second highest number of Volcanic Eruption claims logged in at more than P3 million in property damage and about half a million pesos in motor car claims.

Those who reported receiving claims for motor vehicle damage were Commonwealth Insurance, Stronghold Insurance, SGI Philippines Insurance, and Fortune General.

PIRA Executive Director Michael Rellosa said 11 other member companies of PIRA sent them a report indicating that they have not received any notice of claims from their clients.

“We are still awaiting reports from our other members, especially those who are into microinsurance. In natural calamities like this eruption, farmers and fisherfolk can really benefit from their microinsurance,” he said.

Microinsurance is a type of insurance that caters to low-income sectors. It is usually sold via cooperatives and pays P5,000 as calamity benefit for incidents like floods, typhoons, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

For commercial insurance, only those with Acts of Nature coverage for their cars are covered for the Taal eruption. And only those with specific coverage for volcanic eruption for their homes or businesses may be able to file a claim.

Rellosa said there is an extra premium for insuring for volcanic eruptions, and the rate for this is never fixed and varies from one insurance company to another. Insurance companies compute this rate based on the property’s proximity to an active or dormant volcano, as well as the historical events related to such a volcano.

“To make sure that you are covered for volcanic eruption, please check your insurance policy,” he said.

For those who are covered, filing a claim only needs basic documentation to prove one’s ownership of the insured car or property, plus proof of the damage incurred. In most cases, these include pictures and certification from authorities that the area was among those declared by government as affected by the eruption.

Insuring against a Catastrophic Peril such as flood, earthquake or typhoon or an additional peril such as volcanic eruption requires a deductible or participation fee. “The deductible for Acts of Nature for cars is the same as that of Own Damage and may vary depending on the insurance company. For typhoon, flood and earthquake claims in property insurance, it is often pegged at 2% of the affected item or a minimal amount, whichever is higher. For volcanic eruption, the deductible is never fixed and would be dependent on the underwriter.


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