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PH insurance industry as a 'woke' entity

By Michael F. Rellosa

IN the current usage of the term, being "woke" means being aware of what really matters or is of true value. Other meanings include "well-informed," "up to date," "alert to injustice" and "cognizant of the common good." In other words, it means to be awake to, sensitive and open to social, ecological and economic issues that would redound to the common good.

To the reader, it may seem strange for the Philippine insurance industry to be considered a "woke" entity, but yes, it is, as the industry finds itself increasingly involved in numerous initiatives that are within the ambit of being "green," "ecologically sensitive" and "socially aware" in order that its ultimate purposes have now gone beyond the traditional motive for any business entity, which is profit, by being, likewise, for the "common good."

For starters, cognizant of the coverage gap in the realm of the catastrophic perils of earthquakes, typhoons and floods, and given the fact that the Philippines has these same perils in some abundance, with which it grapples on a periodic basis, the industry is currently in the process of setting up a facility where such risks are pooled. By doing so, the intended effects would be sustainable pricing, a homogeneous (read, less volatile) portfolio for each of the participants, a more efficient handling of, and therefore cheaper excess of loss protection, which in turn leads to a bigger capacity to write such risks and for the insuring public a better availability of such Cat covers. The Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA) and its member companies are collaborating with the Insurance Commission and the World Bank to make this a reality, hopefully by the second quarter of next year.


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