By Herminia S. Jacinto
PROTECTION has been the operative word for everyone for over a year now, protecting oneself, family members, co-workers and friends from the harsh and sometimes fatal effect of the pandemic. Consciousness for protection of lives and property is first and foremost in our minds as we traverse the difficult year that was. A previous column in this paper discussed the performance of the life insurance companies in providing their insured with the right products and services in the time of the pandemic.
What about the nonlife insurance industry? How did they react and provide protection to the insured? Nonlife insurance refers to insurance of property (residences, commercial buildings, factories, etc.), motor vehicles, airplanes, ships and cargo and personal accident, among others. Based on the data provided by the Insurance Commission (IC) website, the gross premiums written of the nonlife companies for 2020 decreased by only nine percent compared to the 2019 figures in spite of the difficulties experienced during the year. We had expected the reduction could be a lot more considering offices were closed for business for some time. The IC made representations to include insurance among the businesses exempted from quarantine in order that companies could operate even with a skeleton force to service the requirements of the insuring public. The companies relaxed some of their requirements on premium payments and claims servicing; thus, allowing for longer grace periods in paying the policies and simplifying claims filing procedures.