The Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA) is joining the prestigious International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) in a bid to increase its members’ capacity to develop and market marine insurance in the country.
PIRA Executive Director Michael Rellosa announced this week that the PIRA Technical Committee on Marine Insurance has approved the proposal for PIRA to become an Associate Member of IUMI and accept the sponsorship of the MUAP that covers PIRA’s first-year membership fees in IUMI. IUMI officials Hinasori Ugra, Kosuje Hashimoto, and Kasunori Okamoto met with PIRA last year to discuss the benefits of membership in the prestigious organization.
They met with PIRA Trustees Eden R. Tesoro and Joli Co Wu, and Messrs. Elmer Victor B. Felipe and Mandy Velasquez, all part of PIRA Technical Committee on Marine tasked to evaluate the IUMI membership for the PIRA Board’s approval. “PIRA is honored to be a part of IUMI and to have access to IUMI’s technical resources. Our members will surely benefit from this as they will not be able to access IUMI statistics and other important information, as well as learning modules being offered by IUMI,” Mr. Rellosa said. PIRA will now be an Associate Member of IUMI for the next three years.
On top of the education modules, statistics and other learning and underwriting information from the IUMI, PIRA members will also benefit from IUMI’s exclusive network of affiliates and professional partners who are all into marine insurance.
PIRA’s initial annual membership fee for IUMI worth P60,000 was sponsored by the Marine Underwriters Association of the Philippines (MUAP) whose members, led by Mr. Kent Cotoco and Mr. Carlos Yturzaeta, have proposed to forge an alliance with to bring back the preeminence that Marine Insurance used to enjoy in the Philippines.
MUAP has been a subgroup under PIRA but since its membership has dwindled over the years, its function will now be performed by PIRA’s Technical Committee on Marine Insurance. “As the industry’s umbrella organization and policy-making body, PIRA pledges to carry on the valuable work of the MUAP and recognizes the contribution it has made to the industry,” said Mr. Rellosa.
Meanwhile, Mr. Rellosa urged PIRA members to take advantage of the new alliance with IUMI to grow their marine insurance portfolio. The IUMI is the world’s oldest insurance industry association and serves as an influential, trusted and unified voice of the global marine insurance market.
It currently represents more than 40 national and marine market insurance and reinsurance associations, and through their respective memberships IUMI covers more than 90 per cent of the world’s marine insurance premiums.
Marine insurance in the Philippines is lumped together with aviation insurance with gross premiums amounting to about P6.5 billion in premiums in 2017.
It includes protection for damages or losses caused to terminals, ships, and transport or cargo that acquire, transfer, or hold goods between different points of source and final terminus.
Marine insurance is protection for shipping and transporters corporations, as it helps lessen the financial loss burden owing to the loss of cargo. The use of online gateways has enhanced customer experience by introducing advanced technologies in the marine industry, such as analytics and digitization, things PIRA members expect to learn from the MUAP and the IUMI.