When Taal volcano erupted on January 12, 2020, thousands of Filipinos suddenly began calling insurance companies to check if they are eligible to claim for losses they incurred either for their house, their car, or for their business.
For many of them, however, their houses only have the basic Fire insurance policy which protects them in case of fire. It does not include volcanic eruption.
The same was true for those who have businesses in places like Tagaytay. The insurance they had for business interruption did not include volcanic eruption.
Michael Rellosa, executive director of the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA), said these cases stem from the mindset of many Filipinos that insurance is just unnecessary and just an extra expense.
“In their bid to save up on premiums, they just settle for the ‘minimum’ insurance cover or those that are required. Usually, just a Fire insurance policy for the house, or the most basic Business Interruption cover for their business. They do not anymore include a cover for VE or Volcanic Eruption,” he said.
“This same thing happened in 2009 when tropical storm Ondoy flooded many parts of Metro Manila. Car owners suddenly realized that their cars were not insured against so-called Acts of God,” Rellosa added.
Those who have AOG cover for their cars were able to have their vehicles replaced or repaired from their insurance policies.
For vehicle owners with AOG who incurred damages on their cars because of the Taal eruption, they are eligible to file claims with their insurance companies. They just have to show proof that the damage was indeed caused by the eruption and file the usual documentary requirements in making insurance claims.
“Disasters like this Taal eruption really highlight our vulnerabilities, and these vulnerabilities are the reasons why we get insurance,” said Rellosa.
For more information about non-life insurance, log on to www.pirainc.com or call your insurance provider.