Now Online: Microinsurance surges in the Philippines

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Mitzi Ilagan | Negosentro.com

According to a study conducted by conducted by the Geneva-based United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Belgian-based Centre on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries when it comes to natural calamities. Because of this, most properties were affected and lives were put to risk. Just as how Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) slashed its way to the homes of the Filipino people who weren’t as ready as they should have been. Natural disasters could not be easily avoided, but its impacts could be lessened.

Not everyone could secure their lives and properties in times of emergencies and catastrophes, especially the marginalized sector in the country. One could not easily replace a leaking roof or a fallen wall due to the strong wind and heavy rain.

That is why microinsurance is invented. Unlike the regular insurance plans, this caters to low-income workers, especially the marginalized sector. It is a protection against emergencies and contingencies which would cost only up to 7% of the current daily minimum wage rate and its benefits could amount to no more than 500 times the daily minimum wage. Microinsurance plans cater cover emergencies, physical injuries, accidents and loss or damage of properties or livelihood, depending on the policies and is provided with 45-day allowance, unlike the usual 30-day allowance for regular insurance.

The Philippines is actually a leader in microinsurance not only in Asia but globally. According to Shayne Bulos, Supervising Insurance Specialist of the Microinsurance Division of the Insurance Commission, in 2014, 31.1 million individuals have been covered already.

Unlike the regular insurance plans, this caters to low-income workers. It is a protection against emergencies and contingencies which would cost only 5% of the current daily minimum wage rate and its benefits could amount to no more than 500 times the daily minimum wage. Microinsurance plans cater cover emergencies, physical injuries, accidents and loss or damage of properties or livelihood, depending on the policies.

When Typhoon Haiyan hit our country, microinsurance providers reportedly gave out P0.5 billion for the damage claims of the affected microinsurance holders. 128, 786 families were also said to have bought a new microinsurance plan after the typhoon. This shows how important a microinsurance is, because one would never know when he would need it, especially the marginalized sectors, who mostly do not have large savings accounts in banks spare money for contingencies.

Microinsurance is now available through online payment facilities, made available by Heartshaper Asia (a member of the Philippine Insurers Club) shown here (2nd from right, beside PIC Director Elvis Reyes, rightmost). Also in photo are (from left): Bernard Reyes (VP-Western Guaranty), Danny Soan (Linerty Insurance VP and PIC past president), and Emmanuel Dooc (Commisioner, Philippine Insurance Commission).
Microinsurance is now available through online payment facilities, made available by Heartshaper Asia (a member of the Philippine Insurers Club) shown here (2nd from right, beside PIC Director Elvis Reyes, rightmost). Also in photo are (from left): Bernard Reyes (VP-Western Guaranty), Danny Soan (Liberty Insurance VP and PIC past president), and Emmanuel Dooc (Commissioner, Philippine Insurance Commission).

Aligned with the benefits that one could get, the company has made this possible with a humane goal. As for Mr. Daniel Soan of Liberty Insurance, “Our advocacy, if you ask us, it is insuring every Filipino. We want to insure every Filipino.”

There are various products available in the market today, which even barangay officials, drivers and house helpers could avail. They may think that they themselves could not afford insurance for themselves but a company like Liberty Insurance Corporation offers protection especially made for housemaids or “kasambahay,” for a low premium. All you need to do is apply, fill out a form, and then they’ve got you covered–as easy as that. And as the modern world continues to evolve, more innovations are being adapted, even by the microinsurance sector. There is a telephone assistance program where you could get an advice through a phone call. This is a convenient and helpful assistance especially to those who aren’t in their comfort zones, who are out of their homes and who needs special attention regarding their health.


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Just like Western Guaranty Corporation’s WGC PreparedCARD, this one-time availment prepaid microinsurance plan is what one could use for personal emergency purposes such as accidental death, total disablement or dismemberment due to accident, fire, earthquake and use of emergency Room for emergency cases, for only P750. When you are in dire need of funds, microinsurance could secure that you are always prepared, even at a low price.

More and more microinsurance products are launching in the Philippines. The addition of online (and mobile) payment facilities will further expand its reach to people and places needing insurance.

In the meantime, microinsurance is deemed beneficial for the masses to be educated on financial products. It’s about time.

Mitzi Ilagan is a Content writer for Negosentro.com

Follow Mitzi’s other articles in:
ExecutiveChronicles.comFoodFindsAsia.comPinoyTrekker.com,
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