Transportation agency pushes for lower PUV insurance premium

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Monday, September 19, 2011


TRANSPORTATION Secretary Mar Roxas has instructed the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to help transport operators and drivers cut costs amid the rising fuel prices.

He said that one concrete way to assist drivers and operators is for the LTFRB to review the “existing monopoly structure and find ways such that there will be prompt payment of claims with lower premiums, higher coverage and better service.”

“We understand the transport operators’ plight in view of the alarming and continuous increase of fuel products. We shall exhaust all means to help cut costs for transport operators and drivers,” Roxas stressed in a statement to Sun.Star over the weekend. “The bottom line is that we want to provide safe, affordable and reliable transport systems.”

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The passenger insurance is a prerequisite in registering public utility vehicles, with the Stronghold Insurance Company Inc. and UCPB General Insurance Company Inc. winning the bidding to sell mandatory personal accident insurance products for public utility vehicles (PUVs).

As per the LTFRB Passenger Personal Accident Insurance Program (PPAIP), which expired last September 15, 2011, PUV operators can only get insurance from two LTFRB-accredited insurance groups: the Universal Insurance Transport Accident Agency Solutions Inc. (Unitrans) for those registering even-numbered plates and the Passenger Accident Management and Insurance Agency Inc. (Pami) for odd-numbered plates.

Unitrans and Pami served as agents for Stronghold Insurance and UCPB General Insurance, respectively.

But newly-appointed LTFRB chairman Jaime Jacob said that with the expiration of the five-year accreditation program of the two insurance groups, “we are now opening the accreditation to more participants, including management companies representing insurance groups or individual insurance companies.”

This after a report from the Insurance Commission (IC) showed that opening the monopoly to other insurance companies will bring the premiums paid by PUV operators down by an average of 17 percent.

The IC said operators pay third-party liability (TPL) premiums of P990 but this can be reduced to P841 once new insurers are accredited by LTFRB. (Cheryl G. Cruz)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 19, 2011.

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