PH micro-insurance firm forges ties with Bangkok-based insurer

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014


A MICRO-insurance provider in the Philippines has forged ties with a life insurance company in Thailand for the capacity building of their employees.

The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutual Benefit Association Inc. (CARD MBA) has partnered with Bangkok-based Union Life Insurance for a three to five-year capacity-building program.

May S. Dawat, CARD MBA chief executive officer, said in an interview that its partnership with Union Life Insurance will enable their employees to immerse themselves in Union Life’s operations.

Union Life personnel can expect the same opportunity with CARD MBA.

Dawat said the partnership will involve collaboration to develop and enhance Union Life and CARD MBA’s products and services.

CARD MBA is a member of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), whose
financial services are focused on the “underbanked” women.

As of January this year, it recorded 9.3 million insured Filipinos, paying P20 weekly through its affiliate financial institutions CARD Inc., CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank and Rizal Rural Bank.

It extends financial assistance to its members in the form of death benefits, medical subsidy, and pension/retirement savings among others.

Meanwhile, Union Life is said to be the only insurance cooperative in Thailand that represents more than 10 million cooperative members in more than 7,000 cooperatives all over the country.

CARD MBA and Union Life attended in September last year the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Foundation- Asia and Oceania Association (AOA) Networking Seminar in the Philippines. By the end of last year, both parties entered into an agreement.

In 2007, CARD MBA also entered in a partnership with Pioneer Insurance in developing its products.

There are 17 life insurance companies, 18 non-life insurance companies, and 19 mutual benefit associations offering micro-insurance products in the Philippines.

Insurance Commission Deputy Commissioner for Financial Services Ferdinand George Florendo has been encouraging insurance providers to develop insurance products for the poor. He said in recent media reports that the Philippines exhibits a “good practice” in terms of micro- insurance in Asia.

Out of a population of 97 million, almost 20 million Filipinos are covered by micro-insurance.

A global report titled, “The Landscape of Microinsurance in Asia and Oceania 2013,” jointly published by Munich Re Foundation and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur InternationaleZusammenarbeit reveals that the Philippines and India lead in micro-insurance. Only four countries have micro-insurance coverage ratios greater than five percent. These are the Philippines, Thailand, India, and Bangladesh.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 08, 2014.

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