TO further extend the company’s products and services to more Filipinos, multinational insurance company Sun Life Financial recently expanded its insurance portfolio by introducing another product called Sun StartUp in Cebu yesterday.

Mylene Lopa, Sun Life Financial-Philippines (SLFP) head for marketing services, in a press briefing said the new product is meant for the Filipinos who have never enrolled

for any insurance plan.

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Sun StartUp is an affordable, value-for-money product that answers young Filipino’s need for financial protection. The product aims to cater to the needs of the broad C market segment.

Lopa said one can enjoy insurance coverage for 10 years at a premium rate of P384 every month. She said the new product also has a “money back feature” that allows the policyholder to receive a portion of the premiums paid after 10 years if he outlives the plan.

Aside from this, the policy can be enhanced with the accidental death benefit, where compensation can be increased in case of death by accident.

Sun Life, which actively pushes for financial literacy advocacy, believes that this new product will help uplift the insurance penetration in the country that has remained low at 14 percent, according to the 2008 annual report of the Insurance Commission.

“We wanted Filipinos to realize the need to be prepared, that is why we are coming up with a new product and we are launching it in the provincial areas where a lot of Filipinos are not fully aware of insurance plans,” she said.

Lopa cited the lack of awareness of the need and importance of financial protection, low appreciation of financial products and the general notion that life insurance is complicated and only for the rich, as common reasons that dampen the insurance penetration in the country.

SLFP institutional marketing manager Joub Miradora said the company will be putting up offices throughout the provinces to strengthen its distribution channels and to double its manpower agents to 5,000 financial advisers in five years.

“We are eyeing at expanding and strengthening our presence in the provincial areas. We hope to double our financial advisers which is now at 2, 500,” Miradora said.