WITH microinsurance being one of the government’s thrust for financial inclusion, one of the pioneering mutual benefit associations (MBA) in the country reported that it has insured 10.9 million Filipinos as of February, holding the biggest number of insured individuals in the microinsurance industry to date.
The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development MBA (Card-MBA), the insurance arm of Card Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (Card-MRI), said in a statement that claims reached P695 million in 2014.
At the end of last year, it registered 10.69 million insured individuals, registering more than 200,000 additions in a span of two months.
Last year, it registered 24,078 cases of death among Card clients and dependents. Of these, heart-related diseases topped the list of deaths at 8,400 cases for four consecutive years, consistent with the Department of Health’s record in 2009.
The Department of Finance and the Insurance Commission have been aggressively pushing for the growth of microinsurance in the country to protect low-income Filipinos from death, accidents and other perils.
Card-MBA general manager May Dawat said they are offering four major microinsurance products--the basic life insurance program (BLIP), retirement savings fund (RSF), loan redemption fund (LRF) and Golden Life Insurance.
The lowest premium is pegged at P5 per week under its RFS product. It is intended for the retirement of members and can be availed of in lump-sum at optional retirement ages ranging from 65 to 70.
Meanwhile, BLIP, is offered at P15 per week, which grants the individual member and legal dependents life insurance coverage, with the amount dependent on the length of membership. The products also have riders for accidental death, total and permanent disability, motor vehicular accidents, hospitalization benefits and refund of contribution.
According to Card-MRI corporate communications assistant Raffy Antes, death claims start at P2,000 for members of less than one year and have pre-existing condition and P20,000 if death is caused by accidents. However, for members of more than three years, they may get a claim to as high as P100,000.
“Based in the 2014 assessment of Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on the regulatory environment for financial inclusion across 12 indicators and 55 countries, the Philippines is one of the leaders in regulation of micro-insurance,” Dawat said.
In the study, the Philippines ranked third globally after Peru and Columbia, the only country in Southeast Asia to form part of the top five.
However, Dawat, quoting inputs from other industry players, said microsinsurance in the Philippines remains a challenge in terms of increasing insurance coverage in the country, among other concerns raised like the adoption of mobile technology for microinsurance.
Data from EIU showed that financial services for the poor and unbanked are mostly concentrated in urban and semi-urban areas, leaving people in inaccessible locations behind.
Earlier, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said that Filipinos with microinsurance has already grown tremendously from a low of three million in 2008 to 28 million as of end of 2014.