MANILA, Philippines – Roughly 27.96 million Filipinos had microinsurance coverage in 2013, among the highest in the East Asian region, according to the Insurance Commission (IC).
Likewise, the penetration ratio (as a percentage of population) rose from 7.22 percent in 2009 to 28.62 percent last year.
The Philippines had the highest microinsurance penetration ratio and the second highest penetration, based on a 2013 study commissioned by the Munich Re Foundation.
The Philippines recorded a 20.6-percent penetration ratio or the highest among the top 10 nations covered by the study.
It was followed by the 13.9 percent in Thailand, nine percent for India, 6.1 percent for Bangladesh, and 3.7 percent for Malaysia. The rest of the countries based on ranking are Pakistan, Cambodia, East Timor, Jordan and Nepal.
In terms of penetration, India was tops with 111.1 million with microinsurance policies followed by the Philippines with 19.9 million policies.
China came in third with 11.9 million, Bangladesh with 9.4 million, and Thailand with 9.3 million. The rest of the field are: Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal and Cambodia.
Before 2010, mutual benefit associations (MBAs), with a few exceptions among the larger life insurers, sold the low-cost informal insurance products.
But the government’s microinsurance program, with all its regulatory and actuarial improvements, changed all that.
At the start of 2013, there were 80 microinsurance products – 54 are classified as life products and 26 as non-life products – approved by the IC.
Offering microinsurance products are 19 insurance companies and 17 MBAs with approved microinsurance products.
In fact, 14 of the 17 MBAs are focused solely on IC-approved microinsurance products. About two million MBA members have microinsurance products.
Already, the program benefited more than 95,000 clients/beneficiaries, with payments reaching P1.87 billion in death and disability benefits.
IC commissioner Emmanuel F. Dooc said that the numbers are expected to be greater this year, with the increase in the number of participants coming the private sector.
Dooc said that the rapid entry of financial but non-insurance institutions, such Cebuana Lhuillier, in the microinsurance environment would dramatically increase the number of individual coverage.
‘They have one of the largest distribution networks today,” he added. -Ted P. Torres (The Philippine Star)