Expansion of micro-insurance coverage for poor sought
THE recent devastation caused by supertyphoon Yolanda in the Visayas underscored the importance of expanding coverage of micro-insurance to the marginalized communities in the country.
In an interview last week during a seminar on micro-insurance held at the Quest Hotel, Insurance Commission deputy commissioner Ferdinand George Florendo said 50,000 typhoon victims were covered by micro-insurance policies.
He said they are already receiving at least P5,000 in insurance claims. “Based on information from one of the insurance providers, claims will range from P5,000 to P20,000. This will really help them get back up,” Florendo said.
Florendo said micro-insurance coverage had yet to reach 100 percent in the country ever since the government instituted it in 2006.
“As of now only 2.9 million have some risk protection (insurance) and half of that are covered by informal insurance sectors or those not registered under the Insurance Commission,” Florendo said.
He said the aftermath of supertyphoon “Yolanda” may encourage people to seek micro-insurance coverage especially those whose livelihoods are at risk to climate change.
There are 54 micro-insurance providers offering 89 insurance products. Of the 54 providers, 19 are Mutual Benefit Associations (MBA’s), 18 are non-life and 17 life insurance companies that offers products like accident, death, natural calamities, illness and more.
A premium for a typical micro-insurance policy only cost 7.7 percent of the daily minimum wage now.
Sanie Dosdos, Climbs Life and General Insurance Cooperative non-life division chief, said they already went to Ormoc to start releasing claims to 2,500 policy holders in the area.
“We have already released P2 million worth of claims for 2,500 policy holders and beneficiaries mostly having a coverage of P4,000. Some of them opted to get construction materials instead of cash through our partner hardware Ormoc Mercury Hardware,” Dosdos told reporters.
Dosdos said they have 89 member associations in Samar and Leyte and 13,700 affiliates in Ormoc and are expecting to release P100 million in claims.
“Our coverage is in the whole of Samar and Leyte and we have policy holders in the areas affected like Guian, Tacloban and Ormoc and we will be going there more often to assist them and start releasing their claims,” Dosdos said.
Florendo told Cebu Daily News that most insurance companies now have interest to offer micro-insurance policies in partnership with cooperatives and rural banks.
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