THE INSURANCE Commission (IC) has relaxed the requirements for customer identification documents until June 30 amid the lockdown in various places due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The IC issued Circular Letter (CL) 2020-37 stating that “the requirements on valid identification documents under Section 24 D of CL 2018-48 as amended shall be relaxed and subject to conditions.”

Among the conditions are that the annual premium price payable on the policy should not exceed P50,000 and that the client should be a permanent resident of areas placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or community quarantine (CQ).

Customers will also have to submit a certification that they do not have a valid identification document. This does not need to be notarized.

The IC said insurers will have to monitor clients’ accounts for potential abuse of the relaxed requirements. Any suspicious transactions should be reported to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

“The relaxation of identification document requirements shall not apply whenever there is suspicion of money laundering or terrorism financing, or where specific higher risk scenarios apply,” the circular dated April 7 read.

The IC said the directive applies to all of its regulated entities including insurance and reinsurance firms and brokers, mutual benefit associations (MBA), trusts for charitable uses, pre-need companies, as well as health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

According to CL 2018-48, customers and authorized signatories of a company that will enter into a financial transaction with an IC-regulated entity are still required to submit an official identification document which the latter will use to validate the information provided by the former.

However, the relaxation of documentary requirements as allowed by CL 2020-37 is only valid “during the period of ECQ/CQ and until 30 June, 2020.”

NONLIFE FIRMS Separately, the IC also issued on Tuesday guidelines for nonlife insurers’ conduct of business during the ECQ period.

For instance, the regulator allowed nonlife firms to sell their products online, through information and communication technology (ICT) channels and other means for remote communication. This does not need prior approval from the regulator.

Remote communication could also be used to collect minimum customer information and identification documents.

However, nonlife insurers still need to register their initiatives to the IC via a letter advising the regulator of the initiative and its mechanics.

“This commission shall require a non-life insurance company to recall its initiatives if, at any time after review, this Commission shall find a violation of or non-compliance with any provision of law, circular letters or existing rules and regulations,” the rules read. — B.M. Laforga (BusinessWorld)


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