MANILA, Philippines — Even as microinsurance was cheaper than most insurance coverage, sales during the first nine months of last year fell by a third to P4.39 billion amid the harder times wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest Insurance Commission (IC) data showed that microinsurance contributions and premium production across the life, non-life and mutual benefit association (MBA) sectors as of end-September 2020 dropped 33.23 percent from P6.58 billion a year ago.
This meant that the number of Filipinos covered by short-term microinsurance policies also declined to 39.61 million from 39.89 million in September 2019.
The IC earlier attributed the decline in microinsurance contributions to the prolonged payment deadlines extended by insurers to their customers at the height of the longest and most stringent COVID-19 lockdown in the region, which restricted movement of people and non-essential goods.
The government targets microinsurance coverage for 50 million Filipinos by 2022 by making these already cheap insurance products available to more farmers as well as those living in disaster-prone areas.
At present, the majority of microinsurance products in the country covered agriculture, health, and pre-need.
From January to September last year, contributions to MBAs for microinsurance policies slid 42.61 percent year-on-year to P3.91 billion.
Life insurers’ premiums declined 17.32 percent year-on-year to P1.95 billion, while the non-life sector’s microinsurance sales dropped 25.53 percent to P719.97 million.
In terms of the number of insured lives, MBA’s microinsurance products covered 27.58 million Filipinos as of September 2020, up from 24.64 million a year ago; life, 8.18 million people, up from 8.08 million; and non-life, 3.85 million, lower by nearly half of the 7.17 million in 2019. By: Ben O. de Vera @bendeveraINQ