MANILA, Philippines — Insurers hiked their contribution to economic output last year as Filipinos spent more for policies amid the pandemic.

The Insurance Commission (IC) said the insurance industry increased its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) as the pandemic compelled Filipinos to be more aware and conscious of their health and financial wellness.

“The highest ever penetration rate was achieved at the end of 2020, and we see bright figures for 2021. I believe that the highest ever penetration rate will even be surpassed in 2021,” IC Commissioner Dennis Funa said.

From a penetration rate of 1.64 percent in 2017, the industry’s share to economic output jumped to a record 1.71 percent in 2020. In the third quarter last year, insurance penetration spiked to an all-time high 2.03 percent.

The average spending for insurance has gone up to P2,528 per person as of September 2021, according to the IC.

“For 2021, I see a record insurance density figure, especially with people becoming conscious of the benefits of insurance, especially after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020,” Funa said.

Premiums sold by the industry rose by 64 percent to P278.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021.

Likewise, the net profit of the industry grew at the same rate to P37.5 billion during the period. However, Funa admitted that the pandemic held off some firms from pursuing their expansion plans due to losses sustained at the height of the contagion.

In 2020, Funa said 22 of the 31 life insurers posted an investment loss ranging from P238,000 to P1.5 billion, sinking total investments in the industry to P1.56 trillion, from P1.58 trillion in 2019.

“However, in spite of all these, our third quarter figures for last year showed a strong rebound,” the IC chief said. By:Elijah Felice Rosales|The Philippine Star

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