Insurance sector to benefit from gov’t's digitalization bid

By Joann Villanueva

March 9, 2022, 8:53 pm

MANILA – The government’s push for digitalization and use of technology in various processes are not only seen to boost its financial inclusion bid but is projected to also increase insurance penetration in the Philippines.

In a virtual briefing on Wednesday, Insular Life vice president and head of digital sales distribution Geraldine Pascual said the pandemic propelled companies’ resilience vis-à-vis the use of digital platforms and processes, among others.

Pascual said this is a plus for the insurance industry because as people become more knowledgeable and comfortable on the use of digital financial transactions so is the intention to get insurance coverage.

She said they “see this trend towards mainstream adoption” of technology-based transactions.

“The key message here is that we will be able to realize our objective of financial inclusion for more Filipinos through technology. Technology will help pave the way for insurance to become easily accessible for most (and) to realize our dreams in InLife – for every Filipino to be financially protected and that no one left behind,” she said.

Authorities and insurance company executives said insurance penetration in the country remains low compared to other countries in the region at around 2 percent of the total population.

Prior to the pandemic, they said growth of the insurance industry is being buoyed by the continued improvement of the domestic economy.

However, the drive to have insurance protection increased during the pandemic, they said.

During the same briefing, InLife executives said their company’s partnership with GCash allowed the former to record PHP196 million worth of transactions in 2021 alone.

InLife chairperson Nina Aguas said their tie-up with GCash is “by far, the widest net we are casting in our financial inclusion agency for women.”

“GCash breaks the barriers for the millions of the unbanked to avail themselves of financial services and health solutions at the most convenient and safe way,” she said.

Through the GCash app, InLife offers term life insurance and accident insurance that do not need medical examinations.

InLIfe also offers prepaid cards of its health subsidiary, Insular Health Care (IHC), through the app, a move towards its advocacy of promoting financial inclusion and empowering women through technology.

Tricci Rose Sadian, head of Sales and Marketing Division, Insurance Health Care, said around 70 percent of their customers are women, adding that “we must take seriously that women today have strong influence in the economy.”

“Women are becoming more financially knowledgeable. Part of that knowledge is the connection between financial health and personal health as poor health and financial difficulty may go hand in hand,” she said.

She added that “women know that investing in their health is important for building resilience against future financial health.” (PNA)