DOF chief cites insurance industry growth amid pandemic

<p>DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III</p>

DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III

MANILA – Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Friday the impressive growth of the insurance industry in 2021 mirrors the efficiency and swift action of the Insurance Commission (IC) in maximizing the use of digital tools and other measures to ensure the resilience of this sector amid the pandemic. 
On the occasion of its 73rd anniversary, Dominguez thanked the IC led by Commissioner Dennis Funa for this accomplishment as well as for its key role in the audit of government insurance institutions to assist the Department of Finance (DOF) in assessing their strengths and weaknesses.
“By effectively discharging its role as regulator, the Commission ensured the protection of the consumers and the reliability of insurance coverage. By ensuring best practices, the credibility of the industry remains very, very high,” said Dominguez during the event marking IC’s anniversary held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City. 
“In turn, a credible insurance industry encourages more people to avail themselves of financial protection. That is important to strengthening our community’s resilience in the face of so much uncertainty,” he added. 
Dominguez said the IC’s findings and recommendations following its audit of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC), Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will be helpful in charting a stable future for these financial entities.
Under Funa’s leadership, Dominguez said the IC was able to optimize the power of digital technology so that it could provide the necessary support to enable industry stakeholders to operate as effectively as possible for the Filipino people. 
Amid the mobility restrictions imposed during the pandemic, all insurance companies were able to digitally submit their reportorial requirements through the IC’s rating online submission system. 
The IC also issued guidelines on the electronic filing of complaints, pleadings, and other motions, Dominguez said.
As a result of these guidelines and other timely measures, the insurance sector managed to thrive even during the pandemic, as shown by its continued growth in terms of assets, premiums earned, and investments.
In 2021, the total premiums collected by the insurance industry reached PHP374.7 billion, up by almost 22 percent from the PHP308.3 billion worth of premiums it collected in the previous year, Dominguez said. 
By the end of 2021, the industry’s total assets reached an all-time high of PHP2.1 trillion, which was 8.4 percent higher than the PHP1.9 trillion recorded in 2020. 
The total net income and net worth of the industry also increased by 18.6 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively, he said. 
“All these numbers underscore the resilience of the industries under the Commission. In addition, this impressive performance reflects the efficiency of the regulatory and supervisory measures that the Insurance Commission issued and implemented, during and even prior to the pandemic,” he added. 
In times of calamity, the IC was also able to act quickly, Dominguez said, citing the instance when Typhoon Odette struck and the Commission swiftly enjoined all its regulated entities to streamline their company procedures and mechanisms to facilitate the immediate processing and payment of claims related to the disaster.
“There is much more work to be done to broaden insurance coverage in our society. As we move forward to a new normal, I trust that the Insurance Commission will continue to invigorate the industry and make it a key player in helping fulfill President Duterte’s goal of financial inclusion,” Dominguez said. (PR)