By Chino S.Leyco
Local-insurer Philam Life said that it will revive its microinsurance business to help address the country’s protection gap and cater to the mass market.
Kelvin Ang, Philam Life chief executive, said the company will soon relaunch its affordable microinsurance products catering to the “D” segments, which will be sold using digital platforms.
“We did that before but it was not done very well, I think,” Ang admitted, but he noted that microinsurance has the “biggest audience” in the entire insurance industry that Philiam cannot ignore.
Ang said Philam plans to team up with experts in the microinsurance segment, like the Palawan Pawnshop.
“We take it one step at a time, we want to do well whatever we have now. We want to make sure our customers are engaged,” Ang said. “It is a good start, but we have long way to go.”
Based on industry data, protection gap in the Philippines is expected to increase further to P2.7 trillion by 2020 from the present P1.5 trillion amid the country’s low insurance penetration rate of only two percent of the economy.
Last week, Ang announced that Philam Life wanted to penetrate the affordable business of the market by introducing a new life protection catering to the middle-class families, or the “C” segments, that have zero savings.
Ang said the basic functions of life insurance have already taken a backseat in the country amid the industry’s too much focus on investment-linked products that mainly cater to the “A” and “B” classes.
For this reason, the Philam Life official said the middle-class segments, accounting for around 40 percent to 50 percent of Filipino families, have almost zero protection when something bad happened to the head of the family.
“Everyone including ourselves are servicing the rich and the ones that have. The one that needs, the one that probably needing even more than anyone else are the ‘C’ classes — C1 and C2. Really, they don’t have safety nets if something happened,” Ang said.
Because of the country’s low insurance penetration rate, Ang said majority of Filipino households instantly collapsed when something unexpected happened to the breadwinners. On Sunday, the company launched AIA All-In-One life insurance which can be availed for as low as P1,500 a month.
Ang said AIA All-In-One comes with a membership to Philam Life Vitality, a science-backed wellness program that incentivizes people with rewards for knowing and improving their health.
“This is an even better product, even lower entry cost, because we have to go up there to reach out these hard working middle-class Filipino families, or people living ‘check-to-check.’ We want them in as our customers,” Ang said.
Former professional English football player David Beckham visited Manila recently visited the country in partnership with Philam Life’s parent AIA Global to help Filipinos live healthier, longer, better lives.