Pru Life UK, a subsidiary of Prudential Plc. of the United Kingdom, teamed up with Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit or GIZ of Germany to provide low-cost life insurance products to low-income Filipinos online.
Pru Life president and chief executive Antonio de Rosas said in a news briefing Tuesday in Makati City the project would be piloted in Butuan City in Mindanao and Tacloban City in the Visayas.
Pru Life cited a recent study conducted by GIZ showing that selected communities in Tacloban and Butuan had a high appeal for insurance coverage, with 57 percent of the 300 respondents saying they were open to getting an insurance policy in the future.
The study showed that knowledge on insurance was very low, with source of awareness mostly coming from word of mouth. GIZ said financial activities were not yet strong online. Pru Life and GIZ teamed up to use technology to reduce the protection gap in the country.
The initiative supports the Insurance Commission’s circular letter 2015-54 for the adoption and implementation of Enhanced Microinsurance Regulatory Framework.
It is designed to maximize the Filipinos use of online services estimated at 35 million users in mid-2014 and seen to grow to 70 million by 2018, according to the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines.
The Swiss Mortality Protection Gap Asia Pacific 2015 report showed the Philippines had a $370- billion mortality protection gap which could translate to about P600 billion worth of premiums annually.
De Rosas said the P600 billion worth of premiums could have helped the insurance industry grow five times. He said providing insurance products to Tacloban residents would be very important, especially after the city was devastated by supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013 and this incident might recur in the future.