Insurers, pre-need firms collect higher premiums in 9 months

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The local insurance industry, as well as the pre-need and health maintenance organization (HMO) sectors all posted higher premium collections in the first nine months of 2019, according to the Insurance Commission (IC).  

According to the latest data from the IC, the insurance industry’s total premium income from January to September 2019 amounted to P224.97 billion, 2.77 percent higher than the P218.91 billion in the same month in 2018.  

The IC said P172.05 billion of the amount came from the life insurance sector, whose sales were driven mainly by variable life insurance products. The non-life sector also contributed P44.02 billion in net premiums written.

Mutual benefit associations, who are the biggest players in the microinsurance business, also accounted for the remaining P8.9 billion, the commission said.

According to the IC, the industry’s total assets reached a record high of P1.74 trillion as of end-September 2019. This is likewise 12.26 percent higher than the P1.55 trillion in the same month in 2018.

The bulk or P1.39 trillion of the total resources came from the life insurance business, while P248.99 billion was from the non-life sector. The balance of P101 billion was accounted for by the MBA sector.

Similarly, the IC said the pre-need sector also showed positive performance, as its total premium income in the first nine months of 2019 grew by 20.6 percent to P16.99 billion from P14.08 billion in the same period of 2018.

The industry’s total assets amounted to P127.62 billion, an improvement of 3.7 percent year-on-year.

Health maintenance organizations (HMOs), meanwhile, posted total revenues of P36.76 billion during the nine-month period, 8.64 percent up from P33.83 billion in the previous year. Total assets amounted to P37.27 billion as of end-September 2019.

Consistent with the industry’s growth, the commission said the number of individuals covered by microinsurance has already reached 40 million as of end-September.

Meanwhile, insurance penetration, or or the ratio of the premium volume to the country’s gross domestic product, stood at 1.69 percent in the third quarter.

The IC said the insurance industry’s market penetration has also reached 59.15 percent as of end-September.

Going forward, Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa expressed confidence that the industry would be able to sustain its growth.

For 2020, he said the insurance sector would continue to exhibit strong performance should there be no international headwinds to disrupt growth.

“Barring external issues, I continue to be confident about the performance of the industry because the basics are undisturbed, fundamentals are okay,” he said on the sidelines of the IC’s 71st anniversary celebration.

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