Insular Life sets P500 million digital budget
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - June 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd. (InLife) is eyeing to invest over P500 million to accelerate the digitization of its business amid an increasing demand for health protection products amid the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

In a virtual press briefing, InLife executive chairman Nina Aguas said the company has allocated around P500 million for the improvement of its digital capabilities.

“As of last year, we were ready to invest. We’ve set aside certain amounts to make these investments,” Aguas said, adding that “for now, it’s in the ballpark of like half a billion pesos.”

However, Aguas said the amount may need to be increased as InLife wants to accelerate even further its shift toward digitization.

According to Aguas, InLife’s efforts to digitize its systems has enabled the company to respond quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and community quarantine measures were put in place.

However, she said the company plans to further intensify its digitization efforts, as it sees an increasing demand for health insurance products in the wake of the health crisis.

“There’s been a very strong take up, particularly on the health care side. We saw a phenomenal rate of those buying prepaid insurance, health coverage, just for example, in the early months (of the lockdown), including today. So, we are investing,” she said.

Currently, InLife’s products can be bought through Lazada or the company’s own digital store, which was launched in the midst of the community lockdown, Aguas said.

But she said the company is eyeing more partnerships with financial technology firms, particularly on the distribution of its health care products.

In 2019, InLife reported a total new business annual premium equivalent (NBAPE) of P1.91 billion, and a premium income of P12.67 billion, according to data from the Insurance Commission (IC).

InLife senior executive vice president and head of the distribution group Raoul Littaua said the company is targeting to at least maintain this level of NBAPE.

“If we’re looking at APE, that’s the goal. That’s what we want, at least not to go below that,” Littaua said.

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