PhilPlans eyes P1.7-B premiums this year

Ted P. Torres (The Philippine Star) - March 11, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - PhilPlans First Inc. is targeting to increase its premiums or pre-need plans sold by 22 percent to roughly P1.7 billion this year, driven by a 42-percent expansion in new business.

In 2013, premiums rose to P1.35 billion or a 21-percent increase from P1.12 billion in 2012. Last year, total premiums were distributed on P560 million new business and P790 million from renewals.

The positive outlook for this year is anchored on new and affordable product introduction and the resurgence of its life or memorial business following the acquisition of Nacional Memorial Homes and the Heritage Park.

“Growth will be anchored on continuing to provide customers options in choosing a plan most suitable to their needs,” Annette W. Tirol, president and chief executive officer of PhilPlans, said.

The country’s leading pre-need company also offers pension and education plans.

The new memorial product and service for Nacional Memorial Homes is offered end-to-end, 24/7 service for as low as P16 per day.

Another product offers as low as P100,000 for a memorial plan with Heritage Mortuary and Crematory, entitling the plan holder cremation and three nights of viewing.

Tirol said that they will be aggressively seeking alliances as well as acquisition opportunities to expand its memorial business this year.

The memorial business accounts for 28 percent of total plans sold through PhilPlans. Industry-wide, the business accounts for half of all plans sold, followed by pension and education.

The biggest market of PhilPlans is in the pension business accounting for 62 of total premiums in 2013, followed by education plans at 10 percent.

“We also have pension products that provide opportunities to start saving for as low as P55 per day,” the PhilPlans chief executive added.

But like its memorial business, pre-need products sold by PhilPlans have a lot of value-added, making it more beneficial to planholders. All plans have life insurance protection wrapped around all products through its affiliate Philippine Life Financial Inc. (PhilLife Financial).

Tirol said that its education plans would be contributing significantly this year with unique tie-ups with the Philippine Women’s University (PWU), STI schools nationwide, West Negros University, and IT-oriented educational institute, iAcademy.

At the end of 2013, its trust fund amounted to P41 billion managed by six trustee banks. PhilPlans manages 6,000 agents spread out nationwide through 60 branches.

Likewise, net income reached P2 billion in 2013, up 25 percent from P1.6 billion earned in 2012. Plans rose to 13,002 in the same period from 10,738 the year before.

“We expect another banner year fuelled by sales growth of all business lines,” she added.

PhilPlans is part of STI Investments of the Tanco Group, which includes PhilLife Financial and PhilhealthCare Inc. (PhilCare).

STI Investments is affiliated with STI Holdings, a publicly listed company, which operates STI campuses in the Philippines and manages the Philippine Women’s University (PWU), Jose Abad Santos Memorial School (JASMS), and iAcademy.

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