I was listening to the radio on my work the other day and two disc jockeys were talking about what makes them feel old. What struck me was that one of them said: “Bills like insurance bills make me feel old. Millennials like us are just used to cell phone bills and not anything that serious.”
Getting insurance is not important for most millennials I know. Many of my friends have told me that they are in fact afraid of getting insurance because the financial institution might shut down before they can get a claim and they will lose their money. I cannot blame them. There is historical data of this across all insurance products. Our family even experienced this when the College Assurance Plan (CAP) closed down before my sister entered college. Many with small income also believe that they cannot afford to take insurance.
These notions are the reason that most Filipinos do not obtain health insurance. In 2014, 25 million Filipinos, or a quarter of the population were covered by life insurance, according to Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc. It is significant considering only 1.02 percent of the population in 2009 had life insurance coverage. However, three quarters of the population, or 75 million, remained without insurance protection in 2014. To address the concern of Filipinos with low income, the Insurance Commission is promoting microinsurance to lower premiums and increase financial inclusion. The Department of Finance also said in January 2015 that microinsurance product premiums will not exceed 7.5 percent of the daily wages of non-agricultural workers in Metro Manila but in case of a claim their benefit will be 1,000 times more than what they have paid.
The government has been moving decidedly with both public and private sectors to increase financial inclusion in the country; but it needs support for disseminating the information across the country and inspire Filipinos to seek out this type of financial product.
People need to be well informed about the benefits they can reap from life insurance and how much they can save when they get life insurance. According to Philippine Prudential, the cost for a Philhealth member with hernia in hospital for five days is P4,625 with insurance while for another in a similar situation without insurance the cost will be P42,125. Some health insurance plans, like Sun Life’s Healthier Life, will cover 100 percent of the face value amount for any major critical illness of the insured, which can range from P978,650 in case of an acute heart attack to P1,850,150 in case of a stroke.
Anyone planning to get an insurance plan should thoroughly check out the financial institution before buying its products. There are many financial institutions that offer free seminars on life insurance. Also consider making an appointment with the insurance company and ask questions so that you are fully informed before buying the insurance product. Also check the tenure of the company in the industry. Information about financial products are available now more than before. Take advantage of it, and when you are clear about everything you need to know for securing your finances and future, get the insurance from a trusted provider.
I applied this and got a variable unit life insurance plan from two trusted companies since time is ticking and I do not know when I’ll need the financial protection. The bank staff told me that it’s good that I’m thinking about financial products early in my career. I told them, “I’ve been thinking about this for a longest time while spending on my whims instead of my future. It is time to take action now.”
Kristel Silang is the Content Manager of MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.