IC sets up claims center for Surigao quake victims

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THE Insurance Commission activated its Disaster Response Mechanism on Tuesday to process insurance claims for the speedy recovery of Surigao City residents on the heels of a magnitude 6.7 quake that struck the area late Friday.

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The mechanism mobilizes the Agarang Proseso, Benepisyo ay Sigurado Program for setting up the Claims Action Center for victims with insurance claims for a quick and simple settlement process, the commission said in a statement.

“The sooner earthquake victims who are insurance policyholders can get their claims, the sooner they can get back to their feet. The Agarang Proseso, Benepisyo ay Sigurado Program aims to address the urgent need for relief available to victims of the recent earthquake,” Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa said.

A magnitude 6.7 quake struck Surigao City on February 10, killing at least six, injuring hundreds and left over 1,400 houses damaged in 54 barangays across Caraga Region. More than 5,170 people were displaced. Initial estimates place damage to infrastructure at more than P240 million.

Funa ordered all insurance companies to expedite, with the help of the Claims Action Center, the processing of insurance claims filed by people in quake-hit areas.

“We directed them to put a system in place to guarantee the speedy processing of claims upon submission of minimum documentary requirements,” he said.

The IC is requiring insurers to submit a report on the number and type of insurance claims that were filed, the amount of claims paid and other relevant information.

“Policyholders affected by the recent Surigao earthquake may seek the Commission’s assistance through its telephone numbers (02) 5238461 to 70 local 127 and 103 or (02) 4041758, or by email at publicassistance@insurance.gov.ph,” it said.

On Monday, 15 non-life insurance claims have been filed in connection with the Surigao quake, according to the commission.

The IC noted that in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, the Claims Action Center was activated in Leyte and Samar.

Over P200 million in claims were processed and released by life, non-life and mutual benefit associations (MBA), the main micro-insurance provider, for hundreds of thousands of victims. The bulk of those covered MBAs are cooperatives and credit unions.

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