• IC: Small claims no longer need hearing

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    CLAIMS involving policies worth P200,000 and below need no longer go through a hearing, according to the Insurance Commission.

    The commission has issued a new Circular simplifying the procedure for small claims.

    “This rule shall govern hearings of such claims and complaints and actions before the Insurance Commission where the amount being claimed or sued upon does not exceed Two Hundred Thousand Pesos in any single claim, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney’s fees,” the circular read.

    All that a claimant needs to do is submit a position paper in writing to the commission without having to attend any hearing, Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc said.

    Insurers must also file a position paper for the regulator to evaluate, the commissioner noted.

    “So the concerned parties, particularly the victim, can expect immediate and quick resolution of the claim,” Dooc said.

    The commission’s objective is to expedite the processing of cases.

    “As you know, if it will take a long time, it is to the detriment of the policyholders—if [they are]made to wait for a number of years. So with this procedure, hopefully, we’ll be able to settle it within a few months, for the benefit of the policyholders,” said Deputy Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa.

    According to the Circular, a small claims action starts with the filing of an accomplished and verified statement of claim as well as other related documents that support the claim.

    “No evidence shall be allowed during the hearing which was not attached to or submitted together with the Claim, unless good cause is shown for the admission of additional evidence,” it said.

    Claimants can also file a verified complaint with a certificate of non-forum shopping prepared by a lawyer.

    “With this, we can assure the small claimants that his claim will be prioritized in a way because their claims will no longer undergo the formal process of hearing,” Dooc said.

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