Filipinos’ awareness on insurance coverage is rising prompting Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc to project a P500 billion level of insurance premium income by 2019.
”In fact my prediction is that we may post premium income of P240 [billion]to P250 billion this year, much better than the banner year in 2013 where we hit about P200 billion, the highest so far in the insurance industry,” he told Philippine Life Insurance Association (PLIA) members in his speech during the group’s 56th anniversary celebration Tuesday night.
He based his “fearless forecast” of total premium income hitting half a trillion pesos by the time his term ends in December 2019 to the industry’s average growth of about 20 percent to 25 percent in recent years.
”We have three years to go. It’s achievable to get half a trillion,” he said citing that this level is a big jump from the about P80 billion in end-2009.
Last year, the industry ended the year with total premiums of P188.96 billion, a drop of
4.63 percent from the record-high P198.13 billion in the previous year.
At the end of the first quarter of 2015, the insurance industry registered total premiums amounting to P56.29 billion, up 45.53 percent from year-ago’s P38.7 billion.
Dooc hopes that growth would be driven by both the life and non-life insurance but cited that “this time life is showing more robust growth than non-life.”
”People have come to realize the need for insurance cover,” he said.
The IC chief said rise of microinsurance, a type of microfinance product that is cheap compared to regular insurance product and is targeted for the poor, is really high but its contribution to total premiums is “insignificant.”
”It’s the numbers in terms of individuals covered but in terms of premiums it hardly makes a dent,” he said.
”Hopefully GDP [gross domestic growth]will not outpace us because at that growth rate GDP may not be higher than our growth,” he said.
The domestic economy has posted an average of 6.2 percent growth since 2010.
To date, insurance penetration rate in the Philippines is among the lowest in the region at about 1.5 percent of total population but Dooc is optimistic that this can hit three percent by 2019 in line with the average penetration rate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.