• Insurance regulator affirms order vs firm

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    The Insurance Commission (IC) has affirmed a cease and desist order issued against Bureau of Fire Protection Mutual Aid Beneficiary Association Inc. (BFPMBAI) for operating without the required license.

    The order stemmed from an administrative complaint filed by Fire Services Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (FSMBAI), whose members are officers, employees and retirees of the Bureau of Fire Protection and personnel of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

    “Based on the formal administrative complaint and documentary evidence presented by FSMBAI, the Commission found substantial proof showing that BFPMBAI is acting as a mutual benefit association, albeit the lack of necessary license from the Insurance Commission,” IC chief Dennis Funa said.

    “Similar to life and non-life insurance companies, our Insurance Code requires mutual benefit organizations to secure a license from the Insurance Commission before they can actually operate as such. It should be noted that a mutual benefit association is defined under the Insurance Code, thus, its creation and operation must be governed by the Insurance Code,” Funa added.

    In addition to the cease and desist order, BFPMBAI was also fined P200,000 by the commission.

    Officials of the company were not available for comment. Under the IC’s rules, BFPMBAI has 15 days to file an appeal following receipt of the latest order.

    Funa also warned the public against dealing with unlicensed entities offering insurance, pre-need and health maintenance organization (HMO) products.

    The IC said that only 35 entities have been duly licensed to act as mutual benefit associations.

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