The Insurance Commission has reiterated that it cannot conduct investigations against covered entities without a verified complaint.
In a statement on Thursday, Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa said regulatory action would only be forthcoming after the agency evaluates evidence submitted in support of allegations.
Funa issued the statement in connection with a letter complaint claiming that foreign insurance and risk management firm Marsh UK — a unit of professional services firm Marsh & McLennan — was operating illegally in the country.
Lawyer Jose Antonio Bernas, who represents non-life insurer Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc. (PGA), claims that the head of Marsh Singapore personally solicited business form carrier Cebu Air in behalf of Marsh UK, in the process breaking Philippine laws and also disclosing privileged information.
“In a letter dated 03 April 2017, PGA’s counsel requested the Insurance Commission to conduct an investigation on the manner by which Marsh UK and Marsh Singapore conduct business in the Philippines,” Funa noted.
Jacob reportedly presented a reinsurance package to the carrier where Marsh would assume all insurance risks through a “fronting insurer,” a matter Bernas claims Marsh all but admitted in a letter to the IC where it said it was now able to compete against other local insurance firms.
For its part, the IC directed Marsh UK and Marsh Singapore to submit their respective comments to address the request and in order to verify the allegations of PGA.
“Upon receipt by the commission of the comment of Marsh Singapore, the commission requested PGA to submit its reply to the comment of Marsh Singapore,” Funa said.
“PGA’s request for a conduct of an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Marsh UK Marsh Singapore, and Marsh and Mclennan Companies are indeed doing business in the Philippines, was made through a letter dated 31 August 2017, which is the reply of PGA to the comments of Marsh UK,” the commissioner noted.
The request also included a determination of whether the license of Marsh Philippines should be revoked for conspiring with its parent firm.
Funa, however, said these matters would have to be threshed out in an appropriate proceeding following the commission’s rules of procedure.
“As of the moment, the Commission cannot comment on the allegations of PGA against Marsh UK until and unless we have received and evaluated the evidence of both parties in support of their respective allegations,” he said.
“To do otherwise would constitute a prejudgment on the issues,” Funa added.