Microinsurance responds to disaster protection

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The microinsurance industry has made its call for public and private players to effectively respond to the challenges of climate change.

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In the recently concluded culminating activity of the National Microinsurance Month this January, a Microinsurance Manifesto was presented and signed by regulators and industry stakeholders as an expression of support and commitment to address the need to create measures that will allow Filipinos to cope with threats of natural disasters.

Lead agencies that signed the manifesto include the Department of Finance, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Insurance Commission, Cooperative Development Authority, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Climate Change Commission.

Among others, the Manifesto urges the government to continue providing an enabling and conducive policy environment for microinsurance. The Insurance Commission earlier reported that there are already 28 million Filipinos covered with microinsurance by end of 2014. The country has also been cited for having the highest penetration ratio in the Asian region at roughly 28 percent.

Insurance providers, on the other hand, are encouraged to develop simple, affordable and innovative microinsurance products and services through easily accessible delivery channels.

Rural banks—because of their strategic location in the countryside—are among the ideal partners for the effective and fast delivery of microinsurance coverage. In support of this cause, the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines, through its technical arm, the Rural Bankers Research and Development Foundation, Inc., has been conducting trainings to build the capacity of rural banks as effective channels of microinsurance.

To date, there are now 43 rural banks authorized by the Insurance Commission as microinsurance agents, providing protection to their low-income clients from financial loss including those brought by calamities.

Microinsurance has proven to be an effective tool to safeguard the poor from risks as it allows them to avail of financial security measures at low costs. By being an active provider of microinsurance, rural banks are given the chance not only to reinforce their relevance to their clients but to help the country attain a more inclusive growth, as well.

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