Philippine insurers bear weight of burgeoning COVID claims

Market's insurers remain financially resilient, regulator says

Philippine insurers bear weight of burgeoning COVID claims

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Insurance claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic have reached PHP12.12 billion (SG$32 million), according to the Philippines’ Insurance Commission (IC).

Roughly two-third, or PHP8.23 billion, of the claims were paid by life and nonlife insurers, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and mutual benefit associations (MBAs) from January to September last year, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. This figure was more than double the COVID-19-related payouts for 2020, which totalled PHP3.89 billion.

Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa said that the market’s insurers remain financially resilient despite the challenges and risks posed by the pandemic, which include the surge in COVID-19-related claims.

The IC surveyed 126 of its 147 regulated entities and found that, from January to September 2021, life insurers paid PHP3.99 billion, or 48% of COVID-19-related payouts. HMOs paid out PHP3.68 billion (45%), while MBAs paid out PHP377.1 million.

“The figures we obtained reflect that the claims paid increased drastically from February to April 2021, dipped slightly during the months of May, June and July, and then spiked in August to September of the same year,” Funa said.

Insurers are bracing for another deluge of claims, due to the spike of COVID-19 infections at the end of 2021 and in the first weeks of 2022, fuelled by the Omicron variant. However, the daily number of infections is steadily decreasing, so insurers may quickly see a reprieve.

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