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Covid-related insurance claims hit P2.9 B in Q1

The Insurance Commission (IC) reported on Wednesday, June 15, that local insurers have paid about P2.93 billion for claims related to Covid-19 in the first three-months of the year.

In a statement, Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said the claim payouts were made by life and non-life insurers, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and mutual benefit associations (MBAs).

Based on the latest IC survey, payouts by the life insurance industry constituted 61 percent of the total Covid-19 claims amounting to P1.79 billion from January to March.

Meanwhile, HMOs paid 32 percent of the total, or P948 million, while the non-life insurers accounted for five percent and MBAs cornered two percent, equivalent to P145 million and P49.4 million, respectively.

In January, as the total number of new Covid-19 cases breached the 700,000-mark, claims paid amounted to almost P1.2 billion. But in February, even the number of new infections were approximately 100,000, insurers paid roughly to P1 billion in claims.

In March, when Covid-19 new cases were reported to be significantly lower than 100,000, claims paid amounted to approximately P700 million.

In terms of the number of claims in the first-quarter, Out-Patient Benefits ranked first, with 171,823 out of a total of 206,806. This is followed by 13,020 for Other Benefits, such as Emergency Care and 6,518 claims for Medical Reimbursement Benefits.

Funa, meanwhile, noted that Covid-19-related claims in the first quarter exceeded the amount paid in the same period last year by 120 percent.

“Also worth mentioning is that majority of the claims paid by both the life insurance and MBA industries pertain to Death Benefits, while those by HMOs pertain to Out-Patient Benefits, and those by the non-life insurance industry pertain to Business Interruption benefits,” Funa said.

Since the start of the pandemic, Covid-19-related claims paid by the life and non-life insurance industries, HMOs, and MBAs reached P19.64 billion.

Of that amount, P12.82 billion or 65 percent was paid in 2021, P3.89 billion, or 20 percent was paid in 2020, while P2.93 billion or 15 percent was paid between January and March this year.

But despite the large pay-outs for Covid-19 related claims, Funa said the local insurance industry remains resilient.

He noted that the total Covid-19-related claims paid by sector constituted two percent of the P172.5 billion total benefit payments made in 2021.

“While it may be arguable that Covid-19-related claims only account for a small portion of benefits paid by our regulated entities, the impact of these benefit payments was undoubtedly felt by our fellow Filipinos especially when they needed these benefits,” Funa said.

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