Firms get creative in tapping uninsured Pinoy market

By Victor Anthony V. Silva February 15,2017

WITH the Philippines still being among the lowest in terms of financial literacy and insurance penetration, asset management firms are finding “creative” ways to encourage more Filipinos to plan for their future.

In the case of the Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co. (Philam Life), the firm has launched a health-centered campaign aimed at educating more Filipinos to plan their finances to have “happier and better lives.”

“We have this concept that you cannot enjoy your wealth if you are not healthy. Most of us are focused too much on making money, getting income, and increasing our lifestyle, but it should not be done at the expense of personal health,” said Philam Life agency manager Nilo Matunog during a media roundtable in Cebu City last week.

Dubbed as the “Live Better,” the six-month campaign takes off from the firm’s original vitality and other financial literacy programs.

Filipino adults were among the least knowledgeable about their personal finances, according to a survey in 2015.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) found that the Philippines was among the 30 least financially literate countries in the world, with only 25 percent of adults aware of the basics of managing their money.

The survey ranked 140 countries in terms of financial literacy and found that adults in Asian countries knew the least about monetary ideas, including risk diversification, inflation and compound interest.

In 2015, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), meanwhile, valued the Philippines’ life insurance market at $16.6 billion in assets and $3.6 billion in premium earnings.

According to the Asean Insurance Council (AIC) in 2016, insurance penetration in the Philippines grew to 1.89 percent from the previous year’s 1.75 percent, although it was still among the lowest in the region.

In a bid to develop more financially literate Filipinos, companies like Philam Life came up with the vitality program which not only encourages financial literacy but also healthy living.

Matunog said Philam Life has even developed a mobile application that can link people with their health apps on their phones, to help them meet their fitness goals.

Matunog said that Philam, which has been in the country for 70 years, has insured more than a million Filipinos to date.

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