Insurance firm banks on Cebu’s fast-growing economy

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita January 22,2018 - 11:04 PM

WITH a low insurance penetration rate in the country, an insurance firm is aiming to bank on Cebu’s continued economic growth to expand their coverage.

Global insurance company Allianz PNB Life is set to expand its agency distribution channel in Cebu and the rest of the Visayas through launching life track stations in PNB (Philippine National Bank) branches here.

“Allianz wants to be there to provide financial security solutions as Cebu continues to progress. Where there is progress, Allianz is there to offer financial solutions but at the personal and corporate level. We will give Cebuanos the opportunities to sustain and protect their financial advancement,” said Efren Caringal, chief financial officer of Allianz PNB Life during a press conference yesterday at Radisson Blu Hotel.

He said Cebu has been chosen as one of their strategic pioneer cities given its being a hub to the rest of the other islands in Visayas and Mindanao.
Cebu’s rapid economic growth rate, which even exceeds the national average, is also a factor in their expansion.

According to Rei Abrazaldo, the company’s marketing director, the Philippines continues to register low penetration rates compared to other countries in Asia.

This is ironic, he said, since the country is susceptible to many factors like typhoons, illnesses, natural disasters and lifestyle that “threatens our well-being.”

But this challenge is something that their group is bullish in undertaking, he said.

So with their expansion to Cebu, Abrazaldo said they also aim to promote financial literacy among sectors which need this the most through conducting workshops and programs.

“We have four pillars of financial literacy and these would be dedicated to women, kids, OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) and call center agents. There are a lot of call center companies operating in Cebu,” he said.

With the booming business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in Cebu, more graduates are becoming part of the industry which pays higher rates compared to other available jobs, at a relatively easier employment process.

And because call center agents are also exposed to risks, with most of them working the night shift, he said it is important to open doors to them in insurance.

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