30-day extension of expiring insurance policies, HMO agreements ordered

By: Ben O. de Vera - Philippine Daily Inquirer March 28,2020 - 09:30 AM

The Insurance Commission (IC) has ordered a minimum 30-day extension of insurance policies, pre-need plans and health maintenance organization (HMO) agreements that lapsed or will end during the one-month enhanced community quarantine imposed in Luzon and other parts of the country.

Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa issued Circular Letter No. 2020-25 dated March 25 to extend coverage or hold cover in existing policies, plans and agreements due to the “gravity of the COVID-19 situation.”

“For insurance policies or HMO agreements about to expire during the effectivity of the enhanced community quarantine, insurance or HMO companies shall issue an extension of coverage for such existing policies or agreements for at least 30 days subject to the written request or consent, electronically or otherwise, of the insured, client or their respective authorized representatives, as the case may be,” Funa said.

“For insurance policies, pre-need plans or HMO agreements, which are the subject of new or renewal application or negotiation prior to or during the effectivity of the enhanced community quarantine, insurance, pre-need and HMO companies may issue a hold cover or temporary cover for insurance, pre-need plan or HMO agreement coverage for at least 30 days,” Funa added, also subject to written consent or request.

Funa said the extended insurance policies and HMO agreements must keep the terms and conditions that had been entered into intact, adding that they would become effective only “once applicable pro-rata premium payment has been made, unless a credit term has been agreed upon.”

As for hold or temporary covers, the same basic terms and conditions for standard products and services should apply and will likewise take effect upon pro-rata premium payment similar to that of extended coverage.

“The parties may, however, modify such basic terms and conditions for the issuance of the hold cover or temporary cover subject to the corresponding adjustment of applicable premiums,” Funa said.

Funa said these guidelines would be implemented just for the month-long quarantine period.

The IC earlier enjoined life and non-life insurers, mutual benefit associations as well as HMOs not to only extend their policy coverage but also fast-track services for those afflicted with the COVID-19 disease.

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TAGS: COVID-19, ECQ, policies

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