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shared from Inquirer.net | via Ben O. de Vera |

Almost three out of every 10 Filipinos are covered by cheap insurance products as of end-September last year, strengthening the Philippines’ position as a microinsurance model in the region.

At the end of the third quarter of 2015, 28.52 percent of the 101.8-million population, or  29.03 million Filipinos were covered by microinsurance, Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel F. Dooc said in a speech at a recent insurance conference in Nepal.

“Through our initiatives in fostering inclusive insurance markets, we have again emerged as a model for microinsurance promotion in Asia,” Dooc said, pointing out that the country had already exceeded its target to place 27 million Filipinos under microinsurance coverage by the end of this year.

“As the Philippines continues to take pride for being at the forefront of promoting microinsurance as an effective vehicle for financial inclusion and as a benchmark for other Asian countries in terms of microinsurance market development, we are fueled to keeping our markets strong, stable and sustainable,” Dooc said.

With the microinsurance frameworks for agriculture, health and pre-need, more affordable products are being introduced in the market, he said.

The agriculture microinsurance or “MicroAgri” framework issued last October “provides a clear-cut policy on agriculture insurance to encourage the private microinsurance providers to innovate and design products tailor-fitted to the needs of agricultural clients,” the Insurance Commission said.

With this, it hopes to “promote and encourage the provision of agriculture microinsurance products and services that are simple, affordable and accessible to the vast of the population dependent on agriculture.”

The micro pre-need regulatory framework issued by the Insurance Commission also in October, meanwhile, sought to “provide an opportunity to the low-income sector to have access to pre-need products and services that will cater to their needs” such as education, memorial and pension plans.

The framework would likewise “encourage the participation of the pre-need industry in offering micro pre-need products and services to promote the financial well-being of the low-income sector” while also ensuring that plan holders’ rights will be protected.

In April, the Insurance Commission issued rules governing the sale of health microinsurance or “MicroHealth” products that “cover fully or partially curative care benefits in in-patient and out-patient settings such as treatment of illnesses and injuries, pregnancy-related cases, and medical procedures for therapeutic and rehabilitation purposes.”

Microinsurance products’ prices computed on a daily basis should not exceed 7.5 percent of the daily minimum wage rate for non-agricultural workers in Metro Manila, equivalent to about P34.

“The Philippines remains aggressive in its campaign for inclusive economic growth as greater efforts and genuine programs should be delivered to those who have not yet risen from poverty,” Dooc said.