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October 07, 2022

COVID insurance claims hit P16.7B

COVID related insurance claims reached P16.71 billion over the past two years, with life insurance policies accounting for more than half or P9.05 billion of the payouts.

In its report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Insurance Commission chief Dennis Funa said 77 percent or P12.82 billion in COVID-19 related claims were paid last year.

Of the balance, 23 percent or P3.89 billion were paid during the height of the global health pandemic from March to December 2020.

For life insurance policies, the amount of P9.05 billion in claims corresponds to about 9,500 death benefits.

Dominguez noted in Funa’s report that compared with data from the Department of Health (DOH) of around 51,000 deaths as of end-2021 attributed to COVID-19, less than a fifth, or only 18.6 percent, were covered by insurance, based on IC data.

The Finance Secretary said the low insurance coverage rate for pandemic-related deaths underscores the importance of securing financial protection as preparation for emergencies and other unexpected incidents.

Funa said the rest of the pandemic-related insurance claims in 2020 and 2021 were from health maintenance organizations (HMOs), which made up 39 percent or P6.44 billion of the payouts, mutual benefit associations (MBAs) with a 5 percent share at P833 million, and non-life policies with 2 percent or P382 million.

“Notably, the out-patient benefit, meaning people who were not confined in the hospital, have the highest number of claims paid with 413,000 for the whole of 2021. Followed by claims under other benefits at 54,000,” Funa said.

For 2021 alone, death benefits had the biggest share with P6.8 billion or 53 percent of the total payout, followed by in-patient benefits or those confined at hospitals at 27 percent or P3.5 billion.

Out-patient benefits for 2021 accounted for 15 percent or P1.92 billion of the claims.

In 2020, Funa said the biggest chunk of COVID-related claims came from the HMO sector with P1.9 billion or 49 percent of the payouts, while life insurance accounted for P1.46 billion or 38 percent. The rest were non-life insurance claims amounting to P160.2 million and MBAs with P354.9 million.

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