More than P1 million in annual income is required of Filipinos to close the so-called insurance protection gap in the country.
This is based on the estimated annual salary of employed Filipinos in 2021and likely an even higher annual salary from each one based on estimates of the insurer BDO Life.
“The gap is the difference between how much is covered for in insurance versus what one needs to keep one’s standard of living intact. In other words, living one’s life with dignity” BDO Life president and CEO Renato A. Vergel De Dios said in an online conference.
According to him, given the premium Filipinos pay for insurance at the moment, the average income required to close the gap “needs to rise two times, probably more.”
He also estimated that covering this gap “easily requires 20 years of catch up work” by the industry.
These insights form part of the BDO Life-sponsored event in which Vergel De Dios the Philippines is in a state of national insecurity in terms of acquiring the financial protection one needs to allow the insured and his beneficiaries to continue to live with dignity in the wake of misfortunes.
“For the past three years, Filipinos are more afraid of living too long than of dying too early,” he quipped on data the insurance executive has uncovered.
He also said the COVID pandemic has radically transformed the world in the past two years. Businesses closed down. Jobs and lives were lost. While loss of life is inevitable, there is a way to manage its impact on those who have to carry on and that’s by having a Plan B, according Vergel De Dios,
“Everyone is so in love with a financial plan that incorporates adhering to a budget, managing our expenses, and augmenting our income sources. With the amount of savings from these measures, we can create a Plan A consisting of our emergency fund and investment program. Plan A allows us to build wealth and achieve financial milestones, such as acquiring or upgrading the family home, and creating an educational fund for the children,” said Vergel De Dios.
However, Vergel De Dios pointed out that to complete Plan A, people need to be strong, active, healthy, and alive long enough. But what if they get ill or pass away?
“Let’s look at it this way. The breadwinner, father, mother, or both parents, are the ‘family ATM.’ They provide financial security for their dependents. Does it then make sense to draw up a Plan B for the family ATM if it malfunctions or gets stolen? Without it, the family’s funding source and financial security will collapse. Should every family, therefore, maintain a Plan B that springs into action when the family ATM breaks down?” Vergel De Dios added.
Among adult Filipinos, it was found that the total life insurance ownership was only at 9 percent. Common reasons why people don’t buy life insurance are: they can’t afford it, they don’t see the need, they get nothing from it, and they don’t trust insurance companies.
But Vergel De Dios said that all these reasons manifest a lack of appreciation for planning and the inability of the life insurance industry to educate about the real benefits of life insurance.
“This industry has not communicated enough how a life insurance purchase is an expression of love for family and responsibility to provide for them beyond this life,” Vergel De Dios said.
To help Filipinos appreciate the value and use of life insurance, BDO Life launched a campaign about its Plan B concept. If Plan A consists of savings and investments, Plan B takes the form of life insurance which takes into effect when Plan A fails.
“Life insurance is your Plan B, the safety net that will enable your family to recover from the grief after you pass away without being burdened by immediate financial worries. It is in those crucial moments when BDO Life unleashes Plan B to help your family and keep their financial dignity intact,” Vergel De Dios said.
BDO Life has slowly but surely advanced its standing in the industry. Through Q3 2021, it joined the Top 5 companies in terms of new sales measured in annual premium equivalents (APE), posting a 61 percent year-on-year hike during the period versus the industry’s 16 percent growth.