Pru Life UK, GIZ forge partnership to address financial literacy, protection gap
In line with its commitment to make life better for Filipinos, British life insurer Pru Life UK inked a partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH with the aim to address financial literacy and provide low-cost life insurance products to the members of the low-income sector, ultimately reducing the protection gap in the country.
Through the collaboration, Pru Life UK will launch a new initiative to distribute microinsurance products to the rural communities of GIZ in the Philippines. “We are honored to be given the opportunity to collaborate with GIZ and embark on the noble mission of reaching out to the less privileged members of our country,” said Pru Life UK President and Chief Executive Officer Antonio De Rosas. “Pru Life UK started on this undertaking when we launched PRUmax invest last year, and we are nothing but elated to be directly working with the communities this time.”
Mr. De Rosas explained that the Philippines has a USD 370-billion mortality protection gap which translates to about PhP 600 billion worth of premiums annually, citing data from the Swiss Re Mortality Protection Gap Asia Pacific 2015 report. “The USD 370 billion is the coverage that Filipinos should have but don’t have yet, and the PhP 600 billion worth of premiums annually could have helped the insurance industry grow five times.”
To complement Pru Life UK’s advocacy of narrowing down this gap, CommLinked will create online community portals where the select GIZ communities will be provided financial literacy advocacy materials,as well as learn more about and purchase microinsurance products.
This initiative, named “Microinsurance distribution through online communities (MicroComm)”, supports the issuance of the Insurance Commission (IC) Circular Letter 2015-54, the Adoption and lmplementation of Enhanced Microinsurance Regulatory Framework. It is designed to maximize the Filipinos use of online services estimated at 35 million users in mid-2014 and projected to grow to 70 million by 2018, according to the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines. It will also add value to various sectors and groups through the enhancement of business systems using online technology.
The project will roll out the online communities in the third quarter of 2017, following a market assessment and product development study in Tacloban and Butuan Cities.
GIZ, a German development agency that provides services in the field of international development cooperation, has been implementing projects to promote economic, ecological, and social development in the Philippines on behalf of the German government since the 1970s.
Held at the Insurance Commission office in Manila, the media launch was graced by Pru Life UK and GIZ executives, as well as IC’s Deputy Insurance Commissioner for Financial Examination Hon. Ferdinand George A. Florendo.
“GIZ is in the forefront of global innovations supporting micro insurance development. We provide advice to Insurance Supervisors and Policy makers on inclusive insurance, and initiate productive growth in the market through public-private partnerships. The MicroComm project seals GIZ’s commitment to utilize technology as one of the key drivers for financial inclusion,” said GIZ Program Director Dr. Antonis Malagardis.
The partnership with GIZ coincides with Pru Life UK’s 20th anniversary in the Philippines. In 1996, the Insurance Commission granted the British subsidiary a license to operate and sell life insurance in this country. Since then, Pru Life UK has expanded its reach to over 80 branches in the Philippines, with the biggest life agency force of over 17,000 licensed agents, and has emerged as one of the top five life insurers. Pru Life UK is headquartered in Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig City.