THE TOTAL PREMIUMS collected by microinsurance providers rose in the first quarter, the Insurance Commission (IC) reported on Wednesday.

The IC said in a statement that data from mutual benefit associations (MBAs) and life and nonlife insurance companies showed that total contributions increased year on year by 14.87% to P2.65 billion in the January-to-March period.

“It is likely that the continued relaxation of community quarantine protocols, taken together with the increasing awareness of the public of the importance of having affordable insurance products, led to the 14.87% increase in premium or contribution production,” the IC said.

“We have also observed that the lingering adverse economic impact of the pandemic at the micro level may have contributed to this increase, as those who availed microfinance or credit transactions were able to avail of the bundled microinsurance products,” it added.

Broken down, MBAs accounted for 59.20% of total premiums collected, life insurers 28.27%, and nonlife insurers 12.53%.

In real terms, these translate to P1.57 billion, P749.96 million, and P332.38 million, respectively.

In terms of premium production year-on-year growth, nonlife insurers led with 38.93%, followed by MBAs at 14.58% and life insurers at 7.22%.

The IC said that an estimated 44.81 million people availed of microinsurance in the first quarter, or a 4.6% decline from 46.97 million in the same period last year.

MBAs had a 57.45% market share or having provided microinsurance to 25.74 million, with the rest cornered by life insurers (33.36% or 14.95 million) and nonlife insurers (9.19% or 4.12 million).

Of the three, only the MBA sector experienced a decline in the number of estimated lives insured, recording an 11.99% dip from 29.25 million in the first quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, the life insurance sector enjoyed an increase of estimated lives microinsured of 7.34% from 13.93 million, while the nonlife insurance sector posted a growth of 8.51% from 3.79 million.

As of the first quarter, 23 MBAs, 11 life insurers, and 14 nonlife insurers were actively selling microinsurance.

CARD Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. led all MBAs with the greatest number of estimated lives insured by microinsurance and in microinsurance contribution production as of the first quarter.

For life and nonlife insurers, the top three ranks for the most number of lives insured were occupied by Pioneer Life, Inc. and Pioneer Insurance & Surety Corp., respectively.

Microinsurance premium production for life and nonlife insurers were led by CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative and CARD Pioneer Microinsurance, Inc., respectively. — Diego Gabriel C. Robles