INSURANCE POLICIES may see higher demand, with people becoming more health conscious due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to Pru Life UK Philippines.

“I think it may stimulate our complimentary need for protection even more,” Allan M. Tumbaga, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Pru Life, said in an online press briefing on Friday.

Given the current lockdown, buying online has been the trend, which also works for insurance products, he added.

“I think people are now more open to exploring getting insurance by means of digital channels,” Mr. Tumbaga said.

Pru Life UK Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Antonio G. De Rosas said the firm has been gearing up for the “new normal” caused by the outbreak, including equipping their sales agents to offer products digitally.

“We are now living in a new normal where digital is placed upfront. Before we started this [lockdown], our work from home capability was at 30% and now it’s at about 90%,” Mr. De Rosas said.

He noted that they have unveiled online tools for their policy sellers so they can offer products without personal contact, given the new norm of social distancing.

“I expect that, after this [pandemic], the reception will be warmer to get insurance — health or basic protection,” Mr. Tumbaga added.

Amid the health threats due to COVID-19, the insurer offered free COVID-19 protection and personal accident (PA) coverage for the first 500,000 users to register their profile on their app called Pulse from April 13 to May 13. The app, which was launched on February, offers health management features for both policy holders and non-policy holders.

So far, 100,000 app users have already received the free plan, which entitles them to a death benefit of P100,000 to be disbursed to family members in case of COVID-19 or accident-linked death. Meanwhile, health care workers are entitled to a death benefit of P200,000.

Pru Life is the country’s fourth biggest insurer in 2018 based on premium income, with P22.03 billion, according to data from the Insurance Commission. — L.W.T. Noble