ALLIANZ PNB Life Insurance, Inc. has ramped up its digitization efforts and is also looking to boost its branch network as it looks to widen its reach in the microinsurance sector.

“[T]he segmentation of our customers is way bigger so we really need to move also more into the microinsurance sector to allow and to include more rural communities as well,” Allianz PNB Life Chief Executive Officer Alexander Grenz said in an online briefing for the launch of their partnership with health technology startup reach52.

Mr. Grenz said they are looking to add more branches to the 15 they have across the country to reach more customers. He added the 700-strong branch network of Philippine National Bank (PNB) across the country is also an advantage for the insurer.

Allianz PNB has also been boosting its digitalization drive through robot process automation for insurance applications and claims, Mr. Grenz said.

He said while there are some limitations to making the application process quicker amid regulatory requirements, PNB Allianz aims to “deliver a policy within five minutes.”

The need to leverage on technology has increased in urgency amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which Mr. Grenz said “put digitization on steroids.”

“Consumer needs have changed as well. And we basically launched at the beginning of COVID our virtual sales process. So nowadays, instead of doing the personal selling process, our distribution across the Philippines is enabled to sell virtually,” he said.

Local insurers have already disbursed about P326 million so far due to COVID-19-related claims, Mr. Grenz said. The official said one of Allianz PNB’s products that caters to those who want to get more health benefits is Allianz Well!, which could be more attractive to the A and B market due to its P60,000 to P70,000 yearly premium. Its international coverage is worth P100 million.

Through its partnership with reach52, Allianz PNB will grant life insurance worth P25,000 to beneficiaries in Iloilo for every Allianz Well! product sold from August to December this year. This will give the beneficiary health coverage against COVID-19 for a year.

Allianz PNB’s premium income from life insurance rose 10% to P9.44 billion in 2019 from P8.56 billion in 2018, data from the Insurance Commission showed. This put the firm at tenth place in terms of the highest premium income among life insurers last year.

The German firm acquired 51% of PNB Life Insurance, Inc., the life insurance arm of the Tan-led lender, in June 2016. — Luz Wendy T. Noble