TWO INSURANCE companies have launched new microinsurance products, likewise teaming up with digital partners to make these more accessible to the underserved microinsurance sector amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Singapore-based insurance technology startup Igloo said in a press release on Thursday that it partnered with UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. and e-commerce platform Akulaku Philippines to offer a new set of microinsurance products covering personal accidents.

Igloo, which was rebranded from Axinan in April, said it will provide microinsurance products “unique” in the market and are “specially designed for the underserved population in lower-income households.”

It said the company also plans to launch its single disease, home, business, internet security and privacy and pet insurance products in the country towards the end of 2020.

“With plans to further expand its business in the Philippines, Igloo will be partnering with more companies that will help it further its mission of providing affordable insurance for all,” it said.

Meanwhile, DiskarTech, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.’s (RCBC) online banking app, said in a separate statement on Wednesday that it will start offering the new Dengue Cash insurance product of nonlife insurer Malayan Insurance, Inc. via its mobile application.

The product has an annual premium of P300 which will give P10,000 cash assistance to the insured client if diagnosed with dengue. It also covers accidental death and permanent disabilities, for those aged 18-64 years old.

“Especially with the challenging health and safety environment, we believe that our collaboration with DiskarTech will bring essential insurance products to all Filipinos. These products are especially designed to be within their reach, both in price point and in actual access through the mobile app,” said Malayan Insurance President and CEO Jose Paolo Y. Abaya.

The product adds to the pool of Malayan’s microinsurance products sold through DiskarTech. This includes motor insurance products called Ridesafe worth P20-P50 each, and its personal accident insurance costing P45-P100 each for accidental death and disablement benefits.

“Insurance is an essential element to financial security. Many Filipino households are made vulnerable by unexpected sickness or accidents in the family.  Aside from the stress brought about by anxiety and grief, how to cope with the unplanned expenses make them more susceptible to making unwise decisions. This can easily be addressed by inexpensive and responsive insurance products,” said Angelito “Lito” Villanueva, RCBC’s chief innovation and inclusion officer.

Premiums produced by the microinsurance sector climbed to P9.12 billion in 2019 from the P8.14 billion in 2018, data from the Insurance Commission showed.

Total individuals covered also rose 16% to 45.13 million from 38.89 million in 2018. — B.M. Laforga