Appreciation for life insurance is growing in PH

BDO Life president and chief executive Renato A. Vergel de Dios

As more and more Filipinos recognize the value of acquiring life insurance protection, BDO Unibank expects bancassurance to remain a steady contributor to its overall business.

Bancassurance refers to selling life insurance products through the bank’s branches and other retail channels. This sales model benefits customers because it allows them to secure life insurance coverage and other financial solutions, all under one roof.

The bank’s bancassurance business is bannered by BDO Life Assurance Company (BDO Life), which, at the end of 2022, now ranks 5th in the life insurance industry, with total premiums amounting to over P19 billion, the highest-ranked local life company.

“In a way, we see ourselves as the national team, competing against the larger, longer-established foreign teams in the local life insurance scene,” BDO Life president and chief executive Renato A. Vergel de Dios pointed out.

BDO Life relies heavily on existing customer relationships with the bank when selling life insurance. BDO Life Financial Advisors work with clients to understand their needs and goals before recommending the appropriate insurance products.

“Life insurance sales in the Philippines have increased steadily over the years, clearly indicating the rising awareness of the importance of insurance protection among Filipinos,” said Vergel De Dios.

In 2022, BDO Life exhibited strong business recovery, exceeding its pre-pandemic sales. The Company moved up to the 4th spot in new sales, measured in terms of New Business Annual Premium Equivalent (NBAPE). NBAPE is a weighted measure of premiums received on all first-year policies.

Raising appreciation for life insurance

The pandemic has undoubtedly raised Filipinos’ awareness of the risks of premature death.

“While we all have little control over our mortality risk, mitigating the associated financial risks is within our control. With life insurance, financial protection is possible for Filipinos and their families in unexpected circumstances such as disability, critical illness, or death,” the BDO Life executive added.

Yet, despite its benefits, the country’s penetration rate of life insurance remains relatively low.

Industry experts cited several reasons why Filipinos may not be buying life insurance as much as they should. For one, there still needs to be more awareness and understanding about the importance of life insurance. There is also the tendency of breadwinners to underrate the financial consequences of such unexpected events on the family. Many may still need to fully appreciate how life insurance benefits provide much-needed financial protection for their loved ones who depend financially on them.

While cost or affordability has been a factor, as many Filipinos have limited disposable income to purchase life insurance coverage, insurance in sachet sizes enables more people to acquire some form of coverage, albeit in limited quantities.

To help Filipinos better understand and appreciate what life insurance can do, BDO Life launched its “Plan B” campaign. If Plan A consists of one’s financial plan anchored on savings and investments, Plan B serves as Plan A’s protection foundation in the form of life insurance.

“When premature death strikes and disrupts Plan A, Plan B springs to action to inject needed cash into Plan A to help empower our loved ones to move on. Life insurance is your Plan B, the safety net that will help your family recover from the grief after you pass. More importantly, Plan B helps them avoid the burden of immediate financial worries. In those crucial moments, BDO Life’s Plan B helps your family keep their financial dignity intact.” said Vergel De Dios.

For policy-related inquiries and concerns, please call BDO Life Customer Care Hotline at (+632) 8885-4110 or 1800-1888-6603 (PLDT Toll-free).

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