Party List solon seeks inquiry on ‘higher’ non-life insurance cost

December 13, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 123 views

A LAWMAKER has filed a measure to investigate the impending abrupt and “unreasonable” increase of catastrophe (typhoon, flood, earthquake, among others) insurance premium rates which will greatly affect the prices of essential commodities and will be an additional burden to the public.

AGRI Party-list Representative Wilbert T. Lee filed House Resolution (HR) No. 632 to determine the scope and impact of the Insurance Commission’s (IC) Circular Letter No. 2022-34 that adjusted the applicable minimum and maximum catastrophe rates across the country.

The adjusted rates, which will take effect on January 1, 2023, are now diversified by determining factors such as risk zones and type of construction. As a result, there will be a sudden huge increase in insurance premiums ranging from 40% to as high as 400%.

“Taking into consideration that we are still just recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is incumbent upon the government to respond to their critical needs as we slowly get back on our feet. We must not add to the burdens of the public, especially the marginalized sectors,” Lee said.

“Lumalabas po sa konsultasyon natin, doble o hanggang quadruple ang puwedeng itaas sa mga binabayaran nating insurance tulad ng sa bahay, mga housing loan sa Pag-IBIG, sa GSIS, post-harvest facilities, agri machineries, fishing boats, dryers, mga storage, at pati ang Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (non-crop insurance) apektado. Paano makakabawi sa kabuhayan ang marami nating kababayan sa ganitong mga dagdag na pasanin? Paano uunlad ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda, kung imbes na dagdag na ayuda, ay dagdag gastos ang naghihintay sa kanila sa susunod na taon? Kapag lalo silang nalugi, madedehado rin ang isinusulong nating food security. Huwag na po nating pagdusahin lalo ang publiko sa panibagong pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin,” Lee added.

In HR 632, Lee noted that the high cost of catastrophe insurance premiums will certainly impact the unabated and record-high inflation and can contribute to the further increase in prices of basic commodities, taking into account the wide scope of catastrophe insurance that covers buildings, warehouses, equipment, and residential properties.

“May domino effect po ang pagtaas na ito. Apektado dito ang manufacturing sector, at damay ang distribution, retail, pati na ang agrikultura,” Lee said.

The lawmaker from Sorsogon pointed out that despite conducting consultations with the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association, Inc. (PIRA), an organization of all licensed non-life insurance companies in the country, it is crucial to consult the end-user consumers who will be immensely affected by the huge increase in insurance rates.

“The extent of the consultations conducted by the Insurance Commission is very limited. Several organized business groups and private firms expressed their strong opposition to the said policy in the absence of proper consultation considering the very high increase in insurance cost that can be detrimental to the general public,” Lee stated.

“Importante na sa bawat patakaran at programa ng gobyerno, lagging napupulsuhan kung ano ang magpapagaan sa pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan, lalo na sa mga nasa dulo ng ating lipunan. Sa paraang ito, Winner Tayo Lahat,” he added.