Allianz PNB Life is seeking to help address the protection gap in the Philippines by partnering with reach52, an award-winning social enterprise that has made healthcare more accessible to rural communities.
“The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has made all of us vulnerable to critical illness and financial instability. Through our partnership with reach52, we are hoping to arm Filipinos with the knowledge and protection to better prepare for unexpected crises,” said Allianz PNB Life President and CEO Alexander Grenz.
In June, the Insurance Commission (IC) released the results of an industry survey designed to assess the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and determine how the insurance industry responded to claims. The classification of the claims included medical benefits, death benefits or other benefits, such as travel inconvenience, travel cancellations and delays and cash assistance, among others.
The IC survey revealed that the total Covid-19 related claims paid by the industry amounted to P326.95 million, with medical benefits comprising the bulk of the amount at P258.8 million.
“The insurance industry has been responsive in providing the benefits under these claims. However, reported claims are still low considering the number of identified COVID-19 positive cases in the country,” Grenz said, adding that, “If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that securing one’s health has to be one of the most important things to do for us and for our families.”
According to the IC, insurance penetration remains low in the country at only 1.69 percent as of September 2019.
“Fifty-two percent of the world’s population still don’t have access to healthcare, and reach52 has been constantly working in finding solutions to help address this. In the Philippines, we are glad to have found a partner in Allianz. With our companies’ combined expertise, we are confident we can achieve a lot to help close the protection gap in the country,” said reach52 Founder and CEO Edward Booty.
Currently, reach52 operates their on-the-ground services for over 500 communities in the Philippines, Cambodia and India, with further countries in the pipeline, and have partnerships with over 20 leading global and regional organizations.
They deliver screening, health worker training, and affordable medicines, insurance, diagnostics and consumer health products in rural regions that existing services don’t reach. This is achieved through establishing health systems and services in these underserved areas, powered by their mobile apps and tech platforms, community-based workforce, and partnerships with the public and private sector.
Early on, Allianz is already looking into expanding its portfolio to include more micro insurance products.
“This pandemic has shown us the importance of having good physical and financial health. With the work we are doing with reach52, we are hoping to help Filipinos achieve both,” Grenz added.
Allianz and reach52 will be holding an online media press conference, where both companies are expected to announce the beginning of this major undertaking.