Microinsurance service targets Pinoy mobile phone users

By Alexander Villafania

MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA – A mobile phone-based microinsurance service was recently launched in an effort to encourage more Filipinos to get insured.

The microinsurance service called HapiPinoy Text Insure (HTI) allows mobile phone users to apply for accident and fire insurance amounting from P7,500 to P37,500.

The service is available for Smart Communications mobile subscribers. The application itself was developed by mobile services developer OksPinoy Inc. while the micro insurance process is done by Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS), a subsidiary of the P.J. Lhuillier, Inc.(PJLI)

Under this service, Smart subscribers can apply for specific insurance packages such as accident and fire insurance by sending an SMS with the HAPI keyword and the corresponding amount to 808.

For an amount of P10 (HAPI10), a subscriber can already apply for a P7,500 accident insurance and an additional P2,500 fire cash-assistance.

If a subscriber wishes to increase their insurance coverage, they can apply for up to P50 (five units) and receive the corresponding accident and fire insurance coverage.

The coverage is valid for three months from the time of application, which is confirmed within 24 hours via SMS. After the said period, subscribers can re-apply for insurance.

An Insurance Reference Number (IRN) will be received by the applicant and must be shown to any Cebuana Lhuillier outlet for claiming.

PJLI Group of Companies President and CEO Jean-Henri Lhuillier stressed that having some form of insurance allows Filipinos to protect themselves from the effects of accidents and calamities, as exemplified by the recent flooding caused by extreme rains from the monsoon season.

Lhuillier also stressed that the Philippines has among the lowest insurance penetration rates in the world despite being among the hardest hit by natural disasters.

Indeed, the Philippines’ Insurance Commission showed that as of December 2010, only 16 percent of the Philippines is insured.

Smart Communications Head of Sales and Distribution Florante Jimenez stressed that one way to reach Filipinos and encourage them to get insured is by having it made available through their mobile phones. He also said that this could prompt Filipinos to apply for better insurance coverage

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