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Saturday, May 25, 2024

IC asked to junk disaster premium rate hike order

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The Insurance Commission was urged Friday to scrap the implementation of its IC Circular Letter No. 2022-34 which seeks to increase the minimum catastrophe (earthquake, typhoon and flood) insurance premium rates, especially because the country’s inflation hit a 14-year high of 8.7 percent this January.

The hike was supposed to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2023 but was suspended after AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee questioned it.

Lee renewed his appeal in the wake of his recent exposes on the adjustments which he claimed were decided without prior consultation with stakeholders and consumers.

The lawmaker also reacted to the statement of IC Commissioner Dennis Fua that there is a need for the adjustment because the “current premium rates are too low” as they were last set in 2006, and that “non-life insurers are effectively penalized for writing catastrophe risks by making them operate at a loss to write such risk.”

“If they are operating at a loss, then we have to scrutinize their data. They have to show us their financial statements,” Lee said.

Lee also noted that Funa, whose term as IC Commissioner ended in Dec. 2022 and is now only acting in a holdover capacity, should not be on top of the matter anymore as he no longer has authority pending his successor.

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