A party-list legislator has appealed to the Insurance Commission (IC) to answer issues surrounding the agency’s abrupt and unreasonable increase on the minimum insurance premium rates.
Rep. Wilbert Lee of AGRI party-list likened the untimely adjustment of the minimum catastrophe insurance rates to “catastrophes such as earthquakes, typhoons, and floods.” He added he was dismayed over Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa’s response which did not answer the real issues at hand.
“Marami po tayong tanong na gustong liwanagin sa kanila. Una na rito, ang hindi pagkonsulta sa pribadong sektor at sa mga consumer bago nila inilabas ang polisiyang ito. Bakit sila-sila lang ang nag-usap-usap kung ang tatamaan nito ay ang nagbabayad ng insurance, na makakaapekto rin sa presyo ng basic commodities? Gulatan ang nangyari. Patago kaya parang sabwatan ang nangyari,” Lee said.
“Bakit minimum ang kanilang tinataasan? Hindi ba dapat ang nireregulate ay ang maximum rate na pwedeng i-charge ng bawat insurance company sa mga consumer para hindi sila makapang-abuso?” he added.
The lawmaker from Sorsogon shared that on December.12, when AGRI Party-list exposed the issue to the public, he wrote a letter to Commissioner Funa to inquire on the said matter to which the latter has still not responded to.
However, through an e-mail interview published on a daily broadsheet last Dec. 19, Commissioner Funa reportedly said that the premiums for catastrophe risk were last adjusted in 2006 and need adjustment because the old premium structure was “unsustainable”.
“For the longest time, the other non-life insurance business lines have been subsidizing catastrophe insurance products and claims—a situation that is unsustainable given the constant, if not growing, exposure to catastrophe risks,” Funa reportedly stated.
Lee then reiterated his call to the Insurance Commission to suspend this sudden increase in catastrophe insurance premium rates which will certainly result to the price increase of basic commodities.
Lee earlier said the adjusted rates, which will take effect on January 1, 2023, will result to a sudden huge increase in insurance premiums ranging from 40 percent to as high as 400 percent.
“The insurance premium hike will also result to the increase in prices of basic commodities which is an additional burden to the general public,” said Lee who earlier filed House Resolution 632 on the subject.