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32M Filipinos have insurance

One in every three Filipinos is now covered by insurance, following the growth of the micro-insurance industry, the Insurance Commission said Friday.

"About 32 million Filipinos are now insured, not including those under the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System," Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc said at the sidelines of the 66th anniversary of the agency.

Dooc said a large part of the insured population was serviced by the micro-insurance industry with 28 million individuals.

"As of end-2014 micro insurance have reached 28 million Filipinos," Dooc said.

He said his personal target was to increase the insurance penetration rate in the country to 50 percent, involving 50 million Filipinos, by the end of his term in 2019.

"Before my term ends in 2019, I hope we reach out to that much people," he said.

Dooc said the goal of the Insurance Commission was to bring financial inclusion to more Filipinos, especially those in remote parts of the country.

The insurance industry ended the third quarter of 2014 with total assets of P1.043 trillion and total premiums of P132 billion.

Total investments reached P800 billion, half of which were placed in government securities while total benefits amounted to P52.3 billion.

Dooc said the insurance industry was fast becoming a pillar of the economy as it expanded over the past five years.

"Despite mergers and consolidation as a result of capital buildup and strict implementation of law, the industry continues to thrive," he said.

Data showed that from an all-time high of 130 insurance companies, the total number of industry players dropped to 99 this year.

The Insurance Commission said earlier it expected mergers and consolidation to continue in the coming years, because of the Association of Southeast Asian Economic Integration.

The Insurance Commission celebrated its 66th anniversary on Friday, with theme "Alleviating Poverty Through Inclusive Insurance Protection.”

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