MANILA, Philippines – Seven rural banks have received their licenses to offer microinsurance while another 40 rural banks are currently processing their applications with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Insurance Commission (IC).
This development is a direct result of an initiative to train and assist rural banks in becoming licensed and accredited microinsurance agents authorized to distribute microinsurance products and services from licensed partner insurance companies.
The Rural Bankers Research and Development Foundation Inc. (RBRDF) took the initiative under its Microinsurance Initiative. The initiative was designed to convene partners and stakeholders from the commercial insurance industry, donor institutions, project partners and government regulators that are active in the promotion of microinsurance in the country.
The RBRDF is the research and development arm of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) which in turn received the technical assistance from the United States Agency for International Development-supported RBAP-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) program.
Since the start of 2011, 270 bank staff from 130 rural banks have been successfully been trained under the RBRDFI Basic Microinsurance course.
From the initiative, seven rural banks received their licenses to offer microinsurance with 40 more in various stages of receiving their accreditation from regulators.
Updates on the partnership between microinsurance key players, cost-efficient microinsurance service delivery, and financial literacy initiatives by the Department of Finance (DOF) National Credit Council (NCC) were also extended from the initiative through a recent summit earlier this month.
The RBAP also plans to launch their microinsurance website at microinsurance. rbap.org for all interested rural bankers to obtain up-to-date information about different products and services that they can offer in partnership with the leading insurance companies now offering microinsurance services.
Microinsurance offers the underprivileged segment of society access to cheaper insurance protection in lieu of the more extensive albeit more expensive life insurance products marketed by life insurance firms.
It is an offshoot of the microfinance movement that has swept the country and other developing countries worldwide.