High taxes on insurance in the Philippines and the lack of incentives for life insurance buyers are among the limiting policies of the government that hold back the growth of insurance industry in the country.
Geoffrey Tan, chief agency officer of AXA Philippines, said the high taxes prevent them from making their insurance products accessible to more Filipinos.
Unlike in other more progressive and developed countries, and a lot of the neighboring countries in Asia such as Japan, the insurance industry in the Philippines is highly-taxed.
In progressive and developed countries, there are incentives to their population who buy insurance wherein the amount paid to insurance premiums are deducted from the income tax, according to Tan.
He explained that life insurance is one of those basic needs and if bought by a lot of the population, helps in nation-building.
an also pointed out that in investing on life insurance, the proceeds is long-term which means the premiums collected by insurance companies is a source of funding of the government for infrastructure projects, so it encouraged long-time savings.
It also helps the population in terms of social burden if unfortunately pre-mature death happens, for example, the family would be a social burden not only to the government but also to the loved-ones who were left behind.
At present, the life insurance industry- -as a whole- -continues to talk to the life insurance commission, but it might take long as it needs a law to be passed.
For AXA Philippines, the company has embarked on innovative approaches to attract buyers, according to BJ Joseph Legaspi, AXA Philippines sales director for agency for Visayas and Mindanao.
In fact, majority now of the insurance buyers are the millennials whom they could cater through online marketing services.
AXA Philippines also targets the OFW population, since they also offer health insurance that includes hospitalization available in other countries.
AXA Philippines opened a branch in Tagbilaran City which is its 32ndÂ branch in the Philippines and the 9thÂ in Central Visayas.
Tan said the industry is driven by information technology (IT), business process outsourcing (BPO), tourism and trade, among others.
During the press conference prior to the inauguration of their Tagbilaran office, Tan said they catch up with the trend by going online throughÂ https://ion.axa.com.phÂ for their AXA iON project which serves as their one-stop shop.
It â€œis an online insurance e-commerce site where [one] can buy life and health insurance, education plans, and investment and savings products onlineâ€.
For her part, AXA Philippines Chief Distribution Officer Marie Raymundo said she looks forward for the company to â€œhave the best-in-class bancassurance operations.
â€œWith the help of efficient learning programs, complementing sales tools on activity management, and needs-based selling, dramatic productivity figures in bancassurance sales channel of the company were achieved in year-on-year of the company,â€ according to Raymundo.
In her recent appointed role in April as the chief distribution officer, Raymundo ensures successful execution of corporate strategy and key initiatives for both bancassurance and agency- -the two distribution channels of AXA Philippines, to deliver its vision on becoming a customer-centric organization.
Raymundo joined AXA in 2005 as chief bancassurance officer where she led the timely and successful implementation of the regional bancassurance blueprint and change management initiatives of the organization.
JF Salazar, zone head for Mindanao, they provide sound financial advise in the form of financial education and they have online support.
He said they provide seminars on the value of saving to prepare for future events, education for the children in the family, prepare for uncertainties like illness and death, and for comfortable retirement as well.
In AXA, they espouse the â€œarts and science of investmentâ€, he said.
Salazar also explained that their online desk caters to those living in parts of Bohol far from Tagbilaran City who may find it more comfortable to log on at home.