Insurance coverage for victims of vehicular accidents doubled

By Ted P. Torres, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 18 2014 10:11 AM | Updated as of Jan 18 2014 06:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The insurance coverage for victims of vehicular accidents will be doubled to P150,000 from the present P75,000 effective Feb. 1 this year, the Insurance Commission (IC) said.

In a press briefing yesterday, IC commissioner Emmanuel F. Dooc said premiums for the mandatory Passenger Personal Accident Insurance (PPAI) program were increased to ensure better coverage for victims of auto accidents.

The increase in protection coverage for victims will also result in a hike in annual premiums.

All public utility vehicles (PUV) must be enrolled in the PPAI, on top of the compulsory third-party liability (CTPL) insurance.

Dooc explained that the PPAI covers passengers, drivers and conductors of PUVs involved in vehicular accidents.

The recent cases involving Don Mariano Transit Corp. that resulted in the death of 21 individuals, majority of whom were passengers of the bus. The accident led the bus to fall off the Skyway and crash into a covered van in the lower level.

The CTPL covers the person(s) injured or who perished from the “victim” vehicle such as the covered van and the cyclist that was hit by parts of the Don Mariano bus.

“However, the P100,000 CTPL coverage will have to be shared by the occupants of the covered van and the cyclist,” Dooc explained.

The new premiums are: for buses (plying Metro Manila), P1,780; for provincial buses, P2,180; auxiliary utility vehicles (AUV), P1,500; jeepneys, P1,450; sedans (taxis), P1,200; and trucks, P750.

Premiums are inclusive of documentary stamp tax (DST), premium tax and local government tax.

“That is roughly 50 percent higher than the existing premium level,” said Fred Tumacder, president and chief executive officer of UCPB General Insurance Co. Inc., the lead insurer of a group of non-life insurance companies that wrote the insurance of Don Mariano Transport.

Dooc said the riding public must be aware of the insurance coverage that protects them as PUV passengers.

Under the existing PPAI, the passenger is covered with a P75,000 death benefit, aside from a P15,000 medical assistance.

The driver and conductor are both covered with a P10,000 burial assistance; P5,000 educational assistance for one child; P5,000 casket assistance; and P5,000 ambulance/hospital assistance if the bus operator does not extend such assistance.

There is also a bail bond assistance of P30,000 if the driver and/or the conductor is imprisoned.

Both Dooc and Tumacder pointed out that since the bus company is the insured, the pay-out is made to the bus operator. The claimnants or, beneficiaries of the victims, in turn will demand assistance from the bus operator.