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Insurance sector grows amid pandemic says reinsurer

MANILA - The insurance industry in the Philippines remains strong amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Reinsurance Corp of the Philippines (NAT Re) said Thursday.

At the virtual Annual Stockholders Meeting of NAT Re, the company said despite many claims due to the pandemic and natural disasters in 2021, the company and the insurance industry as a whole have grown further.

NAT Re President and CEO Allan Santos said the industry grew by 8.4 percent in terms of assets in 2021, and had risen by 21.6 percent in terms of premiums. 

NAT Re's net income also climbed by 18 percent to P142 million in 2021, despite the year having many Covid cases and Typhoon Odette forcing more people to claim insurance.

Santos said last year's Covid-19 life and health confirmed and suspected claim cases reached P46 million, higher than P7 million in 2020.

But the company has strategized its investments focusing on about 58 percent of the P8.7 billion investment in government securities, supporting infrastructure and social services. The remaining 42 percent was invested in the private sector, corporate bonds, equities and short-term deposits.

"The pandemic has also resulted in volatility of NAT Re's investments. In this regard, NAT Re moved its investments toward lower risk profile by reducing the company's exposure to equities and shortening the duration of its fixed income instruments," Santos said.

He is also hopeful for 2022 as the pandemic also pushed insurance awareness up and they plan to develop more packages and programs that may benefit more people especially relating to hospitalization and Covid-19.

"We are optimistic of recapturing gains in light of the improving economic environment while remaining mindful of ever-present natural disaster threats and geopolitical risks at home and abroad," he added.

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