Coping with Covid
Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MiMAP)
August 5, 2020
SAN PABLO CITY –
Since March 2020 when the Philippines was placed on lockdown
associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, food-based microentrepreneurs
have been hard at work as frontliners, without much fanfare or
support, to provide Filipino communities with access to food and
other essential household supplies.
Celia was one of these
microentrepreneurs who woke up at dawn, opened her store daily to be
of service to her community in Caloocan. But while the sales for her
business increased, she was also weakened by the long hours of work
and constant interaction with buyers.
She got sick back in May
from COVID-like symptoms and died at 55 years of age. Celia, a
member of a Microinsurance Mutual Benefit Association (Mi-MBA), had
microinsurance. When informed of her passing, the Mi-MBA staff
promptly processed her insurance claim. Despite operational
challenges during the lockdown, the Mi-MBA was able to settle
Celia’s family’s claim within a week.
Celia’s case is one of 428
other COVID-related deaths among members and beneficiaries that was
promptly settled from 16 March - 15 July 2020 by Mi-MBAs connected
with the Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines Inc. (MiMAP).
These claims under MiMAP account for 2% of the total 20,540
microinsurance claims involving P462.81 million that Mi-MBAs settled
and paid for within the 4-month lockdown period.
Microinsurance Just Around
MiMAP, also known as
RIMANSI, is composed of 18 Mi-MBAs and institutional partners spread
all over the country. This network is united by a shared vision to
bring microinsurance access and benefits to 48 million poor and
low-income Filipinos by 2024. MiMAP has a collective outreach of 7
million individual members majority of whom are microentrepreneurs,
small farmers and fishermen. As microinsurance coverage is likewise
extended to members’ families, insurance coverage is given to nearly
25 million Filipinos. MiMAP Mi-MBA members account for a substantial
62% share in the country’s total microinsurance coverage of 40
million individuals in 2019.
The Mi-MBAs provide basic
life microinsurance plans and a range of optional life plans that
include coverage for health and retirement. For example, one Mi-MBA
extends a microinsurance coverage of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000)
for basic life insurance for only Sixty Pesos (P60) a month. More
than having access to an affordable and good set of risk-protection
products, the MBA is structured to be owned and governed by its
members drawing on the power of mutual care and support.
During the first month of
the lockdown, Mi-MBAs extended the grace period of 45 days to add 30
more days on premium collections while managing to sustain the
processing and settlement of microinsurance claims. This move has
helped ease the financial burden of members and their families.
MiMAP has successfully
lobbied with the Insurance Commission (IC) for MBA operations to be
categorized as a frontline essential health service. This has paved
the way for mobilization of staff to validate claims and to arrange
for money transfer of approved claims. To further support members,
MiMAP has also filed a proposal to allow Mi-MBAs to draw on the
accumulated refundable equity value of members for premium payment
when the prescribed grace period expires. If this proposal gets the
nod of IC, members will be given more time to generate income and
save up for the next premium payment.
Microinsurance at your
With a growing membership
base, Mi-MBAs have turned to technology to increase efficiency. This
enabled Mi-MBAs to settle claims and release the insurance benefits
within a day. The submission of claim documents has been made easy
through electronic copies shared via email or other mobile phone
applications such as FB messenger. MBA staff resorted to teaching
members or their beneficiaries on use of phone camera or relevant
software applications to ensure the timely submission of documents.
A strong culture of mutual support keeps Mi-MBA staff flexible and
committed to deliver responsible and efficient services.
Amidst the challenges
brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic to the operations of the
Mi-MBAs, Citi Foundation continues to support the growth of the
microinsurance industry through a grant partnership with MiMAP (RIMANSI).
The program aims to build capacities of Mi-MBAs by developing
innovative mobile technology solutions and a member-education
strategy that will help them adapt with the new normal conditions.
Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the
lives of people in low-income communities around the world.
In 2019, MiMAP Mi-MBAs
mobilized a total of P4.81 billion in contributions and premiums,
paid P1.43 billion in claims benefits, and reserved P956.10 million
in refundable equity value to members. Also positioned as a regional
microinsurance resource center through RIMANSI, MiMAP has provided
technical support to promote, build and strengthen microinsurance in
Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia and Vietnam involving eight (8)
microfinance institution partners. These efforts have helped
establish the Philippines the reputation of being the microinsurance
capital of the world.