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Solon lauds IC move to hold hike in catastrophe insurance premium

Rep. Wilbert T. Lee/ 

Agri party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee on Saturday welcomed a decision of the Insurance Commission (IC) to suspend the increase of insurance premium rates for catastrophes like typhoons, floods and earthquakes that is expected to have detrimental effects on the prices of basic commodities.

“We welcome this positive development to suspend the implementation of the hike in catastrophe insurance premium rates, preventing a looming disaster on the welfare of the general public,” Lee said.

“Without prejudice to our continued efforts to probe the crux of this issue, we are grateful for the cooperation of all parties and stakeholders on this matter,” the lawmaker from Sorsogon added.

Last Dec. 22, the IC issued Circular Letter (CL) No. 2022-54 which superseded its IC CL No. 2022-34 that imposed the increase on the said catastrophe risk premiums.

“There is a need to ventilate the concerns arising from the revised schedule of minimum catastrophe rates prescribed under IC CL No. 2022-34 considering the expected increase of insurance premiums and its possible impact to the policy holders,” the IC Circular read.

“In view of the foregoing and pursuant to the authority of the Insurance Commissioner under Section 437 of the Insurance Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 10607, the IC CL No. 2022-34 dated 14 July 2022 is hereby SET ASIDE without prejudice to further appropriate action on the matter,” said the IC.

It can be recalled that Lee wasted no time in acting on this urgent matter after he received several complaints on the impending adjustments. He immediately consulted several stakeholders and consumers to determine the possible impacts of this policy.

Thus, last Dec. 12, Lee filed House Resolution No. 632 to seek a probe into the untimely increase of the said insurance premiums. Thereafter, he held a press conference where he exposed the scheduled increase to enlighten the public on the detrimental effects of the policy, which was decided without prior consultation with the private sector and end-users.

Several organized business groups and private firms including the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), PHILEXPORT and Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), among others, threw their support behind Lee and expressed their strong opposition to the said policy.

 Aside from the constant calls and active lobbying, Lee also wrote a letter to IC Commissioner Funa asking for the suspension of the hike.

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