Know The 10 Basic Rights Of Insurance Policyholders

The insured parties’ Bill of Rights has got you covered.

There is no better time to get yourself, your car, or your property insured than now. Aside from the existing technology that makes comparison of insurance products available with a click of a button, the government agency safeguarding the rights of policyholders has just promulgated policyholders’ Bill of Rights.

On May 26, 2016, the Insurance Commission came out with a circular that enumerates the 10 basic rights of insured parties. The Bill of Rights also specifies the obligation of insurance companies to policyholders, including penalties that can be imposed on companies who fail to comply.

The newest circular issued by the agency highlights the basic rights of insured under the Amended Insurance Code.

“The Bill of Rights of Policyholders was issued in furtherance of the mandate of the Insurance Commission to promote and safeguard the interest and welfare of the insurance public,” insurance commissioner Emmanuel F. Dooc said in a statement. “The Circular Letter enjoins all life and non-life insurance companies, mutual benefits associations, and insurance intermediaries doing business in the Philippines to observe the Bill of Rights and to ensure conformity thereto at all time.”

The commissioner followed up that insurance companies found out to be not complying with the bill of rights will be slapped with administrative sanctions and penalties due to breach of pertinent insurance laws.

(Read: Understanding Insurance Policy: How This Can Save Your Life And Make Filing For Claims Easier)

“The need for the promulgation of the policyholder’s bill of rights became apparent due to a growing number of policyholders falling victim to fraud and unethical business practices,” Dooc added. “Adequate consumer protection ensures development of trust in insurance which will result in the further development of the insurance industry in our country.”

The commissioner also assured the public that the agency’s regulation of the insurance industry is proportional, “recognizing that the right balance must be struck between protecting the insuring public and facilitating the access to insurance by promoting the development of the insurance industry.”

Currently, the bill of rights only supports life and non-life insurance products, and he said that a similar framework for the pre-need and health maintenance organization (HMO) sectors will be formulated in the future.

The specific rights of policyholders are as follows:

1. Right to a financially sound and viable insurance company.

2. Right to access insurance companies’ official financial information.

3. Right to be informed of the license status of insurance companies, intermediaries and soliciting agents.

4. Right to be offered a duly approved insurance product.

5. Right to be informed of the benefits, exclusions and other provisions under the policy.

6. Right to receive the policy.

7. Right to confidentiality of information.

8. Right to efficient service from insurance companies, intermediaries, and soliciting agents.

9. Right to prompt and fair settlement of claims.

10. Right to seek assistance from the Insurance Commission.

—Dino Mari Testa