2011 Top Life Insurance Companies & my musings

By Randell Tiongson on June 19th, 2012

The Insurance Commission has released the ranking of the top Life Insurance Companies as of 2011 according to total premium income.

For the first time in its over 100 years of operations in the country, Canadian insurer Sun Life Financial emerged as the number 1 life insurance company beating the perennial leader Philamlife by a narrow margin of about 300 million in premiums. It will be interesting to watch out how the two largest life insurers will fare for 2012. Will Sunlife continue with its market leadership or will it be short-lived and concede it to Philamlife? My friends from both companies are all pumped up and this will be a good match to watch. Personally, I always believe that competition is good for everyone.

The French insurance company’s partnership with Metrobank continues to grow its Philippine business as Philippine AXA steadily holds on to the 3rd spot while Prulife of UK maintains its 2010 position as the 4th largest provider of life insurance in the Philippines. It is interesting to note that the revenue difference between AXA and PruLife is now only about 80 Million. Will we see changes in the 3rd and 4th ranking as well for 2011?

Insular holds its 2010 ranking of #5 but you will see that the Bancassurance partnership of BPI and Philamlife is closing in with only a 100 Million premium difference. The next 5 rankings are dominated by Bancassurance organizations which is an indication on how life insurance has been distributed in the past years.

2011 also shows the continuing shift of the types of life insurance being sold — from traditional policies to Variable Universal Life or Investment Linked plans. The deteriorating returns of interest rates seem to be a challenge for traditional life insurance plans to keep its marketability forcing buyers (and sellers) of life insurance to consider investment linked products even if they are not guaranteed.

While I’m ecstatic at the growth of the life insurance industry and I’m actually cheering on my friends in the industry, my issue has always been the same — there are not enough Filipinos with life insurance benefits. As of 2010, the Insurance Commission said that there are only 3.3 Million policies that remain in-force. 3.3 Million policies does not mean there are 3.3 Million Filipinos covered as many of those who buy life insurance will have multiple policies.  In the same report, the Insurance Commission disclosed that there were only about 315,000 new policies issued for the year 2010. My prayer is that growth in the life insurance industry should not just be limited to looking at premiums and we put the same passion into having more lives covered. Financial security given by a life insurance policy is very important to Filipinos as we are constantly faced with the uncertainties of life.

It’s great to see more and more life insurance companies taking a more active role in providing financial education which I believe is the real key to a sustainable growth for the whole industry. It’s just that we just need to do more, push more, teach more, advocate more and educate more.

My 2 cents.

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2011 Top Life Insurance Companies & my musings