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.


48 thoughts on “2011 Top Life Insurance Companies & my musings”

  • “…we just need to do more, push more, teach more, advocate more and educate more.”

    Thanks Sir Randell!

  • Hi Sir,

    I’ve searched through your site for other articles about life insurance. Do you have an article, if not in here, that can give
    me advise regarding what type of insurance I can get for myself. I’m 23, single employee, eldest in the family that I give support to with my income. Thank you sir.

  • @Randell: I thank you for your efforts to educate Filipinos about financial planning. It’s also my passion for over a decade now.

    You have a really good article in here. While there are several options to accumulate wealth, Insurance proves to be a good option for many especially those who have no time to learn the technical stuff about investing. Insurance is indeed a good and cheap option to cover unforeseen events and secure the future of our family. I’d be happy to meet you one of these days and learn from you too.

    @Bert: I am happy to read your post and your real concern about your family. That’s so admirable of you. I am also an eldest child like you.

    I suggest you contact a friend who’s a financial advisor of an insurance company to help you figure out the best option for your needs. If you can’t find any, feel free to contact me at [email protected]. I’d be happy to help you.

  • @ Bert & Warren: I’m Andrew Bello, a licensed financial advisor/certified investment solicitor for Sun Life Financial Phils., Inc. I would be very much willing to assist you with your queries/concerns on insurance & investments. You may pm me at [email protected] or pls contact me at 09175105721/09228268364. Hope to hear from you soon. Best regards.

  • Is it true that MANULIFE is the current number 1? An agent is trying to convince me to have a policy. He shows me a table of top performing companies as of May 2012 and MANULIFE is on top 1.. second lang ang Sunlife… Now im confused on what to get.. Pls help.

  • A very interesting article!

    May i ask if you have any idea what countries have the most number of policyholders? is it safe to assume that japan, indiaand usa are the top threesince most insurance companies out there came from these countries?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Hi Janet,

    Number 1 in what area? Number 1 can be defined in many ways, total premiums, first year premiums, net worth, profit, etc. For 2011, SunLife was number 1 in total premiums but Philamlife was number 1 in networth. Rankings are usually measured on an annual basis, not just on a monthly basis.

    Buying life insurance should not just be based whether a company is number 1… other factors that needs to be considered like solvency of the company, claims paying ability, customer service, reliability of the advisor, among many. My 2 cents.

  • Do you know how Kaiser is ranked? This is from International Marketing Group. WHy is it not on the list? Is it the same as Cocolife?

  • Mr. River Robles,

    Kaiser is not a life insurance company, it’s an HMO. IMG is a distributor of Kaiser, not its owner. HMOs are not under the supervision of the Insurance Commission. FYi.


  • Hi Mr. Tiongson!

    I’m a Financial Advisor in one of the Bancassurance in Alabang and I can say that I’m new in the industry cause I’m just a one-year-old FA. At our company we don’t offer Variable Life products, only the traditional ones and my concern is that I’ve been trying to educate my clients about the benefits of the guaranteed protection benefits but it’s not really attractive to Alabang clients. I’m afraid to say that Alabang is not the right market for traditional life products. Can you give some tips on how I can sell it to high-end clients? Or will I just have to accept the fact that they don’t seem to like protection based products and try to offer instead to middle-income markets. Thank you Mr. Tiongson in advance and God bless you.

  • Hi Sir Randell,

    Where can we get information about an insurance company such as those things you mentioned like claims paying ability, customer service, etc.? I’m reviewing the proposals I have from two insurance companies and they’re about the same.

    Thank you!

  • Hi Randell –

    Good day! You said that buying life insurance should not be based in being no. 1. For you, what’s your top 5 list of most recommended Life Insurance companies in the Philippines measured by premiums, solvency of the company, claims paying ability, customer service, reliability of the advisor, among others?

  • Thanks that i had encounter you in your column, for the very first time. You enlighten our decisions on insurances. In fact i have signed one today. More power .

  • Dear Sir Randell,

    Thank you for all of your good articles. They are all very interesting. My friends abroad, preferred to invest from IMG’s rather that Insurance companies. Is it safe? Is it also under supervision of Insurance Commission or SEC?

    Thanks in advance

  • @Lai Sy, just for clarification about IMG.

    You are not ‘investing’ in IMG, you are mearly use them as a bridge to access other financial vehicles you want to invest like mutual funds, insurances and other related financial products.

    IMG is a financial broker and not an investment product, so technically, you are not ‘investing’ with IMG.

    Personally, i use them as my broker for my mutual funds as an OFW here in Dubai for the last 3 yaers. They provide in-house training for their members about savings, investmenting and financial planning.

  • Hi Janet,

    It is true that Manulife is No. 1 and this is in terms of Market Capitalization. This ranking is released monthly by the Philippine Stock Exchange. In terms of this financial parameter, Sunlife is indeed second and is just about half of Manulife’s market capitalization. The rest in the top 10 include blue chip companies like Ayala, SM Holdings, PLDT, San Miguel which are all listed in PSE. Market Capitalization runs to the billions even trillions of pesos.

    For more info on this, you may want to visit the PSE website.

  • Hi sir,
    is there some sort of guarantee that the insurance company i invested with will not collapse by the time i’m 100 years old (if ever)? i dread the situations like what happened to CAP etc. i was wondering if there is a company that absorbs risk as a 3rd party to avoid this?

  • Hi Chris,

    Firstly, CAP and the others are not life insurance companies – they are pre-need companies. They operate and are designed differently as compared to life insurance companies & its products. The Insurance Commission ensures that life insurance companies are meeting stringent regulatory parameters being imposed by them, like solvency, capitalization, etc. The IC reviews all of the finances of insurance companies and they are advised to ‘fix’ their finances or they will be asked to stop selling until they do so. Unlike the SEC who used to oversee the pre-need companies, the IC has been a good watchdog over the life insurance companies which is the reason why most of the life insurers are in good financial health. The IC now oversees pre-need, a move which I believe is too late. As to further reducing risks, life insurance companies practice ‘re-insurance’ to spread their risks. They insure their risks with other insurers as a way to spread the risk. If a policyholder dies and is covered by 500M policy, it is not only the life insurance company who will shoulder the claim but spread over re-insurers.

    It is worthwhile to note, in my recollection, that there has not been a life insurance company who folded up — they have been mergers and buyouts but no folding up.. well, none yet.

    One final note, while I am certain the life insurance companies are prudent and financially healthy, there’s no such thing as a guarantee in life. 😉

  • i just recently joined WORLD FINANCIAL MARKETING ALLIANCE aka W.F.M.A. a company that educates and help families achieve financial independence. HOW? come and visit us and experience WHAT is like to be given an honest realization of life in terms of finances. WHY? because this company cares for ALL OF US. WHEN i say ALL that is from HIGHER UP DOWN TO THE LOWER CLASS. if interested please do call me 0927-9745870 and I’ll be happy to tell more about what opportunity this company can offer you. “NAGING IMPORTANTE ITO PARA SA PAMILYA KO. TINITIYAK KO MAGIGING GANUN DIN ITO PARA SA IYO.”
    btw, thanks randell tiongson. it doesn’t matter if you’re on top what matter most is how you sincerely deliver the goods. mabuhay tayong lahat.

  • I am a newly coded financial advisor for Pru Life of UK and I’m really glad to have seen this post!

    It reinforced my understanding about life insurance. And I agree, it doesn’t matter which life insurance company we are working for. Let’s just continue to spread the news and educate our fellow Filipinos on the value of life insurance and financial planning.

    Thank you Sir for this read!!

  • Dear Sir Randell,

    Tanong ko lang po, May Insurance policy po ako sa Generali Philippines for my 7 years old boy. naka dalawang hulog na po ako last year at last september this year. Plano ko sana i hinto at kukunin ko nalang sana pera ko na naihulog kasi plano ko po na i invest ko nalang lahat sa Mutual Fund kasi po ay may FAMI Mutual Fund na po ako. at isa pa po may insurance policy naman po ako sa pinagtatrabahuan ko na company kasama na po wife ko at anak ko sa insurance policy nang company namin. Sana po ay mabigyan mo po ako nang tamang idea. Many thanks and God bless you always.

  • hi, im a new licensed financial advisor from SUNLIFE (#1 insurance company in premium payments). Any one interested to take a look of our products(currently our VULs sales are really soaring high). Kindly email me at [email protected] or give me a call/txt 09328640213. Its Time. Life is brighter under the sun!!!


  • Hi Mr Bonifacio Navarro, I think you may not withdraw the full amount that you have paid for Generali Philippines policy, especially if it is a traditional plan because there are insurance charges involved. It may not even have cash values because you said the policy is still 1 year old. Just my 2 cents 🙂

  • hi..
    i am planning to get an educational plan for my two kids but i am clueless and really dont have any idea which company should i get..i dont want to end up with nothing after investing my money on educational plan for my kids…please give me advice on what to do and what pre-need plan should i get..thank you very much

  • @ ann , Hi!

    You may want to visit my FB page – Super Smart Savings Start Here – so you could have other options aside from a pre-need plan in setting up an education plan for your kids. You may PM me from there if you are interested. Thanks!

  • Hi Ms. Ann.. good day! I’m a financial consultant at Pru Life UK. I’m glad to help you regarding your queries…I would like to share with you an idea that many of our customers found valuable.

    Kindly email me at [email protected]

    Thank you and God Bless. =)

  • Hi Mr. Randell,

    Thanks for sharing with us your expertise on Life and Personal Finance.

    I am a newly coded licensed financial consultant at Pru Life UK which is currently at #1 in Variable Life Insurance according to IC ranking.

    I am here to be of service to anyone who needs help in financial planning through our various products. I can be reached through [email protected] or +639336572167.

    Kudos to all who spread the value of financial education and the value of life insurance.

    Mayen Adriano
    Licensed Financial Consultant
    Pru Life UK

  • Majority of the premiums of the top life insurers came from VUL or investment-linked insurance; and most the insured came from the AB class who happened to have millions to save. But the insurance protection from VUL is mostly TEMPORARY and not LIFETIME. Sadly, only few Pinoys have the millions or even a couple of hundred of thousands to invest. Its good that there is a Pinoy insurer silently serving for over 50 years and issued already over a million policies. This Pinoy company is serving the unserved market, hardly touched by big insurers: Farmers, Fisherfolks, Workers, Police/Military, Teachers, etc. And these are the people that need to be protected by the benefits of life insurance but taken for granted….MALIIT LANG KASI ANG COMMISSION sa pag-serve sa kanila.
    Anyway, thanks to BENLIFE for having the zeal of a missionary for bringing life insurance to the less-served market, especially in the provinces. But you will be surprised to know, that BENLIFE can also serve the AB market!! In fact, they have such a product that offers the “advantage” of a PRE-NEED with the ASSURANCE of a life insurer. Please let me know if there is somebody who wants to discover this “beauty”… as an agent, maybe!

  • Hi agents,
    may I ask for variable life insurance proposal.My personal budget for this is 2000 per month including riders of Waiver of premium and other one which you think important to my age. Im 26 and turning 27 on May.can you also give the average performance of your investment portfolio (equity,balance,fixed term inv)as of today if possible.if you have concerns regarding this, feel free to contact me via email [email protected]. 🙂 Happy business!

    Thank you,
    Kevin Manuel
    Sent from my iPad

  • Hi Mr. Randell,

    I’ve read some of your articles in the newspaper like the dollar thing but was not able to read the part II. Anyway, I’ve learned a lot from you esp. on this article. I am a philam life financial advisor and am glad that some readers esp those who are interested in getting an insurance whether an investment or the traditional insurance are given honest and intelligent advise without having to side with any insurance company.

    Thank you and more power. God bless.


  • hello everybody… can somebody help and enlighten me? Img knocks on my door and i think they are a good broker. They offer me a Kaiser medical insurance which is accredited by sec and hmo. My question is why Kaiser is not included in insurance commission since it is Medical insurance? Are they stable? or if I get one do i still have to buy another insurance like Philamlife? What’s the difference from each other of having one or both ? Thank you in advance

  • Are you interested in Variable Life Insurance with savings and investment component?
    Email me: [email protected]
    Call or text: 0921-7263076 |0832-8529606


    Licensed Financial Consultant
    Pru Life UK

  • Hi Karen,
    Kaiser is under Cocolife. But you need to ask your agent what are the tie up hospitals for this.
    You can also check Healthplus from Manulife. I find it better when it comes to the benefits.
    I got one for myself.
    i can assist you for this. email me at [email protected]
    thanks and God bless


  • I am a Financial Consultantr of Pru Life UK with agent code 70018392. I Just want to add some information to Mr. Randell’s data on Insurance Company rankings. The table is correct but I would like share that in terms of variable insurance policy sales (as of December 31, 2011, as published by the Philippine Insurance Commission) Pru Life UK leads with a total premium sales of P9.2 billions, followed by Phil AXE P8.1 billion, SunLife P6.5 billions, and Philam P4.3 billions. Pru Life started operations in the Philippines in 1996 with just P844 million sales in variable insurance policies but exponentially grew it’s sales to today’s figure because of the gain trusts of more and more people due to it’s reliable and reputable service. For those who are interested to know about the many great products of Pru Life UK, youcan reach me thru the following: [email protected], cp#09267150599. PS – may email accnt with Pru Life is yet to be activated so for now use my yahoo id. Thanks!

  • hello…. i’m luchie , connected at Sunlfe of Canada phils. ,, as license agent,, my contact no. are 09233376271 (sUn), 09398307113 (smart). Anybody want to be educated about insurance and willing to be part of sunlife please get in touch with me.. thanks a lot and Godbless

  • Hello, for AXA policy holders and those who are planning to get a policy from AXA, you can contact me at [email protected] or 0919-2765-323.
    I will gladly answer all your queries and assist you in all you concerns.

  • To all valued Client before you choose life insurance company to secure you family’s future you have to consider the stability of the company by its paid-up capital, net assets, networth and investment. Premium ranking may vary every year.

    Thank you.

    Anong plano mo? Usap tayo.
    C; 0916-6858103
    DL; 710-5286
    E; [email protected]

  • Good day. Im planning to take a lifetime insurance. Is P 2,500 monthly for 15 to 20 years to be 1 m insured is really advisable? Please send me an email to [email protected]

    Any inputs are accepted. Thank u very much and good day.

  • Dear Sir Randell,

    I am a working mother with two children ages 1 yr old and 5 yrs. old., my husband is an OFW. Before we were thinking of getting a pre-need plan for our 2 children however with the problems with the Pre-need industry , we are now considering to get an insurance. Our objective is to make sure that should anything happen to one of us or both of us , our kids will still have money for their future needs (education, food, clothing , etc . ) but is there any type of insurance which also allows us to borrow a portion of our investment should the need arise? ( e.g hospitalization due to temporary disability , extra cash for school expenses ). What is the difference between a term life insurance and a variable life insurance? Which is better than the two? What insurance company do you recommend? Im open for quotations from insurance advisors for those who can read this thread. I am 34 years old and my husband is 35 years old. You can e-mail me at [email protected]. Thank you very much and more power.

  • Hello Kathy! I am Astrid, a financial advisor of Sun Life, I would be happy to answer your questions to help you create a sound plan for your needs.

    1st question: “but is there any type of insurance which also allows us to borrow a portion of our investment should the need arise? ( e.g hospitalization due to temporary disability , extra cash for school expenses ).”

    answer: Yes, there are riders we can attach to life insurance to widen it’s coverage. In Sun Life here is a summary of some of the riders we can attach in a variable life insurance:

    ADDD (accidental death, dismemberment, and disability benefit) – this rider has it’s own face amount equal to the original face amount. For example the life insurance is 1 million, in case the cause of death of the insured is due to an accident, the death benefit will be doubled. 1 million from the life insurance plus another 1 million from the ADDD. In the event that due to an accident or illness the insured lost a part of his or her body, there is a certain percentage from the face amount that can be claimed, for example loss of 1 eyesight is equal to 50% of face amount, this means if the insured got one eye blinded he or she will receive half million while still being insured by 1 million. For total disability(e.g. loss of both eyesight, 2 arms, 2 legs) the insured will get the full amount of the ADDD rider while still being insured for his or her life.

    For example the insured became totally disabled and he has a life insurance policy with face amount 1 million, he or she will receive 1 million pesos from the ADDD while still being insured by 1 million pesos for his or her life.

    TDB (Total Disability Benefit) – This rider is a waiver of premium if the insured became totally disabled. The company (Sun Life) will pay for the policy in behalf of the insured.

    CIB (Critical Illness Benefit) – This rider’s face amount is equal to 50% of the life insurance face amount. For example, the face amount of the life insurance is 1 million, then the face amount of critical illness benefit is half million. Once the insured is diagnosed by one of the listed critical illnesses (e.g. heart attack, stroke, cancer, liver failure, kidney failure, etc.) which is constantly increasing according to our claims department, the insured will get half million pesos.

    HIB (Hospital Income Benefit) – This rider is a fixed amount of benefit with maximum of 2,000 pesos per day. Once the insured is confined due to sickness or injury, Sun Life will pay 2,000 pesos per day times the number of days of stay in the hospital. For sickness it should be a minimum of 3 days. For injury minimum of 12 hours. If due to a dreaded disease the benefit is doubled, 4,000 pesos per day of stay in the hospital.

    FCIMB (Female Critical Illness and Maternity Benefit) – This rider is similar to the CIB but is more specific to women related illnesses plus a 20,000 benefit per child delivery.

    For term insurance only ADDD and TDB can be attached

    2nd question “What is the difference between a term life insurance and a variable life insurance?”
    answer: A term life insurance is purely protection while a variable life insurance is life insurance plus mutual funds combined into 1 plan

    3rd question “Which is better than the two?”

    answer: I strongly believe that variable life insurance is far better than the two, not only will it help protect your dreams for your family, it will also help you grow your money and achieve those dreams. Investment in life insurance is the only “ESTATE TAX FREE” wealth accumulation tool that I know of, provided that your beneficiaries are irrevocable. Everything else is taxable (e.g. bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, real properties, business, etc.). Not only that, upon death of the owner, life insurance is the most liquid asset that your heirs can easily claim unlike all other properties that will be frozen until the estate tax is settled before it can be distributed to the heirs. And if not settled within 6 months, there is a 25% penalty on the total tax due plus 20% annual interest which can eat up the total value of the estate. Another thing is if a person dies without a valid “will and testament” he has no control how the properties will be distributed, the Philippine law will be followed. But in life insurance whoever you designate as your beneficiary, they are the only ones who will receive it.

    In Sun Life, our variable life insurance plans allows you to withdraw from the investment fund anytime if the need arises as well as add or “top up” to the fund if you have extra money you want to invest. It is also being handled by top notch professional fund managers so you don’t have to actively concern yourself about it and focus on your career, but it doesn’t mean you cannot participate in the decision making, we allow policyholders to choose which fund to invest in (bonds, equity, and/or balanced), we allow up to 4 transfer of funds and/or change of allocation in a year for free.

    4th question “What insurance company do you recommend?”

    Well i guess this one is not for me to answer since it can be tagged as biased. But if you want to make sure there will be no problems in the future, since the very essence of a life insurance is based on the “promise” that it will provide for the loved ones of someone who passes away, and since I know our company, Sun Life, well enough to say that we are a company filled with people who has great values, great character, great advocacy, and has love of God. I can confidently say that Sun Life is among the very best, remains true to their word, and takes great honor in serving the Filipino people. If you want to make sure your family will have a brighter life even when you are gone, choose Sun Life.

    Astrid Mark B. El-khatib
    Sun Life Financial Advisor
    Mulberry Branch, Quezon City
    Tel. nos. Off: 9294053 Mobile:09177488432
    email: [email protected]
    website: http://www.astridelkhatib.com

  • I appreciate Sir Randell for creating this great article about insurance. My advice to those who are looking for insurance and knowing what suits their needs is to ask someone who has them.
    I am policy holder of philam life and before I sign the policy I made sure I understand the pros and cons of it.
    Anyone who is interested to know about Philam insurance, I am willing to discuss to you about it.
    Please reach me to my e-mail: [email protected]

  • Hi I am a financial consultant of Prulifer UK and I am very glad to be of help for whatever questions, sample proposals with our variable products..You can reach me at [email protected] or mobile number 09087852029.

    Thank You!!

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2011 Top Life Insurance Companies & my musings