Philippines

Insurance Commission activates quick response mechanism for Surigao quake victims

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BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA) - lnsurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa has activated Tuesday the Disaster Response Mechanism to expedite quick insurance claims for the speedy recovery of the residents of Surigao.

Last February 10, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Surigao City killing at least six and injuring hundreds.

The quake left over 1,400 houses damaged in 54 barangays across Caraga, displacing over 5,170 people. lnitial estimates placed damage at over P140 million.

The mechanism mobilizes the Agarang Proseso, Benepisyo ay Sigurado Program for the setting up of Claims Action Center, for simplified and quick claims where insured victims can go for their legitimate insurance claims.

"The sooner earthquake victims who are insurance policyholders can get their claims, the sooner they can get back to their feet. The Agarang Proseso, Benepisyo ay Sigurado Program aims to address the urgent need for relief available to the victims of the recent earthquake," Commissioner Funa said.

Likewise, Funa instructed all insurance companies to expedite, with the help of the Claims Action Center, the processing of the insurance claims filed by persons affected by the recent earthquake.

"We directed them to put a system in place to guarantee the speedy processing of claims upon submission of minimum documentary requirements," he added.

ln order to ensure the efficiency in the processing and settling of claims, the lC will require the insurance companies to submit a report as to the number and type of insurance claims filed, a number of claims paid, and other relevant information.

Last Monday, 15 non-life insurance claims have been filed in connection with the recent Surigao earthquake, according to the Commission. The destruction brought by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 was somewhat cushioned by the activation of the Claims Action Center in the ravaged areas of Leyte and Samar.

Over P200 million in claims were rapidly processed and released by life, non-life and mutual benefit associations (MBA), the main microinsurance provider, for hundreds of thousands of victims. The main bulk in terms of lives protected was covered by MBAs, which includes cooperatives, credit unions. Policyholders affected by the recent Surigao may seek the Commission's assistance through its telephone numbers (02) 5238461 to 70 local127 and 103 or (02) 4041758 or through emaiI at publicassistance@insurance.gov.ph. (Insurance Commission/PIA-CARAGA)