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A life insurance company wants more customers in the lower-income band.

One of the chances that an executive of EastWest Ageas considers as what will accelerate the business in the long run, is the low insurance penetration rate in the Philippines, especially among the poor.

Sjoerd Smeets, president, and CEO of EastWest Ageas Insurance, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview on Friday that Filipinos are reluctant to purchase insurance because their financial literacy is lower than that of people in advanced economies.

He claimed that to increase its reach, the company, a partnership between the local bank EastWest Bank and Ageas, which has its headquarters in Belgium, began its agency force.

Smeets stated that since beginning the agency force in the second part of 2022, there are currently about 120 insurance agents, to increase that number to close to 1,000 by the end of 2023.

As seen by the country’s low insurance penetration rate of just 3%, he claimed that Filipinos generally still prefer to speak with insurance brokers to learn about the benefits of life insurance.

“Filipinos don’t go shopping for insurance on their own. They are more frequently approached and persuaded in some way that life insurance is beneficial to them, he claimed.

Smeets claimed that their present agents are older persons in their 40s and 50s who have million-dollar rank certifications from other organizations, in contrast to some insurance companies that employ millennials as agents to persuade more people to get insurance coverage.

Smeets stated that the company’s present clientele of 257,000, consisting of individual customers and group memberships, will be doubled within two to three years.

He claimed that although most of their clientele are already in their 40s or older, they also cater to younger generations, the majority of which are more interested in enjoying life by spending money on meals and fancier homes than they are in gaining insurance coverage.

Before insurance precedes other matters, he continued, “People need to reach certain stages in their lives.”

To encourage more people to get insured, Smeets also intends to provide microinsurance and products connected to personal accidents.

According to him, they want to boost the proportion of Filipinos who earn less because, up until now, most insurance holders have been wealthy people.

Our goal is not to increase our share of the market. More Filipinos are to be protected, he declared.

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