More Filipinos interested in insurance, retirement planning a year into the pandemic — survey

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The lingering COVID-19 pandemic has made Filipinos become more forward-looking, and has driven them to set their sights on long-term preparations such as insurance and retirement planning, a recent study by Manulife revealed.

The latest Manulife Asia Care Survey polled around 4,000 people across the Asian region, about 520 hail from the Philippines. Of this number, 90% of Filipinos found retirement planning to have become more important since the health crisis began.

Above the region’s 73% average, the company says the Philippine average reflects its residents' heightened focus on achieving financial security amid the uncertainty resulting from the pandemic.

“We identified that the needs of Filipinos have changed. They definitely accelerated and looked much more towards retirement — as they recognized that they don’t have sufficient retirement planning in place,” Manulife president and chief executive officer Richard Bates told CNN Philippines’ The Exchange.

Given the heightened uncertainty amid COVID-19, Bates noted it’s essential that long-term planning products allow individuals to be flexible in mapping out their lives ahead. It will enable them to effectively shape the services to cater to their individual needs as much as possible, he said.

“Everyone starts at a different point in their journey. With kids, without kids, planning for kids—and all of these elements must be taken into account when trying to find that right policy for you.”

“For instance, Manulife Freedom allows customers to choose between protecting themselves for 20 years or up to age 65 with a life insurance benefit equal to 200% of one’s primary coverage, with payment periods lasting either for five or ten years,” Bates said.

The survey also found 87% of Filipinos plan to purchase a new insurance plan in the next six months, higher than the overall average of 71%. Filipinos mostly have their eyes on health, hospitalization, and life protection, noted Manulife.

For these concerns, Manulife HealthFlex is the perfect fit, Bates said, adding that this critical illness product offers “flexible different packages and sizes” depending on the individual’s needs

The customizable health plan allows an individual to choose and pay only for the health coverage they need and according to their budget, while providing benefits and protection from over 100 critical illnesses. For instance, a 30-year-old male can obtain Php300,000 worth of HealthFlex coverage, and pay premium at around Php900 a month.

“The main thing is to make sure that you’re looking for a policy that has the highest degree of flexibility around it. That means we can cover more and more Filipinos,” added Bates.

Visit Manulife’s website to learn more about their products.