The coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) has disrupted global normality in all areas and has brought about drastic changes to the new normality. One of the emerging trends that the pandemic has made is the awakening of the Filipinos' awareness of the importance of insurance, especially health.
In a virtual press conference and briefing on June 24, Sun Life's marketing manager and client, Mylene Lopa, revealed that she had received many questions about their social media platforms from people who had been asking for health insurance information since the pandemic occurred. "One of the few good things the pandemic has done is actually the growing awareness and interest of Filipinos in financial insurance. The product they are most interested in is obviously the health insurance product," he said. For young professional Arnie A. Valera, he shared that even in his first 20 years, he has to strive for financial freedom and stability – one of the lessons he learned because of the pandemic. "And I see that this can be achieved through investment, insurance and savings. So, I decided to make myself a present for the future: health insurance," he said. He added: "I could pay every month but I never regretted doing it. It was worth it because my money is earning and insuring me for" Sun Life financial adviser Cris James Lopez, in an interview separately, he claimed to have been able to close 22 accounts since the pandemic started through distance selling. He said this means that more people are starting to realize that health and well-being will also be part of their financial planning. "Medical bills are a major cause why many people lose their earnings and savings. One of the painful things we could never imagine is running out of our hard savings due to emergency medical bills," he said. Sun Life has a range of health insurance products that meet the different needs of the market ranging from 10 years of coverage or until the customer turns 100: Sun Fit and Well, Sun Senior Care, SUN Cancer Care, Sun LifeAssure, Sun Healthier Life and Sun First Aid, among others. In an online survey conducted by Sun Life among its customers from May 11 to 29, 2020, the results show that 48 percent of respondents said they were affected by the financial situation pandemic. For the respondents' recovery plan, 49 percent said they were somewhat ready, 27 percent are neutral, 13 percent are well prepared and with a recovery plan in place, 10 percent somehow is not ready and the remaining 1 percent said they weren't ready at all. In a separate survey, 62 percent are implementing recovery plans with 68 percent saying they will STA saving more and building their emergency fund, 57 percent looking for more financial advice and 53 percent investing in family health. Looking at the responses of the respondents, Lopa interpreted that it is an indicator of the level of preparedness of the Filipinos for this crisis. "The fact that their financial situation was adversely affected could tell us that perhaps they lack preparation and one reason I can think of is that Filipinos don't always plan for the future and have no contingency plans." "Sun CEO Life and householder Benedict Sison pointed out that they are not getting as many complaints due to the pandemic as expected, meaning that many Filipinos still lack insurance coverage. " The situation of financial literacy in the country is still evolving, many people are not yet aware of the benefits of financial protection, "he added. Sison added that, given the negative impacts caused by the pandemic, it served as a wake up call for individuals seriously insure insurance. "One of the opportunities offered by the pandemic has been to increase the importance of financial services products. We see that when we overcome this pandemic, we will have a rebound in the insurance sector, "he said. The introduction of the digital financial journey Sun Life has also adapted to the new normal by improving its online digital capabilities and services." We recently launched a digitally enabled sales process that will allow Filipinos to remain financially protected from the safety of their home during the Covid-19 pandemic, "shared Lopa. Through this process, customers can obtain professional financial advice from Sun consultants. Life through online platforms and learn about insurance products that suit their needs.In the meantime, the company's website hosts tools such as life insurance calculator, investment calculator and e-Quote, which can help users to monitor their progress in their financial journey. Sun Life has also expanded its suite of digital insurance products for registered members of Lazada. Lopa has said that this remote financial advisory mechanism will become part of the permanent solution of the Company Z, for its part, said that distance selling has for him put it to reach more people nationwide, allowing it to close more accounts than before. "As a consultant, you have a wide audience in distance selling. Distance selling allows you to secure lives nationwide. Before this pandemic, we have to meet them personally. If your client lives in Manila, then you have to go to Manila. to do financial planning with them, "he said. But he noted that the challenges of distance selling include breaking the Internet connection which can lead to bad communication. This sales method, he added, can also be a difficult task for consultants and customers who are not Internet savvy. As the country continues to manage the pandemic, Sun Life launched the "Rise Together to a Bright New World" campaign in time for the annual celebration of the month of financial independence each June. "We would like to help Filipinos channel their energies towards actions that help them prepare for the future. While there is still much uncertainty as our country continues to manage the pandemic, there are steps they can take now to make sure that they and their loved ones can look forward to brighter days, "said Lopa. It may be a pity that it took a pandemic before people realized the meaning of health insurance and the emergency fund, but financial advisors hope that when everything starts to normalize and when the recovery journey begins, more people will now invest for the future and become financially stable and free, pandemic or not.