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How to Get Life Insurance: Top 10 Life Insurance Companies in the Philippines

(Updated March 12, 2021)

Disclaimer: Cash Mart PH is not affiliated with any of the insurance companies featured in this article.

Are you planning to get life insurance? 

However, many Filipinos still think that getting insurance is just an additional expense which is not true.

Life insurance is an important part of our financial health. It is a protection against losses and an investment for future use (retirement). But this thought is not fully understood by many.

Getting life insurance could spare your family from a financial dilemma when an uncertain event happens to you.

Real talk…

No matter how much money you have saved over the years, once an accident, illness, or a sudden death happens, it’ll easily wipe out everything you’ve accumulated.

To help you prepare for getting a policy, we created this article. We provide information you might need in deciding what life insurance product you’ll need and which company you’ll choose as your financial partner.

Table of Contents

What is Life Insurance?

The common health class or risk category:

Benefits of Life Insurance

Key Features of Life Insurance

Types of Life Insurance

TOP 10 LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES IN THE PHILIPPINES

Tips in Choosing the Best Life Insurance Provider

Tips in Comparing Life Insurance Types

Tips in Comparing Life Insurance Policies

Filing A Life Insurance Claim

STEP 1: Requirements

STEP 2: Submit the Requirements

What if your claim is denied?

Conclusion

What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a type of insurance where your family or beneficiaries receive compensation for your untimely death. The company will assure compensation to your beneficiaries once you make premium payments. 

Your beneficiaries will receive compensation called “Death Benefit.” Your chosen company earns by investing the money you pay for your chosen policy. 

When you apply for life insurance, the company will ask about your health and lifestyle. You also need to undergo a medical examination. The premium you need to pay is based on your health class or risk category. 

The common health class or risk category:

Preferred Plus

It is the best classification. It means that you are in excellent health. Your weight is normal, with no history of smoking, no chronic illnesses, no family history of life-threatening disease. 

Preferred

This means that you are in good health; however, there could be some issues with your cholesterol or blood pressure. But this problem should be controllable. 

Standard Plus

You are in good health but with minor issues like high blood pressure and being overweight.

Standard

Most policyholders are under this category. You are in good health and have a normal life expectancy. Your family member might have a history of life-threatening diseases. You may have a few health issues like being overweight, having high blood pressure, and cholesterol. 

Substandard

These are policyholders that have serious health issues like diabetes or heart disease. Policyholders will be placed on the table rating. They are ranked from highest to lowest using letters or numbers. If you are under substandard, your premium is most likely the same as the standard, but with an additional 25%, the lower you get on-the-table ratings. 

Smokers

Policyholders under this category pay more due to the added risk of smoking. 

Age is also another critical factor in determining your premium. The older you are, the higher the price of your premium.

The Benefits of Getting Life Insurance

Listed below are the benefits you will get with life insurance.

Pension for your Spouse: It is an amount of money that your spouse will receive when you are gone. This will help him or her to go on living until the time they can recover financially.

Education for Kids: This insurance benefit ensures the education of your kids upon your untimely death.

Family: If you are the breadwinner in the family, you are the source of your family’s income. If you’re gone insured, your dependents will receive an amount of money from life insurance that will help them recover financially. Your dependents could be your spouse, your children, parents, and relatives.

Debt Payments: The money that you’ll be receiving from your insurance company can also help you pay out your debts.

End-of-Life Healthcare Cost: Hospital bills, medical expenses, and other related healthcare costs are covered by life insurance. 

Funeral Costs: Insurance companies offer pre-need plans for the funeral. In case you do not have funeral plans, your insurance company will cover any funeral costs.

Estate Tax Costs: Before the ownership of your assets can be transferred, you have to pay the government’s estate tax. This could be expensive, but your family shouldn’t worry too much about it because insurance companies can cover the estate tax.

Savings: There are several insurance plans like the “whole-life policy,” which offers long-term savings. Another kind of investment is the “variable universal life insurance.”

Key Features of Life Insurance

Insurer

The insurer is the insurance company. They write the policy and receive the premium. They keep the policy enforced as long as your premium is paid. They also pay the sum insured to your beneficiaries as long as the conditions are met. 

Insured

The insured is the individual who is covered by insurance. When unexpected things happen, and all the requirements are fulfilled, the insurer would pay your beneficiaries. 

Policy

The policy is the contract between you and your insurer. It contains a list of things regarding your insurance coverage and your insurer’s duties, the insured amount, payment of premium, steps in making a claim, and other important data. 

Policyholder

A policyholder is someone who owns the policy. The policyholder must be at least 18 years old. You can be both the policyholder and the insured. There are instances where a policyholder is not the same as the insured. For example, a parent buys insurance for their child. 

Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries are individuals who will receive the money from the insurer. Anyone can be your beneficiary. These are some lists of your possible beneficiaries: 

  • spouse
  • children
  • family members
  • descendants
  • heirs
  • guardians
  • employers
  • business partners

Sum Insured

The sum insured is the amount of money that your beneficiaries will receive when untimely death happens to the insured. 

There are insurance covers where the sum insured amount is based on the length of the contract. But a policy with investment can have a higher sum insured depending on the return of the investments. 

Premium

Premium is the amount of money that you pay to the insurance company. This will help the policyholder be insured and make the effectiveness of their policy remain. 

There are flexible payment terms that you can choose from. You can pay annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly. You can pay either through banks or payment centers. 

Some factors could affect the amount of your premium. They are age, health, profession, or even the place where you live. 

Types of Life Insurance

Choosing the type of insurance that would suit your needs might be a bit confusing to some. So, here are four (4) different types of Life Insurance. 

Endowment

This type of insurance policy grants a lump sum of a certain amount of money based on the specified time or upon death. The policy owner should pay a premium for a predetermined number of years until they reach a specific age. 

PROS: 

  • It allows saving up for a specific purpose like education or retirement. 
  • It offers a guaranteed return upon maturity.
  • It offers some form of insurance coverage.

CONS:

  • It asks for a higher premium. 
  • It is not the best option for those who are looking for full life protection.

Term

This is the simplest form of life insurance. The beneficiaries are paid upon the death of the policyholder. 

PROS:

  • It requires a low amount of Premium.
  • It is a strong option for policyholders who couldn’t afford the whole life or endowment type of insurance.
  • It is easy to understand

CONS:

  • If the policyholder outlives the term period, there will be no benefits.
  • The amount of premium usually gets higher every time the terms are renewed. 

Whole Life

This type of life insurance offers coverage for the policyholder’s entire life until they reach 100 years old. It is both a protection and a savings mechanism. They will put a portion of your premium to build up cash values. 

PROS:

  • It offers permanent protection for the policyholder’s entire life or 100 years. 
  • It offers flexible terms of payment of premium.
  • It also has fixed premiums.
  • It comes with additional features and ‘living’ benefits.

CONS:

  • It comes with a higher premium.
  • It can be harder to understand because of its complexities.

Variable Universal Life Insurance (VUL)

This type of insurance offers both life protection and investment in one package. A portion of the premium is allocated to various investment vehicles. The earnings depend on the performance of the selected investments.

PROS: 

  • It has a dual purpose, such as life insurance and investment.
  • It doesn’t have a maturity age.
  • The cash value a payable with the assured sum
  • The death component is not limited to face value.
  • Liquidity: you can access your fund in times of need. It could also serve as your emergency funds. 

CONS:

  • The cash values and dividends are not guaranteed.
  • The face amount and death benefit depending on the performance of the investment.
  • It includes more investment fees.

BTID (Buy Term, Invest Different)

It is the practice of buying term insurance and investing the difference in costs of getting a VUL. You can make your investment strategy and pick from several vehicles like mutual and index funds

PROS:

  • It asks for lower fees compared to universal life insurance and VUL.
  • You can manage your investments.
  • You can put your money in various mutual funds. You can also withdraw them at any time.
  • It offers higher investment returns.

CONS: 

  • Its price is higher for those who are planning for long-term coverage. BTID premiums increase every five years. 
  • You have to split your money for your insurance and your investment every single time. 
  • You need to know about insurance and investment. 

TOP 10 LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES IN THE PHILIPPINES

An insurance firm’s performance has categories – premium income, assets, net income, paid-up capital, and net worth. Such categories vary on the company’s performance annually. That said, the list of top-performing firms does change based on their performance.

Here is the updated list of the top ten insurance companies in the Philippines based on the New Business Annual Premium Equivalent (NBAPE) of Life Insurance Companies (2019). (Source: Department of Finance Insurance Commission)

Top 10 Life Insurance Companies in Philippines

#1 Sun Life Canada (Philippines) Inc.

Sun Life Canada Inc. ranked third in the top insurance companies in the Philippines. It was established in the country through the British company H.J. Andrews and Co. It offers a wide range of financial products such as insurance and mutual funds. 

Here is the ranking of Sun Life Canada Inc:

  • Top 1 in Premium Income
  • Top 1 in Net Income
  • Top 2 in Assets
  • Top 2 in Net Worth
  • Top 16 in Paid-up Capital

#2 Pru Life Insurance Corporation of U.K.

Established in 1996, Pru Life was the first company approved by the Insurance Commission to engage in dollar-denominated policies. It obtained Allstate Life Philippines and ING Life Philippines in 2002.

Here is the ranking of Pru Life Insurance Corporation:

  • Top 2 in Premium Income
  • Top 3 in Net Income
  • Top 7 in Assets
  • Top 9 in Net Worth
  • Top 19 in Paid-up Capital

#3 Philippine AXA Life Insurance

AXA Group was founded in Paris, France, in 1985. AXA Philippines was established in 1999. The company is rapidly growing compared to other companies that have been operating for years. And it overtakes Sun Life Canada by landing second place in the rank. AXA is the world’s number one (1) insurance company serving 57 countries around the globe. In the Philippines, AXA partnered with Metrobank. 

Here are the rankings of Philippine AXA Life Insurance:

  • Top 3 in Premium Income
  • Top 4 in Net Income
  • Top 4 in Assets
  • Top 6 in Net Worth
  • Top 7 in Paid-up Capital

#4 Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Philippines), Inc.

Also known as Manulife, it is ranked four (4) in top insurance companies in the Philippines. They sold their first policy in 1901. They were licensed to operate as an insurance company in the Philippines in 1907. Recently, it has made a partnership with China Banking Corporation. They created the subsidiary and bancassurance firm called Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation.

Here is Manulife’s ranking:

  • Top 4 in Premium Income
  • Top 4 in Net Worth
  • Top 5 in Assets
  • Top 6 in Net Income
  • Top 8 in Paid-up Capital 

#5 BPI Philam Life Assurance Corporation Inc.

It is used to be known as the Ayala Life Assurance Incorporated. BPI Philam Life Assurance Corporation Inc was established in 1933 and now is in partnership with the Bank of the Philippine Islands and the Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company, Inc.

Here is the ranking of BPI Philam Life:

  • Top 5 in Premium Income
  • Top 6 in Assets
  • Top 7 in Net Worth
  • Top 8 in Net Income
  • Top 10 in Paid-up Capital

#6 BDO Life Insurance Company, Inc. (Generali Pilipinas Life)

It is originally called Generali Pilipinas Holding Co. Inc. Year 2016, BDO Unibank Inc. acquired the company. It operates as a subsidiary of BDO Unibank, Inc. It offers bancassurance solutions to individuals and corporate clientele.

Here is the BDO Life Insurance list of rankings:

  • Top 4 in Paid-up Capital
  • Top 5 in Net Worth
  • Top 7 in Premium Income
  • Top 7 in Net Income
  • Top 8 in Assets

#7 Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company

Philam Life is a local subsidiary of the American Insurance Association. It was established in 1947 and has expanded. Philam Life’s subsidiaries are the Philam Asset Management, Inc. (PAMI) and the BPI – Philam Life Insurance Corporation.

Here are the lists of rankings of the Philam Life according to category:

  • Top 1 in Assets
  • Top 1 in Net Worth
  • Top 2 in Net Income
  • Top 5 in Paid-up Capital
  • Top 6 in Premium Income

#8 FWD Life Insurance Corporation

Competing with other known insurance firms in the Philippines, FWD Insurance is now considered one of the industry’s fastest-growing companies. The company launched last 2014. And FWD Insurance was able to have the highest paid-up capital among life insurance companies. 

Aside from health and life insurance with investment products, FWD offers financial protection against terrorist acts. Also, they are offering an investment component in the US dollar denomination.

Here’s the FWD Insurance’s ranking:

  • Top 9 in Premium Income
  • Top 3 in Paid-up Capital
  • Top 11 in Net Worth
  • Top 12 in Net Income
  • Top 13 in Assets

#9 United Coconut Planters Life Assurance Corporation (COCOLIFE)

This company was founded in 1966. COCOLIFE subsidiaries are the Cocolife Asset management, Direct Link Car Insurance, Ultra Security Services Inc., and UCPB General Insurance Company. It is known as the biggest stock insurance company owned by a Filipino. It is also the first Filipino Insurance company to be ISO-certified.

Here are its rankings:

  • Top 8 in Net Worth
  • Top 10 in Net Income
  • Top 11 in Premium Income
  • Top 12 in Assets
  • Top 14 in Paid-up Capital

#10 Insular Life Assurance Corporation

This company was founded in 1966. Insular Life’s subsidiaries are the Cocolife Asset management, Direct Link Car Insurance, Ultra Security Services Inc., and UCPB General Insurance Company. It is the biggest stock insurance company owned by a Filipino. It is also the first Filipino Insurance company to be ISO-certified.

Here are its rankings:

  • Top 3 in Net Worth
  • Top 3 in Asset
  • Top 5 in Net Income
  • Top 8 in Premium Income
  • Top 30 in Paid-up Capital

Tips in Choosing the Best Life Insurance Provider

In choosing the best insurance provider, you need to look for some essential qualities from your insurance providers’ choices. Here are some qualities you can take into consideration:

1. Licensed to operate in the Philippines

To know if the company you are eyeing is legitimate, you can search them from the list of licensed insurance firms provided by the Insurance Commission

2. Company Background

Visit the website of the insurance company and research its background. You would know if they are worth your trust by knowing if they are operating steadily or growing steadily. Also, search if they have a good reputation in the insurance industry. 

3. Financial Performance

The Insurance Commission sets five categories. You can base your criteria on comparing the financial performance of the insurance companies through the lists provided. 

a. Premium Income 

It is the total amount a company receives from the clients’ premiums. A higher premium income means that they serve a lot of policyholders. 

b. Assets

It is the property that the company can use in paying its debts. The higher the asset, the better their ability to manage their debt repayments. 

c. Net Worth

It is the value of all the company’s assets minus its liabilities. If a company has a high Net worth, they have a great ability to withstand financial crises. 

d. Net Income

It is the company’s total revenues minus the company’s total expenses. The net income reflects the actual income that the company earns.

e. New Business Annual Premium Equivalent

This is the sum of the total of the actual first year of regular premium plus 10% of single premiums. The insurance commission usually uses this metric to measure and compare insurance companies’ performance within the calendar year. 

Tips in Comparing Life Insurance Types

You must compare your list of potential life insurance companies. That way, you can land the best life insurance that would be beneficial for you. 

To choose the best insurance type, you need to know the things you want for your life insurance plan. 

Here are lists of things you need to know:

  • The insurance coverage that you need
  • How long do you want to be insured? 
  • How much are you willing to pay? 
  • Can you afford the premiums? 
  • Do you want insurance for protection? Or would you like to add savings to your life insurance policy? 

After knowing those factors and your needs, you can now choose the type of life insurance that would suit your preference. 

Tips in Comparing Life Insurance Policies

After choosing your insurance company and your preferred type of life insurance, it is now time for you to choose your life insurance policy.

Here are some tips that would help you in choosing your life insurance policy: 

  • Insurance rates, quotes, and proposals: Ask for the insurance rates, quotes, and proposals from your preferred insurance coverage. Compare them from your chosen providers. Coverage, benefits, and premiums may vary from different life insurance companies. 
  • Benefits and riders: Check which primary and supplementary benefits are suitable for your needs. 

Riders are contracts that support the main life insurance policy. 

  • Premiums: Compare the premiums by asking your advisor about the price differences. Some policies for some coverages may have different amounts of premium. 
  • Review the Fine print: Read the fine print thoroughly. Check for the life insurance charges such as taxes, policy fees, and rider charges. These fees will be deducted monthly from your total funds.
  • Ask questions: If you do not understand anything about a certain policy, ask your advisor questions. Discuss every toss and turn of the policies with your advisor to prevent future issues from happening. 

Filing A Life Insurance Claim

STEP 1: Requirements

The first thing to do is to know the required documents that you need to present. The requirements differ from the type of claim and insurance companies. 

Here are some lists of requirements:

Death Claims

  • Official claimant form
  • Policy number
  • Death certificate of the insured 

It should be issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority. If the death occurred abroad, provide an authenticated death certificate from the Philippines embassy.

 

Other Types of Claims

  • Claimant statement form
  • Valid IDs
  • Attending Physician Statement Document
  • Hospital Bill Receipt (Medical Reimbursement)
  • Police or Incident report (if caused by accident)
  • Certified True Copy of Operating Room Record (It is for hospital claims on operations or surgery-related issues)
  • Complete medical records

Other Requirements:

  • Marriage Certificate (If the spouse is the beneficiary)
  • Birth Certificate of a child (If the child is the beneficiary)
  • Affidavit of Legal Guardianship (If the beneficiary is a minor)
  • Judicial Bond by the surviving parent or other legal guardian and approved by the Regional Trial Court (If the share of the minor is greater than PHP 500,000)
  • Birth Certificate of the Insured (if the beneficiaries are the parents of the policyholder)
  • Joint Affidavit of Two Disinterested Persons (If there are discrepancies in the names of the insured or beneficiaries)
  • Police Investigation Report (for deaths caused by accidents)
  • Autopsy Report
  • Toxicology Report

STEP 2: Submit the Requirements

When you have completed all the required documents, you can submit them online through the insurance company’s website. You can also hand the documents to your financial advisor. 

What if your claim is denied?

According to the Insurance Commission, you don’t have to go to court when your claim is denied. They can hear out issues about the policies as long as the sum is less than five (5) million pesos. 

Conclusion

Getting life insurance is a wise financial decision you’ll make. But before you decide to get one, first, you must know and understand the very purpose of life insurance.

Once you understand life insurance’s purpose, you can now identify what type of insurance you’ll need to get. You can choose from several companies that offer life insurance plans. You can use the provided updated list of the top ten life insurance firms in the country as your basis.

Compare and study their performances. However, the ranking of the firms varies on the company’s annual performance. You can do personal research for further knowledge about life insurance.

Do you want to know more financial tips to help you out? You can check our newsroom at cashmart.ph. Feel free to explore and learn more!

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