Having brought a health and economic crisis worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused concerns over various aspects of people’s welfare. To understand and help with the worries of Filipinos during the crisis, Cocolife conducted its first research study under its pilot research community — Cocolife Idea Hub.

With the title “Cocolife Cares: Insights into the COVID-19 pandemic”, the study looks into the health and financial worries of Filipinos and their viewpoints on purchasing insurance and investment products amid the crisis. “Cocolife Cares” surveyed close to 3,500 Filipinos through an online questionnaire throughout the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 2021.

While health and financial worries are already anticipated, a distinctive finding in Cocolife’s study is that Filipinos are more worried about their families getting sick (99%) than themselves (97%). 96% of Filipinos concerned about their health due to COVID-19 have also taken steps to protect themselves such as taking vitamins, eating healthy foods, and praying.

Additionally, the uncertainties over the crisis make finances worrying for most, regardless of their socioeconomic class. Medical bills are what most respondents are concerned about (97%), followed by expenses because of the pandemic (97%) and then saving money (93%).

Respondents also shared that they and their family members have either lost their jobs, had reduced working hours, or been temporarily laid off due to the pandemic. The majority also viewed their personal financial situation as fair to poor (71%). 41% added that their financial status worsened this year.

Insurance preferences and hesitancy

Amid such a crisis, Filipinos increased their awareness about the value of security and protection. This has led to a greater appreciation of insurance products, with 46% realizing the need for insurance protection now more than ever for their families. 89% also considered that life and health insurance coverages are beneficial during the pandemic.

Ma. Rowena Asnan, Vice President for Marketing and Corporate Communications

“The more Filipinos worry about their family, the more they prioritize their family’s well-being and financial security,” said Ma. Rowena Asnan, Vice President for Marketing and Corporate Communications of Cocolife. “These priorities elevated the interest of Filipinos towards insurance. One third of them are actually willing to purchase financial products this year.”

Cocolife’s research showed that 36% of Filipino respondents intend to buy life insurance plans; 31% for HMO plans; and 30% want to invest this year. These respondents are mostly single millennials, a majority of which are females from lower to middle-income socioeconomic classes.

Among those intending to buy life insurance, 52% prefer whole life insurance. Topping the list of their priorities is family’s income protection (23%). On the other hand, the top priority of those planning to avail of HMO in the following months is the coverage for hospitalization and confinement (24%).For the respondents intending to invest this year, their leading investment objective is to earn a combination of income and capital growth (34%).

The study also saw that Filipinos prefer an insurance plan customizable to their life stage, budget, and needs, more than unique product features.

But whether life insurance, HMO, or investment, the primary reason why some of Filipinos do not plan or are uncertain to purchase these products is the insufficiency of money. With 71% rating their financial situation poorly plus the rising cost of living in the country, Filipinos think they cannot afford financial products in addition to their expenses. The second reason is having an unstable source of income. Earnings instability makes it more difficult for Filipinos to pay for bills, necessities, and even setting aside funds for savings. Having unstable income flow only exacerbates many of the problems Filipinos deal with.

Such results of “Cocolife Cares” presented the gaps and challenges that Filipinos face in buying insurance, thereby telling the insurer as well how to improve its products and services.

Cocolife’s role

“Insurers should welcome the positive perception of the respondents as a sign of progress,” said Ms. Asnan. “Consequently, they should take steps in addressing the gap as to why majority are still not encouraged to actually purchase insurance and investment plans.”

The study thus urged Cocolife to leverage digital tools and platforms to bring financial education programs to Filipinos, where they can learn concepts that help make responsible financial decisions. Importantly, these programs should be inclusive and appropriate to the needs of different economic classes.

With the pandemic affecting people regardless of their financial capacities, Cocolife also expressed its commitment to developing products that attend to the realistic needs of every economic group and adapt to their life stages. This includes creating more entry-level and affordable insurance products like term plans and individual personal accident plans for the financial protection of Filipinos undergoing financial difficulties.

Halfway through 2021, Cocolife launched their new protection plans: the Cocolife Protect and Protect Plus. These comprehensive plans with affordable premiums as low as P2,000 are designed to provide Filipinos and their families the financial security they need in the event of an accident resulting in injury, disability, or death. The coverage for both Cocolife Protect and Protect Plus range from P500,000 to P1,000,000 for accidental benefit with additional burial benefit offered under 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year terms so Filipinos can feel more secured especially during these trying times.

Responding to Filipinos’ needs, Cocolife adds another product to their comprehensive product portfolio. Cocolife Term Shield, a term life insurance plan that ensures maximum financial security at an affordable cost. It provides guaranteed financial protection equal to 100% of the face amount in case of loss. With Term Shield, Filipinos can tailor their plan according to their budget and financial goals.

Term Shield’s coverage can be as short as 1 year or as long as 10 years, 20 years, or up to age 65. For as low as P13 per day, a 25-year-old can enjoy up to P1,000,000 of life coverage for a whole year. It also allows convenient renewal and conversion of the plan to a new permanent life insurance without any proof of insurability within the given timeframe.

“The pandemic highlighted what we are as a corporation, what we stand for, and what we care about. We have consistently stayed true to our thrust of improving the quality of life of Filipinos, equipping them with tools to achieve their goals and dreams.” said Atty. Martin Loon, Cocolife’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We at Cocolife emphasize the faith and trust we have in the Filipino: Filipino talent, Filipino values, the Filipino dream.”

“It’s really what the insurance business is all about,” he added. “It’s about helping people capture their dreams no matter what happens, the best way we can.”

“Cocolife Cares: Insights into the COVID-19 pandemic” is the company’s first research study under the Cocolife Idea Hub. The Idea Hub was created to better understand the perceptions of Filipinos on a wide number of topics in order to innovate services and products that will improve their lives.

Find out more about Cocolife’s products and services by visiting www.cocolife.com.

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