Negosentro | Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Broker’s GM Shares How He Envisions to Insure Every Filipino Family | For such a long time in the Philippines, insurance coverage was a privilege enjoyed almost exclusively by well-to-do Filipinos. But thanks to Jean Henri Lhuillier, the man behind the success of microfinance leader Cebuana Lhuillier, he set his sights on making insurance more inclusive and accessible to the general population. In 2020, Cebuana Lhuillier established a future-ready insurance brokerage firm named Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Brokers, Inc. (CLIB).
CLIB focused on bringing the benefits of insurance coverage to marginalized Filipinos, as well as MSMEs. CLIB presently works with 40+ reputable insurers and providers to develop insurance products that are tailor-made for the C and D market and fostered alliances with other major companies to streamline product distribution. CLIB uses what it calls a “TECHBRICK” setup. This strategic approach is aimed at increasing product range and improving services by seamlessly and rapidly integrating its proprietary technology platform (TECH) with a robust brick-and-mortar footprint (BRICK) to create an affordable and extensive insurance product portfolio that can be easily accessed and purchased either through digital platforms or by visiting any of Cebuana Lhuillier’s close to 3500 branches or 6500 partner outlets nationwide.
CLIB’s goal to revolutionize PH’s insurance industry has already bore fruit. In 2023 alone, CLIB provided coverage to over 4 million unique customers. CLIB has, in fact, grown to be one of the largest retail insurance brokers in the country by providing insurance to millions of Filipino families.
But the work is far from over. CLIB General Manager and Group Head Anthony M. Bernabe says the biggest challenge they have and will continue to have is evolving customer needs. He says: “Customers have become more price-sensitive and now demand for more affordable products. To add, relevant, simple to understand products, and seamless experience from a trusted company have become the minimum customer expectation. While digital is being pushed by the industry, most customers still prefer physical connections when purchasing insurance”.
But Bernabe says they hope to overcome this by catering to the different and evolving needs of various customer segments. He explains: “Continuous innovation and simplification of insurance products is key to meet these changing customer needs, enhance affordability, and address emerging risks. We needed to be dynamic and responsive to market demands”.
In heeding to what the market wants, CLIB is now focusing on providing health insurance to all Filipino families which has become top of mind especially after the pandemic. He explains: “Filipinos have been more mindful of their health and health protection. Unfortunately, most health products are either unaffordable to them or have very limited coverage. CLIB aims to bridge the gap by providing comprehensive health insurance for all”.
Moreover, CLIB is developing products that cater to the protection needs of indigenous people and for occupations that have long been excluded by most insurance companies.
But to those who remain wary on availing of insurance, especially the C, D and E markets who opt to hold on to their hard-earned money, Bernabe has this message to share: “The cost of not having insurance is most significant and unquantifiable. How can one quantify the value of losing a home? How can one quantify a family that cannot cope with the loss of their breadwinner? How can one quantify the cost of children having to stop schooling because one of their family members got sick?”.
In hoping to entice the general public to get insurance, Bernabe says CLIB offers innovative, affordable, widely available, simple to understand, and relevant products. Moreover, CLIB is committed to assisting clients in filing their claims with insurers so that valid claims are fulfilled at the soonest time possible.
CLIB is dedicated to realizing a vision of insurance empowerment for all Filipinos. And under the leadership of Jean Henri Lhuillier and Anthony Bernabe, CLIB hopes to make a greater impact in the local insurance industry as it continues its innovative efforts in driving financial inclusion and providing insurance for every Filipino family.
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