History of Insurance in The Philippines

Development of Insurance in The Philippines

Pre-Spanish Era - there was no insurance; every loss was borne by the person or the family who suffered the misfortune.

Spanish era – Insurance, in its present concept, was introduced in the Philippines when Lloyd’s of London appointed Strachman, Murray & Co., Inc. as its representative here.

1898 – Life insurance was introduced in this country with the entry of Sun Life Assurance of Canada in the local insurance market.

1906 – First domestic non-life insurance company, the Yek Tong Lin Insurance Company, was organized

1910 – First domestic life insurance company, the Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd., was organized

1939 – Union Insurance Society of Canton appointed Russel & Surgis as its agent in Manila.  The business transacted the Philippines was then limited to non-life insurance.

1936 – Social insurance was established with the enactment of Commonwealth Act no. 186 which created the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) which started operations in 1937.  The Act covers gov’t employees.

1949 – Government agency was formed to handle insurance affairs, where the Insular Treasurer was appointed commissioner ex-officio.

1950 – Reinsurance was introduced by the Reinsurance Company of the Orient when it wrote treaties for both life and non life.

1951 – First workmen’s compensation pool was organized as the Royal Group Incorporated.

1954 – RA 1161 was enacted which provided for the organization of the Social Security System (SSS) covering employees of the private sector.

At present, there are 130 insurance companies registered with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.  Of these, 2 are composite insurance companies (engaged in both life and non-life insurance), 23 are life insurance companies, 101 are non-life insurance companies and 4 are reinsurance companies.

Development of insurance LAWS develop in the Philippines?

During the Spanish Period, the laws on insurance were found in Title VII of Book II and Section III of Title III of Book III of the Spanish Code of Commerce; and in Chapters II and IV of Tile XII of Book IV of the Spanish Civil Code of 1889 (whew!)

During the American Regime, on Dec. 11, 1914, the Phil Legislature enacted the Insurance Act (Act 2427).  This Act which took effect on July 1, 1915 repealed the provisions of the Spanish Code of Commerce on Insurance.

When the Civil Code of the Philippines (RA 386) took effect on August 30, 1950, the provisions of the Spanish Civil Code of 1889 were likewise repealed.  For quite a long time, the Insurance Act was the governing law on insurance in the Philippines.

On Dec. 18, 1974, PD 612 was promulgated, ordaining and instituting the Insurance Code of the Philippines, thereby repealing Act 2427.  PD’s 63, 123 and 317 were issued, amending PD 612.  Finally PD 1460 which took effect on June 11, 1976 consolidated all insurance laws into a single code and this is what we know now as the Insurance Code of 1978.