Task force set up to go after delinquent insurers

Published by rudy Date posted on October 19, 2009

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice has created a task force of 41 prosecutors that would look into complaints of typhoon victims whose insurance claims on damaged homes and motor vehicles are being held off by their respective insurers.

Citing figures from the Insurance Commission, Acting Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said the value of insurance claims over damaged property as a result of Typhoon Ondoy has ballooned to P11 billion while claims for damaged motor vehicles total P1 billion.

“That’s just for (damages caused by) Ondoy,” Devanadera said of the billions of pesos in insurance claims.

Devanadera said the task force was the DOJ’s response to President Macapagal-Arroyo’s instruction to make sure that the claimants are responded to.

“We will look for unreasonable delay in the release of property and vehicular insurance claims for those affected by the recent typhoons,” Devanadera said in a news conference.

The prosecutors, Devanadera said, will conduct preliminary investigation proceedings on the complaints of delayed insurance payments as a result of the damages wrought by the cyclones Ondoy and Pepeng.

Devanadera indicated that the country’s insurance industry could handle the huge claims.

“According to (Insurance) Commissioner (Eduardo) Malinis, the firms have ample protection. Funds are well in place,” Devanadera said.

Devanadera clarified that claimants faced with unreasonably delayed benefits should first go to the Insurance Commission.

The DOJ prosecutors would then accept their complaints based on violations of the country’s Insurance Code. –Norman Bordadora, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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