MANILA, Philippines — With some areas in the country now covered by a less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ), insurers and their agents can continue selling products online just like did they under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) setup, Insurance Commission (IC) said.

Noting that the earlier IC issuances serving as guidelines for “virtual” face-to-face transactions only covered the ECQ, Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said in Legal Opinion No. 2020-4 dated May 5 that “assuming that the ECQ will be lifted and be replaced by GCQ by lawful authorities, it shall be entirely within the discretion of concerned companies to adopt and implement its initiatives under said circular letters in ‘areas [that will be] under GCQ.’”

“However, it must be emphasized that the adoption and implementation of said Initiatives during said extended period and in said areas under GCQ must not be contrary to any law, circular letter/s of [the IC], and/or existing rules and regulations, which includes the GCQ guidelines to be adopted and implemented by lawful authorities,” Funa said.

“Otherwise, said companies will be ordered to recall said Initiatives without prejudice to the imposition of any and all administrative sanctions,” Funa added.

When the COVID-19 ECQ was first implemented in Luzon and other parts of the country starting mid-March, Funa noted that “face-to-face” sale of life insurance had already been “impractical.”

As such, the IC had allowed the sale of life insurance products via remote communication, including teleconferencing, videoconferencing, computer conferencing, and audio conferencing, even without the regulator’s prior approval.

The IC had nonetheless required life insurance companies to register these non-traditional sales initiatives and inform the regulator about their mechanics immediately after launching them.

Once registered with the IC, sales agents may use the aforementioned communications technologies to get potential customers’ minimum information, on top of identification documents needed for customer due diligence.

/MUF

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