Jun 07 2022
Understanding the challenges and fears of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
By Antonette Reyes
In 2020, 1.77 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) were looking for better career opportunities to support their families and achieve financial stability. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the Philippines has expressed its worries about the uninsured OFWs, as only 32% of them had insurance coverage.
As a financial advisor, Kier Gumanit approaches OFWs intending to understand their challenges and perspectives on financial products. “Walking into the client meetings, especially with OFWs, I always put myself in their shoes. I need to comprehend their fears and priorities,” Gumanit said.
He learned that some OFWs are afraid of investments as they had been scammed in the past, while others have limited knowledge about insurance. Despite working away from their loved ones for many years, they still don’t have any savings for themselves and their families, as they still don’t know when and how to start their financial journey. “I need to prove that I am not just a trustworthy financial advisor but someone who would help them overcome these challenges and improve their lives over the long run.”
Gumanit takes the extra step to educate them first about insurance and himself by sharing his credentials, track record, market updates, and insights. “I regularly message them and check up on them from time to time if they have questions about their policies or even their finances such as budgeting and saving.”
In addition, he shows that insurance has living benefits, not just death benefits. “I make sure they understand that there are hospitalization benefits, rewards, bonuses, cash backs, and riders, which they can enjoy while they’re alive.”
Gumanit gets to know his OFW prospects better by helping them with the small things. “I pick them up from the airport when they are back home or drive them around. No discussions about insurance or investments since we’d already been corresponding. We just talk about life. When they’re ready, they’ll let me know.”
After getting the approval of their insurance applications, he feels fulfilled to see the peace of mind on his clients’ faces. They know the fruits of their labor will outlast them and benefit their loved ones. “I have a client who’d like to buy two products, an insurance product for herself and an educational plan for her child. However, due to a limited budget, she could only afford one. I advised her that she needs to protect herself to better look after her child and how she could save for the next plan and an emergency fund. After six months, we were able to process the educational plan of her kid.
As financial advisors, we can provide them with excellent and compassionate service to help them make well-informed decisions about insurance and investments that can be life-changing for themselves and their families,” Gumanit said.