The Business Year

The opening up of the sector and emergence of advanced digital platforms and payment systems has attracted insurance companies from left and right, doubling the market size in 10 years.

Roy Medina

General Manager, MAPFRE Costa Rica

The insurance industry had to enter into a process of accelerated diversification. The industry grew around 14% in 2017 and insurance companies are now starting to work with mass insurance, which is low cost, easy to acquire, and easy to distribute to reach all segments of the population. Furthermore, the aim is to strengthen traditional insurance, though that is not necessarily exploited in a positive way such as life and health insurances. According to a report by the MAPFRE Economic Research Center, supported by the MAPFRE Foundation worldwide, Costa Rica’s insurance sector has to triple the space occupied by the National Insurance Institute and the entire private sector— exceeding USD1.5 billion in premiums in 2018—to cover the economic and demand needs of the country. This is calculated based on economic growth and unmet demands. Life and health insurance lines are lagging the most in all branches; the coverage of demand was only 25%. Health and life insurance have the highest demand worldwide. MAPFRE’s life insurance product is associated with assistance that makes the coverage significantly more tangible, providing short-term or immediate benefits without having to think about tragic accidents. We aspire to grow 20% in 2019. This is associated with corporate strengthening and a differentiation in customer service. We will strengthen our operational and technological structure to generate significantly shorter response times for all our services. We aspire to have technological solutions that allow our policyholders to feel more confident with the company.

Kevin Lucas

General Manager, ADISA Internacional de Seguros

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of our operations in Costa Rica. We started out as a personal lines insurance company but, through technology, we took the mass marketing approach and have been growing ever since. In 2013, we decided to enter group medical insurance and balance our micro-level core and new corporate-level medical business. Partnering with Internacional de Seguros in 2017 has allowed us to put jet fuel into the company’s engine. For example, we recently received approval to move into property and casualty insurance. Now, ADISA is a full-service insurance company and its next step is to service the mass-insurance side with property and casualty products, and further enter the corporate insurance market. At present, we have around 450,000 clients. Notably, we are one of the fastest companies paying out and one of the best in terms of expediting policies. The state-owned company has a market share of 74% but adjusting for worker compensation and the obligatory auto insurance—around USD400-500 million in premiums—shows the private sector has a much larger market share. The market more than doubled over the last 10 years; however, the regulatory weight remains extremely high. On the bright side, companies in Costa Rica are now well backed on capital processes, information strategy, and corporate governance. Costa Rica’s payment options are great, and many of the providers have leveraged this to improve services and expand.

Carlos Castillo

General Manager, Carlos Castillo

The market has doubled in size since 2008, reaching nearly USD1.3 billion in insurance premiums. Previously, it was difficult for new insurance companies to start. There weren’t many people who had studied insurance and some foreign companies brought in managers from overseas. On top of that, the National Insurance Institute (INS) was a strong competitor. Many Costa Ricans stayed because it reduced the cost of premiums, sometimes by half. Fortunately, at present, most companies are making profits and doing fairly well. We started with two people in 2010 and now have 50 employees. We have over 22,000 clients and over 1,400 corporations as clients. In 2017, we grew 30% in dollar terms, and in 2018 our goal is 25%. We have a salesforce of 10 brokers and are looking for new clients all the time. We try to improve our customer insurance program in terms of costs and coverage and work hard to serve them well. Risk insurance makes up 30% of our income and the rest is distributed among medical insurance (25%), vehicle insurance (35%), and liability and workers compensation (10%). We offer the best insurance options to our clients and have trained our people to be customer focused. Our focus on technology differentiates us from our competitors. We have client references and a strong track record of service to add to that. We can arrange regional and global insurance programs for our clients with our international network of brokers. In 2019, we plan to retain our client portfolio and grow by 20%.



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