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Juan Carlos Martinelli

PANAMA - Finance

Juan Carlos Martinelli

General Manager, Sagicor, Panama


Juan Carlos Martinelli studied engineering and business administration at Tulane University and has years of experience in the insurance sector, having previously worked in Aseguradora Mundial, Internacional de Seguros, Mutua Católica, and Worldwide Medical Assurance. Since 2014, he has been the General Manager of Sagicor Panama. From 2015-2016, he was president of the Kiwanis Club of Panama.

“Sagicor prioritizes four main pillars: education, health, community, and sports.”
The local market has seen a slow and steady growth in personal insurance, and Sagicor is keen to help customers gain better understanding of the importance of being secure through insurance.
Has demand for your services accelerated in recent months?

The Panamanian market experienced an impact from the pandemic with more than USD90 million in life claims. Life insurance has been the most negatively impacted by deaths caused by the pandemic. As a market, we experienced twice as many claims in life than health. One third of all claims paid in the Panamanian market has been health-related and two thirds life from the initiation of the pandemic up until last month. Insurance companies have shown that even though their insurance contracts do not cover pandemics, local insurance companies made the effort to serve the Panamanian market and keep paying out on claims even though we did not have the contractual support of reinsurers back then. Initially, it was a demonstration of the sensibility and responsibility that the Panamanian insurance companies feel they have with their clients to cover their losses in health and life. The market here is concentrating on offering products related to life and health, and more people are buying. People know they need it now. Many people didn’t have life or health insurance before other than the one that the banks require to qualify for a loan. The pandemic has definitely changed the need for insurance, now making it a priority. Many insurance companies have taken decisions to either stop selling certain products or develop new ones. Regarding our portfolio, we have corporate insurance for life, health, accidental death, and dismemberment. We also have private and public schools, group personal accident with medical benefits, individual life, and health products. We work with both local and international companies offering other services such as travel insurance.

What impact does Sagicor’s corporate social responsibility have in Panama?

Sagicor prioritizes four main pillars: education, health, community, and sports. We have provided economic support to help the national nutrition patronage and offer our personal services by visiting different farming communities and help them with the farming labor, working with them. Sagicor has sponsored its third year of blood donation with the Dona Vida Foundation that has saved 45 lives. We also sponsored the Dragon Ball to support breast cancer patients. Sagicor sponsors several different sports and health practices including a kid’s soccer team in El Chorrillo and the Kiwanis Run for the past five years. We motivate our staff and families to participate in this event. We want to encourage people to move their body and promote health and the Sagicor brand.

How is Sagicor contributing to educating society in the insurance market?

Sagicor has been participating in a joint venture with other entities that provide training and help schools to improve their classrooms and common areas. We always do things with the Panama Kiwanis Club because they help by managing the logistics. We participate and contribute the economic support. We went to different schools before the pandemic and provided supplies. We donated plants to schools to make them more attractive for the kids to attend and be in a beautiful environment. We explained to people the importance of having life, health, and accident insurance policies. We also have an internal school for the training of our staff. We have different positions in rotation and make sure that everybody here learns the different types of insurance that are offered in the market. We start by training our people with our products first, then provide the training for the wider insurance universe. Our main focus is personal insurance, which is life, health and personal accidents. The second aspect of training is property and casualty. We aim to promote the knowledge and importance of being secure through insurance and the types of coverages that protect people and things. Many people do not know what they require. Basically, people never wake up and say they need USD75,000 in life insurance. Things happen, and if one is not prepared, then they cannot help themselves.



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