René Mieres
Commercial Director
La Latino Seguros
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View from the Top

Covering Mexican Requirements

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:02

Q: How is La Latino Seguros positioned in the health insurance sector?

A: La Latino Seguros has been in the market for 111 years. It started as an insurance company providing life products but as the business evolved, we began playing in the medical expenses segment. We have the most long-lived name among insurance companies in Mexico. We have insured the Mexican population in times of crisis such as the Revolution, and the earthquakes of 1957 and 1985. La Latino Seguros is among the top paying companies in terms of meeting claims during disasters, particularly for the health sector. Our participation in the Mexican health sector is limited to certain segments but it is a very important part of our portfolio.

Q: Which indemnification products tend to be more popular for the health sector?

A: We are focused on offering indemnificatory products that complement our medical expenses coverage. We are reviewing the more common diseases that take a toll on the population and analyzing how the scheme could work.The company is also analyzing the possibility of reaching agreements with public national institutions such as the National Institution for Cardiology or the Pediatric National Institution. This would allow us to sell affordable medical insurance with reasonable coverage conditions that might provide access to A or A+ hospitals but that guarantee access to other excellent hospitals.

Q: What is behind the increased premiums for medical expenses?

A: In recent years, insurance companies have recognized that COFEPRIS does not regulate the prices hospitals can charge for medications. For instance, pharmacies are regulated by COFEPRIS and are given a maximum price at which they can sell a medicinal product, but that same medication in a hospital does not have a maximum price cap. Another problem is related to age; the older you get, the more insurance costs go up. In this regard, life insurance could play an important role. If you consistently invested in your life insurance then you should be able to draw from that insurance in old age to pay for medical expenses.

Q: How is technology changing and impacting La Latino Seguros’ operations?

A: Technology is transforming our operations. We are working on an app that will allow our clients to easily access information and contact us. It will help clients control their spending, as it will tell them which hospitals are included in their policy. The app also allows for greater communication with the company, without intermediaries, because we recognize that call centers are managed by third parties and obtaining some information can be difficult. We expect to have the app ready and available by December 2017.

Q: What are La Latino Seguros’ priorities for the coming years?

A: We have enjoyed significant growth in the past three years, a period in which we almost tripled our operations. In 2014, we started the year managing premiums worth MX$430 million (US$23.8 million) and we are expecting to finish 2017 with MX$1.3 billion (US$72 million) in premiums.

When it comes to the products we offer, we have not closed our life products division, even though it requires a significant capital injection. We manage traditional and integral products in the life segment. The integral products are investment products that can be made for a determined number of years. We believe that we offer an important differentiated product for the market. Although we have been in the country for over 100 years, we are working to create more awareness of our brand and to find new ways to reach more clients. That is our focus. We are not expanding into new business areas; our challenge is to continue growing steadily in the segments we know so well and to continue offering top-quality service so that in five years we can go from being a small company to a medium-size company.