Raúl Kuri
Director of the Agent Channel
Seguros GNP
View from the Top

Prevention a Cornerstone for Oldest Insurer in Mexico

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:40

Q: What are the main challenges you face when operating in Mexico’s healthcare system?

A: The Mexican insurance sector is still developing and searching for strategies to widen its reach among the local population. Our strategy is to raise awareness among individuals and companies about the importance of insurance in the formation, care and optimization of their legacy.

Today, approximately 80 percent of private healthcare expenditure is paid out of pocket because only 7 percent of the population has medical insurance. Of those who have health insurance, 60 percent obtain it through a company policy and the remaining 40 percent have an individual policy. This situation reflects the importance of increasing awareness about the need for health insurance among Mexicans that will allow individuals to generate a culture of healthcare prevention. Furthermore, a larger number of insured allows insurance companies to generate specific products according to the needs of the population.

GNP issues one out of every three insurance policies for medical expenses in Mexico. We have been the number one company in this type of insurance for the past 70 years.

Promoting a culture of insurance is of the utmost importance and this principle leads all our actions as an insurance provider. We consider the use of insurance a responsibility that benefits individuals, their families and their surroundings. Through the program GNP Looks After Your Health, we have provided education and counseling regarding the acquisition of major health expenses insurance.

Q: What role does healthcare play in GNP Seguros’ overall operations? A: For GNP Seguros, healthcare is vital, both for our internal and external activities. We have several specialized programs designed to increase the impact of prevention and timely treatment. These programs permit individuals and companies to create a virtuous cycle to generate positive change and allow people to contribute to the strengthening of a healthy and prosperous society. Without a doubt, the healthcare sector plays an important role in our society and is one of the main foci in the development plan of any country.

In Mexico, we face a challenge in providing first-class medical attention to all Mexicans to generate a positive, long-term change. The hurdles are many. The first is to generate a culture of prevention and opportune attention to chronic degenerative diseases among all members of society. The second is timely care and close monitoring of the treatment of these patients. Finally, we must strengthen research for new medical treatments.

The insurance sector plays an important role in strengthening the healthcare industry because it grants access to healthcare under any circumstances to a greater number of people.

Q: What role does GNP Seguros play in the transition toward a culture of prevention?

A: GNP Seguros is constantly on the lookout for services that promote the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases and their timely care, with the goal of improving people’s health and their quality of life. Among the programs we have developed to promote prevention is GNP Looks After Your Health, which aims to diagnose and reduce risks for the most common chronic degenerative diseases in the country. This p rogram promotes three essential habits, which are a balanced diet, regular physical activity and stopping smoking. These three habits, along with regular medical visits, are fundamental to reducing health risks.

To date, 17 companies have entered the program with an average participation of 70 percent of their employees for a total of 16,500 participants. Out of a sample of 2,200 individuals, we measured a 32 percent reduction in the risk of suffering a chronic degenerative disease. This program is different from others because besides prevention, it aligns with timely detection of the risk factors of these diseases. Close monitoring of every single one of our insured clients permits the program to provide specific recommendations to contribute to the improvement of people’s health.

Q: Some specialists see critical diseases as the insurance sector’s Achille’s heel. What is GNP Seguros’ view on this matter?

A: The relevance of chronic degenerative diseases has motivated us at GNP Seguros to develop programs focused on improving people’s health through timely detection and care.

In the cases of insured clients who already have one of these chronic diseases, GNP Seguros provides them with top-flight treatment and follow-up to improve their quality of life. The company also gives them many tools to manage these conditions, including our Integral Accompaniment Program that provides personalized support for the insured. This program began for patients of breast and colon cancer but has expanded to now also encompass those with a chronic degenerative condition, all types of cancer and neurological and cardiovascular diseases.

Q: What strategy will Seguros GNP implement to contribute to Mexican medical care over the next few years?

A: Our role as an insurer is to continue developing initiatives that make excellent healthcare services available to all socioeconomic levels. The goal is to enable all individuals to receive timely care in the face of a sudden and serious medical emergency. Another goal is to help them adhere to an appropriate follow-up regime to improve their quality of life.

We also want to strengthen GNP Looks After Your Health by adding more companies and individuals to this virtuous cycle. The adoption of healthy habits and periodic medical visits will promote risk reduction of chronic degenerative diseases among the general population.

Q: GNP has said that it expects cyberattacks, such as the Wannacry virus, to increase the sale of insurance policies. Is this happening?

A: The digital era we live in poses significant risks such as cyberattacks, which rose by 50 percent in 2016. These attacks increasingly target organizations and institutions instead of individuals. We estimate that over 556 million people are hit by these attacks worldwide every year, causing economic loses over US$110 billion. In Mexico, the damages caused by these crimes are estimated to be over US$2 billion.

Without a doubt, the healthcare sector is among the most vulnerable to these attacks due to the sensitive information it handles. For that reason, it is important to acknowledge that even after all security measures are undertaken it might not be possible to prevent all attacks. The sector has to implement broad-reaching security measures and protection policies that allow all institutions to safeguard their valuable information. Among these, the acquisition of cybernetic damage insurance must be considered to prevent and reimburse economic and brand damage brought about by these crimes.

Q: What measures is GNP Seguros implementing to protect organizations?

A: GNP Seguros is aware of the risks that cybernetic crimes pose to companies in every sector. For that reason, the company allied with Beazley, a global leader in cybernetic attack protection, to develop CyberSafe GNP, a comprehensive insurance to protect organizations. Among the main benefits of this insurance product is damage restitution, which can reduce economic losses for the insured by up to 80 percent. This solution integrates services such as a call center, expert reports, legal representation, public relations and crisis management to develop and implement an action plan to manage the results of the attack.

GNP Seguros is a fully Mexican company with over 115 years of experience in the insurance sector, working across segments. Our commitment to the country is not only aimed at the financial field. We are also committed to promoting responsible actions to raise social awareness and to benefit Mexican health, which we believe is one of the main pillars of a thriving society. For that reason, we develop programs that help improve the health of Mexican families and that promote prevention and timely detection, all of which are cornerstones for improved health.