Juan Casanueva
Chairman and CEO
INTERprotección
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View from the Top

Insuring Mexico's Most Valuable Assets

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 16:08

Q: How is INTERprotección convincing the Mexican market of the importance of insurance?

A: Insurance in Mexico has never been the most popular sector. INTERprotección has worked long and hard to change this perception by doing things differently. We focus on technology, innovation and service. We have focused on removing the fine print from our clients’ coverage, which means that our customers can use their coverage whenever they need it.

Q: What is the main added value INTERprotección offers its clients?

A: What we sell is service. Offering lower prices is easier and several companies can do that, but offering a good service and paying on time when disaster strikes is not something that everyone does. That is our added value. We are always looking for products and services from other countries that are more advanced than we are, and we try to bring those here and adapt them to the Mexican reality.

We are Mexico’s largest broker and we compete internationally. Most of the brokers in the country are subsidiaries, hence their decision-making process is slower. Our flexibility and quick decision-making is a very important added value, combined with service and innovation.

Q: How can innovation and technology play into a sector that appears static?

A: The insurance industry has not undergone the modernization process that other industries have experienced, so three years ago we decided that we wanted to change this. We started attending different courses, especially at Singularity University in San Francisco, where we amassed several ideas that were implemented later in Mexico. In addition, we created an innovation lab where we test new ideas for different types of insurance, such as cyber-risk protection. INTERprotección is also analyzing the possibility of insuring against identity theft. We have done tests with various types of insurance that are not as complicated, such as pet insurance, mainly for cats and dogs, which is a growing market in Mexico. We also have a life insurance product that costs only MX$1 per week. This particular product has been very well-received and we already have more than 10 million people insured with this product.

We believe that those who say Mexico lacks an insurance culture are wrong. Proof of this is the fact that we are selling insurance to the base of the social pyramid. For this segment, we have also launched a medical-expenses policy and a catastrophic-risk product, which covers natural hazards such as hurricanes and floods.

Q: How do natural phenomena like hurricanes affect insurance companies?

A: The losses generated by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida have affected the entire insurance market. All insurance and reinsurance companies are linked on a global level; for this reason, whenever there are significant losses due to catastrophe, premiums rise and affect the entire market. The losses generated in the US by these hurricanes will definitely have an impact in the insurance costs we see across the entire world, Mexico included. Damages in the Caribbean negatively impact the areas of Cancun and Riviera Maya, with hotel and boat premiums increasing. That is why it is important to have insurance before a catastrophic event happens.

Q: What challenges does the current political and economic situation entail for the insurance sector?

A: The US political administration represents a political challenge and the renegotiation of NAFTA will also result in significant changes, particularly for export insurance.

Whenever a client enters a new market, we perform an analysis regarding the way our client operates and its needs. We then offer the appropriate insurance. We have the capacity to attend our clients in Mexico and in over 100 countries.