We are proud of our A-rating for financial strength and long-term credit, as it shows we are committed to maintaining the excellence in our service. This has solidified us as one of the leading companies in Panama and the insurance business. We are proud to achieve our rating of A- Excellent and the long-term insured credit rating of A-, with a stable outlook for this credit rating. Right now, we have to reinforce our current market share and seek more opportunities through our branches countrywide. We have to reinforce our presence with seminars, recruiting, agents, new brokers, and investment in technology. Nonetheless, we have been investing in web apps and reinforcing our staff with the strategy of strengthening our presence in Panama before we further expand abroad. We already present in other countries, though we are concentrating on solidifying our local position. Our top priority for 2019 is to remain the best insurance company in Panama; now that we have reached this position, our goal is to maintain it. Another one of our goals is to provide the best technology for our salesforce, and this includes apps to replace written contracts and policies. In addition to the environmental benefits of moving away from paper, technology will also increase efficiency.
Margarita P. de Franco
Deputy Vice President, Aseguradora Ancón
Luis Young Virzi
Executive Vice President, WorldWide Medical
The company started in the Dominican Republic 20 years ago and established its headquarters in Panama as the hub for further expansion. Panama was better adapted to host central offices, thanks to its connectivity, local economy, and political stability. This is how we have developed the health market in Panama. We expect to close the year with approximately USD25 million in premiums, nearly 40% of the total premium of the group. We grew 15% in total premiums in 2018, and we expect the same for 2019. Our priority is to provide a boutique/concierge style service to our clients. We have managed to thrive with fewer than 60 people in Panama. We are, therefore, close to our distribution channel and our clients. We have an excellent relationship with brokers, allowing them to have a close relationship with all departments in WorldWide Medical. They can reach the people they need to with a single phone call. That makes a difference to the intermediary and final insurer. In 2018, we were awarded the Excellence Award by CAPECOSE, a great distinction in the insurance industry. In addition to being distinctive from our competition in providing service, we also excel in having innovative products. We are constantly introducing new benefits into our products, so they remain updated in the market.
COO, Nacional de Seguros de Panamá y Centroamérica, S.A.
We are proud to be part of Panama's continued growth; we take pride in our contributions to the construction industry through more than USD850 million in insured secured projects to date, mostly focused on health and education services and public infrastructure. We aim our products based on each region's needs supported by our presence in key Panama provinces and cities like David in Chiriquí, Chitré, and Panama City. For example, in Chiriquí we are focused on transportation to support the produce flows sent to the capital. Chitré is an area in constant development, second only to Panama City, where we provide extensive support to the construction industry. Hence, we currently hold 10% of the bond market share. We are making several technological investments and developments, such as a customer relationship management system that uses AI to find a way to reach consumers in a way that differentiates us. This enables us to truly understand their needs and expectations so we can quickly adapt and deliver quality service to clients. We aim for digital transformation. This is the most important challenge for us given that the Panama insurance market is a traditional market; however, therein lies the opportunity. This must go hand-in-hand with local regulation, though digitalization will provide us with the required agility to fulfill our clients' expectations.
CEO, Grupo Central de Seguros
Our long-term vision is focused on technology and business disruption. We have been making significant investments of time and resources in these fields. Our goal is to disrupt the way insurance is perceived nowadays; generating value throughout the whole insurance experience for our corporate and personal client portfolio through state-of-the-art technological solutions and other tools that add value to our client's operations and lives. With these tools, along with our top-of-the-line customer service, we deliver innovative and real-time solutions for our clients on all issues surrounding their financial needs. Our main strategy has been to deconstruct the customer experience when dealing with anything related to insurance, from analyzing and identifying their insurable risks, creating insurance programs tailor-made for their specific needs and risk appetite, all the way to reporting a loss, the adjustment process and the final indemnity. Only by fully understanding our client's needs are we able to develop tools and solutions that create value and provide a customer service experience that always exceeds their expectations. We closed 2018 with an increase in premiums of 8.4% compared to 2017. In 2019, we expect to close the year with 9-10% growth. It is slightly ambitious considering that the sector is predicted to grow 6%, but I am convinced we will surpass our own expectations.
Jorge Andrés Mejía
CEO, Seguros SURA Panamá
In 2018, we were able to strengthen our organizational structure and capacities by preparing the company and our collaborators for the implementation of high-impact initiatives that will trigger a more rapid transformation of the business and respond to the conditions and trends in the country's environment. We want to be a partner for clients and companies in a different way. A need to better understand the diversity of client needs based upon their unique profiles underpins our resignification as an insurance company. We want to empower people for their wellbeing and companies for their competitiveness and help them achieve this in a sustainable way. This requires us to anticipate their needs and changing markets, observe, create, and implement from different perspectives and far away from traditional ones, to remain a step ahead of developments in supporting our clients' needs and expectations. When we arrived six years ago and incorporated the new company, we grew by four points. Now standing at 6.5, we aim for 10 points of growth; however, we all compete in the same market, and the aim is to develop the market itself. If people lack an insurance culture, it is because we remain irrelevant to them, and reversing this thinking and awareness is where the real difference lies.