BMI Seguros is a relatively new company in Colombia, having arrived in 2017. How do you assess the insurance sector at the moment?
As most would expect, the pandemic has impacted the sector, as it has most other industries. In the first and second quarters, we had mild growth, while the rest of the year was fairly consistent. This consistency in our industry is due to clients knowing the importance of having health and life insurance policies in force, as well as their long-term savings and overall financial plans. Therefore, due to the pandemic, we were much more top of mind as an industry, which translates into more visibility to consumers. With regard to continued overall growth in life and health, we feel that to successfully achieve it, you must always continue to innovate and constantly look for better ways of ensuring continuity, which directly aids in the future of all of our employees and clients alike.
What have been the main lessons from 2020?
The main lessons have been initiating the conversation, to be ready and able to adapt, to remain resilient, and the value of responsiveness to an organization, all of which will be incorporated into our 2021 leadership and management strategies. These lessons are necessary to ensure the continued growth of our company, along with keeping a consistent dialogue with our clients.
Many companies globally had to reorganize their internal management in order to flexible and operational. How did BMI approach this, and in what ways has your internal management been reorganized?
We currently still have all our staff working from home, each equipped with their tech needs to assure they can conduct their business as efficiently as always, in order to continue to provide the best service to all of our clients, advisors, and suppliers. Working from home has proved to be a great solution to the problem. It helps assure we maintain our top notch quality service, while still protecting the health and safety of our employees. We have also put a lot of focus on technology in 2020, with virtual communication being our main source of communication; we have had this constant virtual contact with our coworkers, but also with more than 600 advisors to assure proper training and support to their teams. We also installed a “work flow" tool that aids in the efficiency of the company, at an operational level. This helps us review our processes and promote the most efficient solution to a problem in any given process, aiding us to achieve our promise of high quality customer service.
As with all businesses and sectors across the globe, this year has accelerated the digital switch. In what ways are you now providing your services and access to your resources online?
We were able to digitalize the care processes for our health and life insurance patients through the implementation of various technologies. We also digitalized our communication with our sales force, while still maintaining remote advisory and training processes. We have also been able to move to virtual medical evaluations, which helps eliminate unnecessary outings for our clients. This new service is also available for our health policyholders and their families with access to home or telemedicine services. A key challenge for the insurance sector is to increase penetration and persuade people of the value of having insurance. This year showed that more than ever before, it is necessary to be protected.
What are your plans for expanding across Colombia?
Currently, we have more than 600 external business advisors distributed across 15 cities within the country, and our expansion plan focuses on continuing to strengthen our business force through the process of training and linking advisors.
What are your strategies for increasing access and penetration to insurance?
We want to help protect more individuals and their families in Colombia, by continuing to grow and penetrate the market with our insurance solutions and innovative products. Colombia is a market with robust growth opportunities within the health and life insurance sector, which is why BMI has implemented a communication and brand awareness strategy that allows permanently promoted digital advice through its commercial advisors seeking to continue with the active purchase of insurance.
There seems to be the development of insurtech in order to provide insurance for a growing digital world. What is your take on these new trends in your sector?
We are in a digital boom that implies that insurance companies must be at the forefront of digital, so we have initiated and accelerated digitization processes due to the pandemic, in which all companies and the country in general, have had to adapt to a digital age within the new normal. In the case of insurtech, these can be a technological ally when it comes to taking the business to the next level, as they allow the possibility of using analytical tools that allow customers to better understand and achieve the development of products and marketing strategies adapted to the needs of customers which will allow the application of coverage.