INSURANCE

Panama 2018 | FINANCE | B2B

Firms are learning to cover much-desired service gaps in the market, from international plans to a bevy of bespoke options.

Ricardo A. Arango P.
RICARDO A. ARANGO P.
General Manager
BUPA
Roberto Araúz
ROBERTO ARAÚZ
Partner
Somos Seguros

How has the company evolved since its launch?

RICARDO A. ARANGO P. After opening our offices in Panama in 2014, we launched our full portfolio of international health plans in September of 2015, offering five international and one corporate international health plan. We are proud to say that we currently work with the entire suite of international health plans that BUPA Global has to offer, which are the same that we have launched in other markets. Part of our strategy is to become the most admired health insurance company in the country by offering prime-quality international private medical insurance (IPMI) to those seeking the best coverage, locally and internationally. Our products have been designed with our customers in mind, and we have included benefits in our global products such as preventive care, an innovation for our market. We also offer benefits ranging from in-patient care to organ transplants and, in some plans, from mental health care to nutritional counsel, among many others.

ROBERTO ARAUZ We have been in the business for over 30 years and have operated as an insurance firm as well as an insurance broker. There is a gap in service in terms of opportunities in the market. Our mission is to provide a boutique service by putting the customer at the center and gathering all the services around them. This strategy is not common in the market, and we are dedicated to providing the best services possible. We want to do the legwork for the customer, so consumers can focus their time and energy on more personally productive activities. In the last year, we were among the top-15 companies in the market as a result of the ease with which we could legally transfer our portfolio from one company to another. This helped us get great leverage, and we have been able to grow significantly more than planned. We listen to the client and use this information to create a policy that addresses all the various risks they face. We listen, create, and then ask. This is the major difference between the market and us. By creating bespoke insurance products for our clients, we are able to create truly appropriate products for each and every customer. Another difference between our peers and us is that we do not cover risk with policies alone. Rather, we utilize legal structures and unique types of coverage to mitigate and transfer risk.

Where else do you hope to expand in the region?

RAAP In 2018, we partnered with Seguros Bolivar in Colombia, a strategic and important alliance for BUPA Global because of the company's legacy and excellent reputation in Colombia. We are constantly looking for opportunities to grow and open new markets. Our strategy consists of opening operations in select markets in Latin America that will allow us to be closer to our customers as we continue to advance our services and grow. BUPA Global Latin America has no shareholders, which is one of the factors that makes us unique. We are able to reinvest our income, and, therefore, constantly improve and continue to grow our operations on a global scale.

RA Since we have regional clients, we have had to create an international network to best serve them. We created this network, which illustrated to our various partners that we had a great deal of potential to further their own business interests. Some of our partners are now asking for help in terms of managing their businesses in other areas, because they recognize that we have expertise in many international areas. For example, our trade credit insurance has become a well-known product because there is only a small cadre of companies that offer this service. It requires a large amount of analytics and underwriters, which our clients appreciate.