TBY SPECIAL REPORT: Colombia Insurance

Despite the market and operational challenges brought by the pandemic, optimism and excitement were the two recurring feelings expressed by Colombian insurance sector leaders during The Business Years' time gathering perspectives on the field.

If there ever was a time the insurance business in Colombia has undergone a sudden leap forward, that time was the immediate post-pandemic period. The inability of providing in-person client attention services and the inability of conducting in-person business procurement, has triggered a realm of new, never before seen, solutions that lean on creativity and digitalization. The result is that the Colombian insurance industry today has never been so well prepared for the upcoming challenges of expanding coverage and keeping up with international best practices.

The Colombian insurance market is characterized by a competitive supply of policies and products. However, only 3% of Colombians hire private insurance for non-government mandated coverages. Accessing this untapped potential is the focus of insurers and government entities alike. If other countries in the region are indicative of what the Colombian insurance market could look like, there is reason to be bullish on growth.

Two measures that would contribute to an immediate sector boost would be streamlining regulatory requirements and reducing red tape. Policy underwriting in Colombia is mired by outdated processes such as the burdensome SARLAFT, the Colombian customer knowledge form for the insurance sector. These are remnants of Colombia's desperate struggle with money laundering. However, today's technology can alleviate barriers to business while maintaining business integrity. SARLAFT 4.0, which becomes fully effective in September 2021, is a welcomed update that demonstrates government support to industry development. It is also indicative of the country's embracement of technology and digital processes.

The 4th industrial revolution is democratizing opportunities and accelerating improvements in living standards. Trends such as clickable policies, insuretech and artificial intelligence underwriting show that the sector does not want to miss the train. The Colombian insurance industry's commitment to digital processes is encouraging to those who envision a Colombian financial system made sturdy by widespread risk management.

This 58-page special report, featuring interviews, articles, and analysis, seeks to paint an in-depth portrait of Colombia's insurance sector at a critical point in its development.