Latin America: region of opportunity

Despite economic headwinds, insurers are implementing innovative strategies to increase their business in the region.
|   By David Ramírez   |
Although data aggregated by the LatinoInsurance consultancy showed mixed results in premium growth for 2014, key insurance players in the region told Latin Trade that business is booming this year, despite adverse conditions that plague several markets.
“Macroeconomic and political conditions are real issues,” said Jim Dwane, president and CEO of Latin America and the Caribbean at AIG, “but we are focused on opportunities and the region offers tremendous ones, owing to factors such as low insurance penetration rates.”
Dwane said after years of expansion above industry averages, the company still expects double-digit premium growth in 2015. Latin America’s rising middle class has fueled new demand for insurance products, but according to 2014 data aggregated by LatinoInsurance, the region’s average penetration rate (the ratio of premiums underwritten in a particular year to GDP) remains just above 3 percent. That’s just about one-half the global average, signaling plenty of room for growth.
Industry experts also said in spite of the economic slowdown, some business areas are likely to remain dynamic.
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“There are what I call ‘pockets of brilliance’ in different countries,” said Alexander Montoya, president for Latin America at Liberty International Underwriters. Specifically, he pointed to insurance …

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