Region

According to a recent Accenture study, cross-border expansion into emerging markets is a major short-term priority for insurance companies based in both developed and developing nations. According to Accenture’s survey of 100 insurance company representatives, 80% of companies based in developed nations and 90% of companies based in developing nation indicated that foreign expansion into emerging markets was a company priority. Indeed, 62% of respondents indicated that their companies intend to expand into foreign markets in the coming 12 months despite the global economic downturn.

Costa Rica/Panama

Aseguradora Mundial, the Panamanian insurance company that recently became the first foreign company to receive preliminary authorization to do business in Costa Rica (see here), recently indicated that it intends to concentrate its business in the country in general securities (including fire, theft, heavy machinery, marine transport), with an emphasis on automobile coverage. Notwithstanding, the company reportedly further indicated that it intends to seek authorization in the future to also do business in the areas of life, health, microinsurance and bancassurance. As to automobile coverage, the company spokesman reportedly stated that Mundial expects to offer lower prices than those currently offered by the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, the former market monopoly holder. Mundial also indicated that it intends to have 10-15 offices in Costa Rica within its first two years in the market.

Chile/Peru

Chilean credit insurer Continental recently received authorization from the Peruvian insurance regulators for its 99.9% owned subsidiary, Insur Compania de Seguros, to begin operating in Peru in the property and casualty area. Given the starkly different current economic forecasts for Chile and Peru, the move offers Continental greater stability through market diversification.

Guatemala

Total premiums for 12-month policies in Guatemala increased 10.7% when comparing March 2009 to March 2008, from US$ 407.4 million to $US 450.9 million.

Venezuela

Total premiums for the Venezuelan insurance market rose 38.6% when comparing May 2009 to May 2008, from US$ 3.8 billion to $US 5.3 billion.