Region

A spokesman for Spanish banking group Santander reportedly stated recently that the company is considering selling its insurance units in Argentina, Chile and Mexico, though he reportedly also referred to the situation as “vague and imprecise.” Each of the three Latin American units reportedly under discussion focuses on the sale of property and casualty and life insurance to Santander’s local banking customers.

Argentina

Argentina’s insurance regulator, la Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nacion recently reported that total premiums for the twelve months ending June 2009 were 6.2% higher than the previous 12 month period. In absolute terms, total premiums for the twelve months ending June 2009 were US$ 7.53 billion. June numbers also reflected 6% growth when compared to the prior June and 4.4% growth over May 2009. The advances were led by the automobile insurance sector, which grew 16.4% year over year.

Ecuador

According to a report by the local regulator, the Ecuadorian general insurance market has grown 16.08% when comparing June 2009 to June 2008.

Mexico

Mexico’s insurance regulator, la Comision Nacional de Seguros y Fianzas, recently reported that the total premiums for the market increased 8.8% when comparing the first two quarters of 2009 to the first two quarters of 2008. Liability insurance premiums reportedly grew by 17.8% and life insurance premiums reportedly grew by 3.5%.

Puerto Rico

Ramon L. Cruz, Puerto Rico’s insurance commissioner, recently ordered the cessation of any insurance activities by health insurer Preferred Health. The closure order was issued after Preferred’s 2008 annual filings with the commissioner’s office indicated that Preferred was effectively insolvent and the company was unable to find new investors or otherwise obtain a capital infusion. Preferred’s demise leaves 87,000 former insureds without health coverage and 156 former employees without jobs.