“I am working more as a psychologist than as an insurance advisor”, summarizes Daniel Assale, a member of the Association of Insurance Advisory Producers (Apas) of Córdoba, when asked about the state of the sector in the context of the quarantine by the coronavirus.
For these hours, professionals in this area are receiving multiple calls from individuals or companies requesting to cancel the policy, or some reduction, due to the impossibility of paying it due to the stoppage of their activities.
“When it comes to insurance, everyone thinks of cars, but today everything is insured. A clothing store, for example, has the merchandise insured and the factory that produces it, too. The same goes for restaurants. Neither can operate ”, graphs Assale.
From his point of view, a strong depression in the insurance market is inevitable and what is happening now is just the beginning of a crisis. “The market is like the Argentine economy: black. In April the muffins and storms began. May is going to be the worst ”, regrets Assale.
Similarly, the president of the entity, Daniel Layús, assures that the business “is virtually in stand by”And acknowledges that it is already suffering a decrease in policies or a decrease in coverage.
“There are inquiries asking for advice on how to adjust coverage according to risk. A carrier, for example, if he does not work he cannot pay the insurance, “he maintains.
Elisa Muñoz, advisor to organizations that bring together insurance producers, also acknowledges that “a lot of people ask for the service to be terminated.” That’s where advisors’ ability to curb clients and make them understand that running out of coverage can be a bigger problem, because there are risks that don’t go away.
“In a house, for example, it can lower the risk of a robbery but increase the risk of an electrical or structural problem with people permanently living there,” he exemplifies.
At the level of large companies, the picture is similar. Juan Pagliano, manager of the Sancor Seguros business unit in Córdoba, admits that there are cancellations, but affirms that they are not much higher than those that usually occur. However, he warns that the commercialization of new policies that compensate for this situation is resented.
“In general, there is a drop above normal, although not very marked”, agrees Gastón Fornaseri, regional coordinator of Río Uruguay Seguros.
One strategy that some companies are beginning to apply are reductions in the rates of the policies or in the scope of coverage in order to reduce costs to customers.
Pagliano and Fornaseri point out, for example, that they are not offering global solutions but providing tools so that producers can attend to each client according to their need.
According to Layús, the margin of maneuver that the companies have is not very high because, due to the fall in bonds in recent months, the financial business on which the insurers are based lost a lot of value. In the meantime, they also have to face the payment of damage in recent accidents.
Coronavirus: Occupational disease
A resolution published yesterday by the national government declares the Covid-19 virus a “professional” disease, which means that occupational risk insurers (ART) will be obliged to cover the cost of treating people who have been infected while performing functions. work.
From the insurance market, they have not yet evaluated the impact, but they anticipate that this measure may bring more costs to the system.
The original text of this article was published on 04/15/2020 in our printed edition.