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‘Key’ market for PALIG

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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The newewst entrant to Barbados’ insurance market is satisfied that it made the right decision to come to these shores just over a year ago.
According to Pan-American Life Insurance Group’s (PALIG) chief executive officer and managing director for the Caribbean Miguel Sierra, the company has been “growing very well” since it took over the operations of MetLife ALICO in Barbados and the Caribbean last November.
“We always thought – and I think this first year has proven – that we were right, that this is a fantastic market even in light of the economic circumstances  . . . ,” he said.
Sierra was speaking at the company’s Cheapside, The City office last week during a media briefing to review the last year.
He said Barbados was seen as a key market among the 13 countries in which Metlife operations were acquired.
“One of the critical markets and one that we really put a lot of faith in was Barbados and we still believe that this is a market that will allow us to be a very solid player for the Caribbean,” he said.
The CEO said PALIG had brought some new insurance products to the market and more would be introduced next year.
Meanwhile, country manager Keith King said heavy emphasis was being placed on customer service.
“When you look at it, most companies in the market provide the same products [so] we have to be able to distinguish ourselves from all the others – and what is that distinguishing factor? It has to be the quality of service we provide so we are focusing [on that] in a big way,” he said.
King said the company was doing all it could to manage delinquency. 
“We work with our clients and policyholders to make sure that we do everything possible so you do not walk away from your policy. As a result of that, we’ve been able to retain quite a bit of our business. People will always lapse a policy for whatever reason but we try to make sure we mitigate the possibility of that happening,” he said. (NB)