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Guardian reports stability, launches new policy

Maria Bradshaw

Guardian reports stability, launches new policy

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Despite the turbulent economic times and the fall-out from the Clico Insurance saga, Guardian Life Insurance has still managed to retain 90 per cent of its clientele.
While aiming to be the top insurance provider in Barbados, branch manager, Amado Marcano, who pointed out that the company’s overall market share in Barbados was around 40 per cent, said Guardian Life was on its way there by offering products tailored to the specific needs of the local market.
He made these remarks last Thursday at their Collymore Rock, St Michael offices during the launch of the company’s latest product the Individual Personal Investor (IPI), an unregistered annuity which generates funds at retirement or at an earlier duration.
Marcano said he expected this new policy to have a positive take-off in Barbados as he stressed the necessity to save for retirement.
“There is a lot of flexibility inside the plan”, he told members of the media pointing out that persons wanting to cash-out would get their monies in a lump sum.
He said Guardian Life had been able to maintain its relevancy in the market because “we do not sell products. We do an analysis of people’s financial needs.
“People buy our insurance because they have a particular need to satisfy and we have the product to satisfy their need”.
To reinforce the continued confidence in Guardian Life, Marcano said the company had been recognised as the number one insurer in the Caribbean by the World Finance Magazine over the last four years.
He added that even with all the talk these days about devaluation of the Barbados dollar, the World Bank had invested $15 million in the Guardian Group.
He also expressed confidence that Barbados’ economy will bounce back and said that his company intended to provide products that would support the economy.
With the education plan and the retirement plan launched this year, Marcano said that the Guardian Group would continue to provide more plans, pointing out that the company had embarked on a team-building exercise focussed heavily on training which would assist them to further infiltrate the market.
Meanwhile the company’s vice president sales and marketing, Michael Austin, said 75 per cent of their sales on any given year was from new clients.
Asked if the company was forced to do any layoffs he said they had actually been hiring particularly in the sales area.
“We have not been sending people home,” he said, adding that where there were areas in the organisation where they had to downsize staff, they found other areas to put those persons who became displaced.