Making life insurance more attractive in Latin America

Insurers can play an important role in closing the mortality protection gap on the Continent.

Although many families in Latin America no doubt appreciate the benefits, premium payments on a life insurance policy are seen as a luxury.  This is one of the uphill challenges faced by the life insurance industry in many regions of the world, including Latin America.

In a recently published study on life insurance penetration across major Latin American markets, Swiss Re’s Head of Reinsurance Latin America South, Margo Black, says that it’s up to the insurance industry in the region to help families understand how to fit insurance into their lives and budgets effectively.

The mortality protection gap in Latin America (PDF, 761 KB), looks at the life insurance protection needed and what's actually in place to maintain the living standards of dependents should the breadwinner pass away.

The report says that while the mortality gap exists across all the markets examined, it varies greatly from country to country. It points out, for example, that the ratio between savings and life insurance currently in place as compared to the amount of coverage needed ranges from just 10% in Venezuela to 53% in Chile.

The authors conclude that bridging the gap means that life insurers will have to take a more detailed look at the contrasting markets across the region and design customised products that address people’s financial circumstances more closely.  As the report points out, the challenge will be to produce accurate   “needs analyses  that can turn more shoppers into buyers.“


Published 24 September 2013

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