Business

BCIC expands to Barbados

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 14, 2017

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Insurance company BCIC is banking on the success of its motor vehicle insurance business model in Jamaica to build a customer base in its first location outside of the country.

On Monday BCIC opened the doors of its Barbados operation, the first location for its planned expansion throughout the Caribbean.

BCIC Managing Director Peter Levy also hopes that the company's quick response to claim — which, according to the company, is faster than industry time — will be the primary differentiator for BCIC Barbados in going up against the likes of Guardian General Insurance, CGM Gallagher, and Sagicor General Insurance.

He reckons that BCIC's improved efficiencies through its online portal, enhanced product benefits, packages and discounts, as well as insurance premium financing, will assist in solidifying its market share in the Caribbean island.

“We are focused on replicating our Jamaican success over the last five decades in Barbados. We're bringing our way of thinking about insurance and insurance products to the table and, most importantly, we are taking our 'customer comes first' attitude as well,” Levy said in a release from the company.

“Our innovative products and great customer service have served us well in Jamaica, and the people of Barbados will now have a chance to think, unthink and rethink everything they think they know about insurance,” Levy reasoned.

The company, which is owned jointly by the ICD Group (68.5 per cent) and the Victoria Mutual Building Society (31.5 per cent), will offer general, home, and motor vehicle insurance in Barbados. The company however generates most of its revenue from motor vehicle insurance.

BCIC's launch in Barbados fulfils a long-time desire of the ICD group and its chairman, Joseph M Matalon, to expand BCIC into the Caribbean region. The branch is being managed by a number of Jamaicans, including general managers for claims and legal and insurance solutions Dorothy Russell-Clarke and Monique Cohen respectively.

BCIC's Michelle Anderson is assigned general manager for sales and distribution; while Garth Rowe, Simone Foote and Benjamin Pringle have also seen their roles expanded to cover BCIC Barbados finance, marketing and information technology departments, respectively.

“We think first of what a customer wants and the situations that they face. If we can think ahead, then we get to pleasantly surprise them and enhance their quality of life beyond their expectations,” Levy said in describing the company's objectives for the new location. “Our innovations are rooted in creating customer comfort and peace of mind.”

Established in 1962, BCIC boasts an equity base of $2.97 billion as at December 2016. According to the company, BCIC's reinsurers are rated at A- by Standard & Poor's. Performing well in 2016, BCIC ended the financial year with a Gross Written Premium of $6.8 billion.

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