Seguros del Magisterio plans to launch operations in Q2

Friday, February 20, 2009

Costa Rica's Seguros del Magisterio, the first authorized competitor of state-run Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS), plans to launch operations in about two months, its president Santiago Araya told BNamericas.

The new insurer plans to sell life, accident and health insurance, targeting middle to lower-income people, SMEs and cooperatives.

The company is currently working on getting authorization from the industry watchdog for its products and distribution channels.

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The country's pension regulator Supen is currently handling insurance licenses until the creation of the insurance sector watchdog.

Seguros del Magisterio is the for-profit initiative of Sociedad de Seguros de Vida del Magisterio Nacional, a non-profit insurer provider operating since 1920 that offers mandatory life insurance to all workers in the public and private education sectors.

The life insurance coverage offered by Sociedad de Seguros de Vida del Magisterio Nacional has a monthly cost of 7,320 colones (US$13) and pays a lump sum benefit of 15mn colones.

The institution has 136,000 associated individuals.

Seguros del Magisterio will be headquarters in capital San José and will use the 12 branches of Sociedad de Seguros de Vida del Magisterio Nacional located outside the capital.

State-run INS is so far the only player operating in the Costa Rican insurance market.

In July 2008, President Óscar Arias signed a law authorizing the opening up of the insurance market.