BestWeek: Insurers Could Look to Microinsurance to Boost Penetration in Untapped Brazil Market

Fri Feb 1, 2013 4:52pm EST

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OLDWICK, N.J.--(Business Wire)--
As the sixth-largest economy in the world, with an insurer penetration rate of
just 2.5%, Brazil is a prime target for insurers, according to the latest issue
of BestWeek U.S./Canada. Despite 170 insurers and reinsurers operating in the
country, insurance has not been on the general public`s radar. "One of the big
problems in Brazil, and other parts of Latin America, is the common person`s
awareness of the use of insurance products," said Andrea Keenan, vice president
of research, ratings criteria and relations for A.M. Best Co. "In order to
increase the penetration level there has to be a structural shift."
Microinsurance is one mechanism that could cause that shift, she added.

* BestWeek Europe looks at signs of doubt among two of the European Union`s most
important national regulators as to when and how the EU`s Solvency II directive
will go into effect. It`s looking unlikely to meet its current timetable for
2014 implementation. 
* The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has brought with it increased interest and
awareness of the excess flood insurance market, which industry members tell
BestWeek U.S./Canada could result in higher rates, at least in the short term.

Patrick Fleming, an excess flood specialist for Jimcor Agencies, said Sandy will
have "lasting effects" on the excess flood market. The top provider of excess
flood coverage are underwriters at Lloyd`s, which has reacted to Sandy losses by
restricting underwriting territories, reducing aggregate premium available in
most coastal counties in the Northeast and increasing prices between 25% to 35%,
he said. 

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