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Health, home, and car insurance premiums climbing

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Health, home, and car insurance climbing

Heavy rains help raise insurance pay-outs
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Flooding in Panama city and major fires in Colon are contributing factors to across the board increases in insurance premiums including health, car, and home.

The 26 insurers operating in Panama have already requested approval from the Superintendency of Insurance to increase prices of policies.

Data for the first four months of the year show an 11.2% increase in the amount of losses paid ($237.2 million) surpassing the increase in the amount of premiums ($491.3 million).

The Superintendent of Insurance and Reinsurance, José Joaquín Riesen, said that the difference between the claims paid and the amount of premiums will cause an increase in the main coverages, such as health, life, and automobile.

Between January and April, insurers paid $74.1 million dollars in the health line, an increase of 13%.

“If hospitals and doctors continue to increase their costs, and the price of medications continues to rise, insurers will have no choice but to adjust their prices, ” said  Riesen.

According to insurance brokers, in the field, there are already increases of between $100 and $300 dollars in the annual premium. Customers have received letters notifying increases ranging from 7% to 15%.

After health, the highest payments were in auto coverage and bonds, with $64.1million  and $22.9 million respectively.

Riesen called on insurance companies to better investigate the history of their clients who request a bond and to also do a better follow-up of the projects that they are supporting to avoid a greater exposure to risk.

A major concern of the regulator is the fires in the Colon Free Zone, in the past year and the constant floods in the capital city and in other parts of the country which could increase claims related to the automotive industry, since a significant number of cars have been affected.



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