The Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd. is driving a new kind of initiative in the sector that could see the formation of new entities, and it has begun with the main public sector union.
Senior Vice President, Henry Inniss said at the launch of a new entity called the ICBL/National Union of Public Workers’ Insurance Agent Inc. that while it is the first such initiative it would not be the last.
Noting that moving from a government entity to a private one, ICBL has had to “reinvent” itself in the market to remain relevant and viable, Inniss said it was very likely that more partnerships of the kind established with NUPW would be in their future, but they were holding any new developments of the kind close to the chest.
“Reinventing ourselves had to do with the fact that ICBL started as a government department that was responsible for insuring property for Government departments. Therefore it meant that the company had a virtual monopoly on those businesses. Over time that changed because the company became a private entity and would now have to change its whole mindset and its approach to business and become more responsive of customers needs and be more mindful of market share. So in that sense the company had to reinvent itself.
“In terms of the relationship with the NUPW, that is one of many such relationships we are interested in building because we see ourselves as a major provider of a wide range of insurance line of business. We can’t tell you of our other detailed plans, but you will be pleasantly surprised to hear about the other things we are planning to do, but be assured that this is not a one shot. We are looking at several other opportunities in the market place,” said the head of the Life Division.
Chairman of the union, Cedric Murrell said with this joining of forces the new entity would now be targeting its members immediately in the area of group housing and motor packages, utilising five members of staff who had been transferred from the union proper and trained to work with the new body.
He forecasted that this new arrangement would also make resources available to the union which it could further invest in time to come.
“That relationship, it is expected, will bring great financial returns to the agent and from the point of view it allows the union in a wider sense, through the agent to have a source of investment income that will redound to the benefit of the members because then decisions would have to be made as to how best to invest that.
“At this stage our plan is to ensure that those investments are in the area of medical, health and wellness products and services, so that is where we are looking to invest,” he said, adding that in time there would be other roll-outs as well. (LB)