Guardian Life of the Caribbean officials are promising to up the competition in Barbados in the life industry as they prepare to introduce some new products.
Opting not to give details, president Anand Pascal said the parent company Guardian Group was in the process of developing its new line of business, and later this year Barbadians should have another option when it came to some life insurance products.
Pascal was addressing the company’s tenth anniversary cocktail reception at the Sweetfield Manor in Britton’s Hill on Thursday night.
“We started with two products in 2005 and we have grown the suite since then. And I am very happy to announce that, in short order, relevant applications will be made for new products to launch within this market. That is a significant demonstration of our view of Barbados as a whole, and that we are going to be here for the next decade and beyond,” he said.
Pointing out that the company had formed a number of strong partnerships over the years, Pascal said “together we will charge forward in transforming Barbados’ insurance landscape”, adding that Guardian Life remained “ready, able and committed to serve” the Barbados market into the future.
When pressed to disclose information regarding the expected new products, Pascal would only say: “One is a new line of business and another one is a refresher of some of our existing portfolio.
“Some of [the products] are in the market, but Guardian doesn’t have some of them. So they will be new to us, but they may not necessarily be new to some markets. So there is some level of provision by other competitors in the market,” he acknowledged.
He said when those new products could be launched would depend on how soon the Guardian Group was able to get approval from the regulator in Trinidad.
“So if we get the approval over the course of the next month or so, once that is done, it will be submitted to all the various regulators [in all the countries we operate] for their own approval. Some of those processes take a little time.
“I am hopeful that within the next three months or so we should be in a position to start launching in the various markets that we operate in,” explained Pascal.
He said he was confident that the Barbados market could take more products in the industry, adding that there were a lot of opportunities for Guardian Life and they would be “happily” exploring them.
“The market can accommodate new products because those products fill needs and needs have to be met regardless of what the state of the economy is. It then becomes a question of affordability and priorities, but that is what makes us different,” said Pascal.
He said while he was not picking up any new trends in the life insurance industry, Barbados, like all the other markets, remained underinsured.
“The level of penetration is below that of other developing and developed markets, and I think that presents a fantastic opportunity for us to still reach out to clients and provide them with the services and products that they need,” he said.