75 years of history in a MAPFRE office

Jul 7, 2021 | Discover

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Many changes, but the spirit remains the same
Uncovering the story of a family that has been working for 75 years in the insurance business, and which now has its third generation in the business, is not easy. But it exists.
In Morón de la Frontera (Seville) we find the Albarreal family, which has been linked to MAPFRE throughout its professional life.
We have to go back to 1946 to learn how MAPFRE’s activity first started in that town. It was February 13 of that year when Antonio Albarreal began his professional career as a MAPFRE delegate in Morón de la Frontera. Logically, at that time, the first insurance policies marketed were related to the agricultural world: insurance for crops or policies covering machinery -the few that existed- to work in the fields. Indeed, the market share of this office in Morón de la Frontera became insurmountable (they insured all the crops in the municipality).

Albarreal set up the first office in his home, and that was the seed of this branch, which gradually opened up to other segments. At first, it was only tractors, but from the 1960s onwards, with the passing of the first compulsory automobile insurance law, cars were also added to the portfolio. Later, additional segments were added: home, commercial, and life insurance back in the 1970s, to name but a few. In fact, their slogan from decades ago “Ask us for any type of insurance, we are sure to have it” could still be valid today in this office. In terms of cars in this town, the office had a 75 percent market share. Of course, today this situation has changed due to the increased competition, the appearance of telephone and low-cost companies, as well as the fact that price is now the number one consideration for many clients. But what has not changed is the spirit of the business for the Albarreal family: customer service at its core, with top-quality, personalized care.

Its own decades-old slogan “Ask us for any type of insurance, we’re sure to have it” could still be valid today in this office.
Time has passed, the office has changed location, a few doors further down, but on the same street, today it is bigger, it has been modernized, but it is still run by the Albarreal family
The business kept growing and it was necessary to expand the facilities. The first step was to rent a space in an old flour factory in the town, on Calle Utrera, the exact street where the office is still located today. Time has passed, the office has changed location, a few doors down, but on the same street, today it is bigger and has been modernized, but the Albarreal family is still running it. Today the second and third generations of this family are working in the office and it directly employs 7 people -three sons of the founder (Antonio, Felipe and Angel), one of his grandchildren (Isidoro) and three other employees (José Antonio, Noelia and Mª Angeles)- to which must be added the indirect employment generated in the area, in the vehicle repair shops, for plumbers, bricklayers, painters, and so on.
Parlourmaid and Under-parloumaid. Ready to Serve Dinner - Bill Brandt
Antonio Albarreal in his office
Blind Woman, New York - Paul Strand
Antonio Albarreal López and sons, members of the delegation
There have been profound changes over these 75 years, as Angel, one of the sons of the delegation’s founder, recalls. “The communication channels in my father’s time were a typewriter and, at the most, a few phone calls. The business had to go door-to-door looking for customers, in the countryside, in the town’s taverns, in the stores. Today all that has changed. It is the customers who force us to adapt the way we work.Face-to-face service in the office has dwindled… but we have other ways of interacting with customers. Whatsapp, for example. And we have incorporated new forms of payment, like Bizum.”

Innovation is also at the heart of this decades-long story. If the business had not adapted to the country’s new reality, it would not have reached its 75th anniversary. Angel remembers the time when the first computer and dot matrix printer were installed in the office. Until then, the typewriter and paper receipts were the records of his clients, their payments and their claims. There, in that office, cash receipts were collected and, what is even more surprising,claim payments were made running to thousands of pesetas, also in cash at that time. Today this is inconceivable. But it was what happened for many years.

This is remembered not only by the founder’s children, but also by some clients, who are over 80 years old. Loyal clients who have been the best ambassadors of this office and the best advocates for their children and grandchildren, highlighting what has always characterized MAPFRE: a spirit of service and customer support at all times. The changes over these 75 years have been very important: the ways of interacting with clients and the products marketed are nothing like those of a few years ago, but the spirit remains the same. MAPFRE has not changed in this respect: the client has always been at the heart of all processes, no matter how manual they were.

“We have been adapting the business to the times, although there is still a long way to go: the acceleration of change is considerable and requires us to be prepared to keep moving forward,” acknowledges Ángel, who recalls how the office has grown alongside MAPFRE.

The Albarreal family office continues to be a landmark in Morón and the surrounding area, serving not only this town but also other nearby municipalities. Although, as the children of Antonio Albarreal, who was the “true architect of the delegation” acknowledge, the market share is not the same as it was decades ago, being the trusted insurer of more than 35% of the population is something to be proud of. 75 years of being the face of MAPFRE is just the start of a long journey that will continue for decades to come, as the third generation is already at work in the office to continue the legacy.

Copy of the first contract 1946
Carta de Ignacio Hernando de Larramendi a Antonio Albarreal tras la inauguración de la oficina en Morón en 1974
Póliza seguro de accidentes 1958
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