Rate this post

TEXT JAVIER CAAMAÑO | IMAGES MAPFRE, ISTOCK

As an insurance company with a wide range of services, MAPFRE supports its customers in many aspects of their daily lives, from home and car protection to medical care and all kinds of business solutions. Within this diverse range of services, there is a particularly sensitive line dedicated to helping people and their families in the most adverse circumstances, such as illness, accident, or death. These are life insurance policies, which, because of their nature, require highly specialized professionals who can combine a demanding analysis of risks and the most technical issues with devoted customer service.

Below, colleagues from various countries tell us about their experience in the life business:

Ana Elizabeth Ramírez Meléndez

Ana Elizabeth Ramírez Meléndez

Expert in individual life insurance and burial insurance at MAPFRE El Salvador

“Closing business, opening a policy, underwriting, and keeping life insurance in force is not a sale, it’s an art.”

How would you describe your work to colleagues who are not familiar with the Life business?
Life insurance is the culmination of a career in insurance, since we protect the what is most important to a business or family: a leader, a father, a mother, a group of employees, etc. Because they are not material risks, closing business, opening a policy, underwriting, and keeping life insurance in force is not a sale, it’s an art.

What challenges does the sector face? What is your outlook for the future?
While the sector is facing tough challenges in business underwriting after the pandemic, there is more awareness and acceptance of life and health insurance, which encourages us to look positively toward the future and seek strategies such as innovation and diversification of our products and offering added value products. For example, the MAPFRE Medical Center is now the only one of its kind in the insurance industry in El Salvador.

What characterizes the people you work with in Life?
Life underwriters are responsible for analyzing and assessing risks, as well as defining the contracting conditions, so we are perceptive people who work quickly, empathetically, and hand in hand with our colleagues in the sales area in order to close business. All while taking into consideration the profitability of the company.

What do you like most about your job?
Interacting with the sales force to find the balance between the technical and sales areas, which allows us to close excellent business. I also work together with colleagues who follow the production chain up to the delivery of the insurance policy to our policyholders. I like it because in life insurance you learn something new every day and also because I have the opportunity to pass on my knowledge to our internal and external intermediaries through talks.

Denise Bezzina

Denise Bezzina

Senior Head of Business Development at MAPFRE MSV LIFE (Malta)

“What I like most are the people, because I can learn from them, and that helps me to understand our business.”

What challenges does the sector face?
The biggest challenges are an aging population; an uncertain economic environment affecting traditional long-term investments; consumers displaying less trust in financial companies and demanding higher returns, especially in pension plans; digital transformation, with customers seeking better and faster access to information; and tighter regulation.

What is your outlook for the future?
The sector ought to move toward digital transformation via a more personalized user experience, as customers are willing to give up data in exchange for personalization, automated underwriting, and digital hybrid solutions (54% of customers prefer direct or digital channels, and there is a demand for more flexible yet simplified products). Employees must have the skills required for this transformation.

What characterizes the people you work with in Life?
They have to be agile and able to adapt to changing demands, both from the market and regulatory changes.

What do you like most about your job?
I started working in life insurance at the age of 17, attending to customers at an office branch before working my way up little by little. In my career, I have had experience with the main areas of life business, I’ve met and worked with many people, both Maltese and international, and I’ve seen the changing priorities of the business.

What I like most is meeting different people (colleagues, customers, intermediaries, etc.) and working and interacting with people from different areas, because what I learn from them helps me to better understand our business.

África Llamas Navarro

África Llamas Navarro

Head of Benefits at MAPFRE Vida, Spain

“It’s an area that keeps you up to date and active.”

What challenges does the sector face?
The Life Benefits area is currently undergoing a process of physical, organizational, and technological renewal via the creation of a tool that will encapsulate the payment of all benefits.

This change, which is not without its ups and downs, requires an extra effort on the part of staff, who are taking on the challenge with commitment, determination, and enthusiasm.

What is your outlook for the future?
I’m hopeful. The company is in a state of continual change and improvement, seeking stability and unity across the areas and companies of the group. These changes not only take place internally, but also with customers, as we make considerable progress in technical management. Moreover, MAPFRE takes the reality of the situation seriously in its work toward sustainability.

What characterizes the people who work in the area?
The people who form part of the technical life area are highly qualified, as they must be experts in the different types of benefits, be familiar with the wide variety of past, present, and future products, and have basic medical knowledge to detect possible fraud, as well as legal, fiscal, and accounting knowledge, etc.

They are highly involved and expert staff who take a global approach to their work, covering all aspects and areas involved while adapting quickly to the situation at hand.

What do you like most about your job?
Personally, what motivates me most about my job is the lack of monotony. Every day there is a different issue to deal with, new information to provide, a lively tax system that keeps you on your toes, new products, new business needs, new goals, etc.

This is an area that provides you with knowledge of life insurance in its entirety, from its inception to its completion, which is rare in large companies where the work is highly specialized and departmentalized. It also keeps you up to date and active.

Humberto García  Fernández

Humberto García Fernández

Sales specialist at Life. MAPFRE Mexico

“I knew from the beginning that I would dedicate myself to this for the rest of my professional career”

I started working in the insurance industry at the age of 18 and have always leaned toward life insurance business. I knew from the beginning that I would dedicate myself to this for the rest of my professional career. I have had the opportunity to work in different areas involved in life insurance sales, which has given me insight into the needs of people and our agents. What I like the most is that whenever someone takes out a life insurance policy they are benefiting themselves and/or their loved ones. This makes me certain that selling life insurance is doing good.

I currently work as a Sales Specialist, where MAPFRE has given me the opportunity to put into practice everything I have learned throughout my professional life. This allows me to offer our partners and customers cutting-edge, competitive products that enable them to cover their protection and savings needs.

Because we live in a world in which it is increasingly important to be protected and, above all, to guarantee a stable economic future, we continue innovating in life plans to guarantee peace of mind for more families around the world.

Itzel Navarro

Itzel Navarro

Life Claims Analyst at MAPFRE Panama

“We are recognized for our empathy, strength, and charisma during one of the hardest moments in life: the loss of a loved one.”

How would you describe your work to colleagues who are not familiar with the Life business?
In my area of life benefits, I am responsible for making the purpose of life insurance tangible: compensating the loved ones of our policyholders at a time of bereavement and grief.

What challenges does the sector face? What is your outlook for the future?
The challenges in the area are the same as those faced by the company: economic, social, political, etc.; however, working in a company as solid as MAPFRE gives me confidence to handle future challenges.

What characterizes the people you work with in Life?
Empathy, strength, and charisma, as we listen to and interact with different people during what is likely one of the hardest moments in their lives: the loss of a loved one.

What do you like most about your job?
Interacting with different people inside and outside MAPFRE and learning something new every day with each post-mortem procedure I complete.

Marisol Iriarte Walker

Marisol Iriarte Walker

Head of Individual Life and Burial Products at MAPFRE Peru

“We are always willing to help and to come up with new ideas so that customers have the best experience.”

I was really excited when I joined MAPFRE almost 6 years ago for my first internship. From day one I felt like part of a family; everyone at MAPFRE was willing to help me and teach me, always with a big smile and a great attitude. I had the opportunity to progress in the Individual Life and Burials Unit, where I learned from my leaders and colleagues who helped me to grow both professionally and personally.

How would you describe your work to colleagues who are not familiar with the Life business?
The individual life business offers products to protect your and your loved ones’ well-being and gives you real support in the face of unexpected situations. Our insurance plans include risk, savings, and mixed policies.

What challenges does the sector face? What is your outlook for the future?
Firstly, we must consistently adapt to the needs of the environment and customers and maintain their trust. This is very important because our products last for a minimum of 6 years, and in many cases we are paid upfront for many years. Secondly, we need to make the underwriting processes faster but just as effective, as customers are becoming more and more digitalized.

What characterizes the people you work with in Life?
A commitment to internal and external customers. We are always willing to help and to come up with new project ideas so that customers have the best experience possible when taking out a policy with us. The team has an excellent attitude; we like to work as a team, and we believe that communication is very important.

What do you like most about your job?
The dynamic work we do throughout the whole team, the development of projects to streamline operational processes, and, most importantly, knowing that thanks to our products, we are providing a great service to our customers while remaining at their disposal at all times.

João Liberto Vale

João Liberto Vale

Manager. Sales Area of Territorial Organization of MAPFRE Portugal

“When you do what you truly like, at a certain point you stop feeling that you are working and the work becomes pleasure.”

What challenges does the Life area face?
We are privileged to represent MAPFRE in one of the most beautiful and emblematic areas of Portugal, the Algarve, in the south of the country.

This is probably one of the richest territorial units in southern Europe, where job opportunities in the hotel and catering sector are vast and have helped to maintain high levels of employment.

Without a doubt, our biggest challenge is to develop our own network through assertive prospecting and brand presence, boosting the opening of MAPFRE Spaces (delegated agent) and above all demonstrating our credibility to our customers.

What is your outlook for the future?
The prospects for the future are excellent: we have a number of MPAs (MAPFRE professional agents) who are taking the first steps right now and preparing to take the reins of this important project in Portugal. On the other hand, we are gaining more and more space and market share in all businesses of a certain size.

What characterizes the people who work in the Life area?
People working in the life area have to be well informed and attentive to what is going on around them. In essence, they are excellent communicators, with above-average emotional intelligence, and are also sensitive to the economic situation and how the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine develops.

What do you like most about your job?
What I like most about my job is dealing with people. I have learned that throughout life you have to know what moves people and how to motivate them.

When you do what you truly like, at a certain point you stop feeling that you are working and the work becomes pleasure.

Let’s just say that, despite being a competitive person, I am passionate about my work as an insurance professional, so the rest comes naturally.

Share This