Life and Health Online Insurance: Latin America Review

by Juan Mazzini,  Luis Chipana, January 12, 2015
Industry Trends
Latin America


Insurers offer a variety of distribution channels for buying insurance. Agents, brokers, retailers, banks, and a myriad of nontraditional distribution channels are being employed by insurers.

Each insurance channel uses at least one other channel to reach customers, such as a front office, call center, branch, mobile app, website, social media site, or field staff. For example, the use of online chat, avatars, and concierge services make the online shopping experience much easier, even when advice is required as part of the sales process.

In the report, Life and Health Online Insurance: Latin America Review, Celent discusses online sales channels of 169 Latin American insurers, their availability, the breadth of their offering per country, and their lines of business.

Buying insurance online should be as easy as a click. This experience is common in online retail, for example with Amazon and aggregators like the ones found in the travel industry (Kayak, Travelocity, Expedia,, and most recently Hipmunk). Even airline websites provide such excellent online experiences that many airlines have decided to move to mobile.

Although the majority of insurers have set up their websites as part of their digital strategy, the level of automation varies. A handful of websites allow customers to have a whole digital experience without human intervention; very few require some type of assistance to complete the sale or the transaction; and more than half of them are just informational.

“Although insurers have shown interest in investing in digital strategy, especially on sales and services of online products, they have not been successful in execution,” says Luis Chipana, an analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice and coauthor of the report. “The percentage of insurers taking advantage of technology to improve the experience of customers purchasing insurance through transactional web portals is still low.”

“The growth of Internet and e-commerce in the last years and the shift in consumer preferences and attitudes in terms of online shopping and immediate gratification have opened the door to forces that could reshape distribution as we know it,” says Juan Mazzini, a senior analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice and coauthor of the report. “In lines of business where customers do not perceive the value of distributors or where online assessment is possible, the business model could seriously be affected, and direct online insurance models could arise.”

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary










The Online Infrastructure in Latin America



Internet in Latin America


Direct Sales



Direct Sales by Country



Regulation of E-Insurance Commerce in the Region


Online Sales



Insurance Sales Process


Online Insurance in Latin America



The Pathway to Online



The State of the Art



Maturity of Online Products



Maturity of Online Sales by Type of Insurance



Adoption Rates of Online Insurance Sales by Country



A Detailed View on Each Type of Insurance




Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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