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Report: Costa Rican insurer INS to restructure some business lines, shift focus

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Report: Costa Rican insurer INS to restructure some business lines, shift focus

CostaRican state-owned insurer InstitutoNacional de Seguros plans to restructure some business lines and improvecustomer service in a bid to improve profitability amid growing competition, El Financiero reported April 10, citing commentsby CEO Elian Villegas.

Afterinitially focusing on offering low prices to retain clients, INS implemented a newbusiness plan two years ago to boost profits and avoid a price war in the market.As a result of the plan, which is based on improving customer service, the firm'sprofits reportedly rose 18% in 2015, which is its strongest growth in four years.

Evenso, private insurers have also increased their sales in some business lines, especiallyin the life, accident and health insurance segments, forcing INS to modernize itsservices to compete in these segments, although its priority remains auto insurance.

In particular,the firm is improving customer service in the health insurance area with a new healthservices network to be launched by the end of 2016, Villegas reportedly said.

INS isalso working to contain operating costs, despite increased spending on advertisingin 2015, and a new collective bargaining agreement with its workers should reducelabor costs in the next four or five years, the report said.