The insurance sector is extremely competitive all over the world and Antigua obviously is no exception. What can you tell us about your services and products, and what sets your company apart?
LFB: We offer all types of insurance product, both in the life and the non-life section. If there is a client with a particular insurance need that we don’t presently carry, our reinsurance support is extremely strong. We think our major competitive edge is that we were established to provide affordable insurance for middle and lower class incomes in Antigua, and we have done that successfully over the years. We have seen more high-end customers coming to us, and they come to us because of our financial stability.
What would you say are some of the elements behind your success?
BK: Personalised service. We also make sure that our staff are well-trained to serve the public. The General Manager is very keen on this aspect. If we have to finance this training, we will do it in order to better the corporation.
Ms Butler, which insurance products and services would you say are growing in the Antiguan market?
LFB: In the past four years, the major trend has been in medical insurance. We have seen our medical portfolio increase by almost 50%. The reason for this is our pride in being product innovators. We realise that in order to stay ahead of the market we have always to improve on the products that we offer. Our medical network plan, new to Antigua, lets clients pay only a percentage of the cost when they go to the doctor, with providers being reimbursed by the insurance company. Our client base has always been middle and lower-income, so this has been fantastic for them. Instead of going to the doctor and paying $150, they pay maybe 20% of that. It makes medical and healthcare facilities affordable to them.
BK: I would like to add that the government has promised to construct a certain number of homes in Antigua. They’ve promised to construct 500 homes within the first year, with more to follow, and the consensus is that all these homes are to be insured here at State Insurance. If the consensus holds true, we are looking at approximately 800 homes within the next 2 years, later rising to 1200.
LFB: And we are doing it at very competitive rates.
What message would you want to convey to potential investors?
LFB: We think it’s important that they recognise that State Insurance is locally-owned with an international reputation for being a strong financial institution. We can provide any type of insurance that prospective clients may need. We have very strong reinsurance support, and international partners can be assured that we have that stability and protection that any company should have. We have been tested through the years: we’ve gone through several storms and we stand today having settled all of our claims.
Mr Knight, what legacy would you like to leave for future generations once you decide to retire?
BK: I would like to see State Insurance continuing to strive and do well for the people of Antigua and Barbuda. I would want anyone coming into this organisation to work to take it seriously, because as a corporation we help the people of Antigua. State Insurance carries the sort of rates that no other company on the island offers, and Ms Butler can attest to that. I would like to see every home in Antigua and Barbuda have insurance, especially life insurance, because so many people pass on every day.
Ms. Butler, how would you define your philosophy for management?
LFB: My philosophy is creativity. State Insurance would not be successful if it were to stop being creative. All of our employees are encouraged to be creative and think of new ways to do things, because we need to grow. The way we’re operating in 2017 will not be the way we operate in 2027. When we employ new staff, we emphasise to them that they have to play their part in the creative development and growth of State Insurance.