San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

HSBC to Start Selling INS Life Insurance

The National Insurance Institute (INS) will soon start selling insurance at HSBC bank branches to compete with new firms entering the market this year.

HSBC’s 38 branches will offer a new INS life insurance policy to clients ages 18 to 65. The bank is planning to sell other INS products, which will eventually be available to any consumer, not just HSBC clients, according to Karen Campos, HSBC marketing assistant.

Last month, INS announced that it will also start selling 17 new policies through other private and public banks, according to the daily La Nación.

Lawmakers stripped INS of its 84 year-old monopoly this year, a requirement for entry into the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA).

Mike Garrett, founder of the insurance agency Garrett & Associates, said he expects the first insurance company to enter the market by August. By signing accords with banks, Garrett said, INS is looking for a head start.

“INS is taking advantage of the fact that they are still the only game in town,” he said.

–Gillian Gillers


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