THE recently rebranded GraceKennedy General Insurance Company Limited (GKGI) is looking to expand its footprint into Caribbean markets.
GK’s Group CEO Don Wehby told the Jamaica Observer during the rebranding of the GK-owned Jamaica International Insurance Company (JIIC) to GKGI last Friday, that the process is now active and will see the company mulling eight Caribbean countries with focus now on Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana.
The CEO stated that a strategic objective for GK’s insurance division is to expand regionally following an 80 per cent acquisition of St Lucia-based insurance company EC Global Insurance Company last year.
“We did a lot of market research both inside and outside of Jamaica as to what is the best brand that we should use for our insurance business and GK General Insurance came out by far as the brand that we should use,” Wehby told the Business Observer in responding to the insurance company’s closer alignment with GK.
“In addition to that, we thought it important to really embed the brand GK with all our strength in terms of honesty, integrity and trust into our insurance business,” he added.
Wehby stated that the expansion could occur by way of greenfield operation, an acquisition or a partnership with an existing company and will be ongoing over the next 24 months. Currently, GK has insurance operations in Dominica and has also recently rebranded its Turks and Caicos operations to GK Insurance Brokers.
The CEO added that the company is now looking to expand its microinsurance range of products; Bill Protect, GK AMed, Smart Protect and the Livelihood and Protection Policy and will be introducing an online insurance portal dubbed GKG-Online over the next few months, as part of the rebranding process.
“We will be using technology to drive this business. I’m sure when you’re watching cable you see Progressive and Geico and it shows what technology can do in terms of reducing the cost to the customer through use of the Internet,” he said.
The platform will allow customers the convenience of creating their own policies from home.
As part of the closer alignment with GK, insurance customers will also be beneficiaries of the GK Value Rewards Programme, earning one per cent of each transaction in points for customers who have been with the company for less than five years and two per cent in points for customers over five years.
New GK customers will see the introduction of special rates and discounts with the purchase of vehicles from Toyota, ATL Motors and Silver Star, benefiting from lower rates, higher limits of liability and premium matching guarantees, the company stated.
Other offerings include no-claim discount plus which allows a customer to use the same no-claim bonus on two vehicles on their policy, along with comprehensive coverage for vehicles as low as $400,000 and a further five to 10 per cent discount if a client increases their excess up to 10 per cent.
The company’s six locations now bear the GKGI logo.