Coronavirus in Mexico: What is different here?
CEO AXA Mexico
After Asia and Europe, the Covid-19 is spreading in the Americas, too. Many people have been asking me about my view of the situation in Mexico and at AXA Mexico:
The Mexican population is young - the median age is below 30; the country has the lowest number of retirement-age citizens within the OECD. Mexico City with its more than 22 million inhabitants is located at 2200m altitude. These days, mid-day temperatures have been above 30 C. Nationwide, chronic illnesses are a big problem, particularly diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The question is which effect the virus will have considering these circumstances.
More than 50% of Mexicans have informal jobs, lacking protection like savings, social security or unemployment benefits. Last year, USD 36 bn remittances were sent to Mexico, mainly from the US. A prolonged period of social distancing or a lockdown would probably have significant impact on the economy, also because GDP already contracted slightly in 2019.
At AXA Mexico, more than 80% of our employees are working remotely from home. Those few who need to work from to the offices are well taken care of: premises are disinfected daily, nurses are checking for symptoms, and we pay Uber rides for all colleagues so nobody needs to use public transportation.
Business wise, we have put in place free teleconsultation with doctors for our more than 1.3m customers with Health coverage. Covid-19 is covered within our Health products for individuals and corporates. Furthermore, we waived the 30-day waiting period for Covid-19 cases for new customers.
Finally, I am once again impressed by the resilience shown to date by the Mexican population and our colleagues at AXA Mexico. This country is used to crises and I am convinced we will overcome this one, too.