AFTER THE EARTHQUAKES IN MEXICO: A LOT REMAINS TO BE DONE
Only one year ago, on September 7th, Oaxaca was hit by the hardest earthquake in 100 years. For the 8.2 earthquake, the insurance sector reported 20,146 claims (20,109 in P&C) countrywide, with estimated losses around 11,500 Million MXN. About 90%, or 18,224 of the claims were related to damaged homes, with 900 Million in estimated losses.
Shortly after, on Sept 19th , there followed another big earthquake that measured 7.1 on the Richter scale. There, the insurance sector reported 51,066 claims (48,965 in P&C) with losses countrywide estimated at 18,500 Million MXN. Here about 82% (40,173) of the claims were damaged homes, with 3,700 Million MXN in estimated losses.
At AXA, we handled more than 5,000 claims from both earthquakes; 89% of these have been closed by today. Furthermore, our employees prepared 214 packages with food and water for Oaxaca. In Unión Hidalgo, a town in the south of the state of Oaxaca, AXA continues to support rebuilding 550 homes with a 3-year CAT micro-insurance at no cost for the family until renewal. We plan to remain working in that community until the project has been completed.
Reconstruction in Unión Hidalgo
Despite the tragedy of the two earthquakes with 50,610 inhabitable homes and 471 casualties, insurance penetration has not increased by much since September 2017. Why is this? – I believe there exists a need for financial education in Mexico; both at State and Federal level governments should create incentives to make insurance more attractive; in parallel, private insurers must create more comprehensible products and agents must assess customers nothing but professionally. At AXA, we are committed to do so and to work hard to ensure more Mexicans are better protected from future earthquakes.