Private insurers ask to reform the regulations for awarding contracts with public companies and that it be carried out through public tender.
The Office of the Comptroller General of the State plans to carry out a special examination of Seguros Sucre, a state-owned company that contracts with the public sector. The general manager of the insurer, Dayan Argüello, said that this audit, still undated, is the control body’s authority and will examine administrative, financial aspects, procedures and compliance with current regulations.
The representative of Seguros Sucre, whose main shareholder is the National Financial Corporation (CFN abbreviation in Spanish), indicated that the company is one of the most regulated in the country, as it is supervised by the Superintendency of Companies, Securities and Insurance, in addition to the Comptroller’s Office.
Currently this control body already executes three other exams, two are the administrative and financial operations of the company from 2014 to 2018 and the other is an audit of the merger with the Insurance Company Rocafuerte. “We will see if by contracting with the different public institutions directly, they met all the requirements of law for the application of the special regime for hiring,” said Roberto Aspiazu, executive director of the Ecuadorian Business Committee (CEE), who maintained that Seguros Sucre maintains a “monopoly”.
Aspiazu bases his argument on the disposition that the previous government gave, that all public companies contract directly, that is, without competition. The figure used was a special regime, under the Regulation of the Organic Law of the National System of Public Procurement. But Diego Guzmán, president of Seguros Sucre, questioned this assertion, since the company barely has 16% of a market of approximately $ 1,500 million.
According to the Superintendence of Companies, the state insurer has 15% of the market according to its net premiums issued up to June 2018, followed by Seguros Equinoccial with 10% and Chubb Seguros Ecuador S.A. with 9%.
“Private insurers should worry about obtaining benefits and capture the remaining 80% of the national market,” Guzman said in a televised interview.
Argüello told EL TELÉGRAFO that unfair competition cannot be configured, since Seguros Sucre complies with the regulations that the State contracts under a special regime with a company that has more than 50% of public capital. He assured that it is not possible to talk about the configuration of a monopoly, because under that category a company imposes the conditions and prices to the entities that will contract.
“In our case, public entities determine what the conditions are and what budget they have for contracting insurance,” the executive said.
The representative of the ECE questioned the alleged failure to pay the policies for claims and bases his accusation on a letter sent to the President of the Republic, Lenin Moreno, by the then director of the Company Coordinator of Public Enterprises (EMCO), Édisson Garzón, who resigned last week.
The document dated January 10 shows the lack of payments to several public companies, such as Tame, Petroamazonas, Celec, Petroecuador, among others, for more than $ 206 million. Given this, the manager of Seguros Sucre assured that the information is wrong, since the letter details outstanding values for companies that do not have a contract with the insurer and added that the amount that remains pending payment is $ 1.6 million.
The official explained that there are processes to be paid, because after the claims report the companies have not delivered the complete documentation. For his part, Patricio Salas, president of the Association of Insurance Companies (Acose), said that the Government should carry out legal reforms that encourage the competition of all companies in the insurance market of public institutions. (I)