The mutual insurance company Fiatc, with its 806 million euros in premium income in 2022, has become the largest insurance group based in Catalonia and has focused on specialized insurance to continue growing.
According to its president, Joan Castells, “the internet and comparators have changed the distribution of mass insurance, such as home insurance or car insurance, and in many cases the only factor for hiring it is price. You enter a spiral of discounts, without valuing the service, and we don't want to be there”.
Fiatc, which has 16.7% of its portfolio in the automobile industry, grows in it with transport fleet insurance. “We work a lot with insurance brokers, who do value the service that their clients are going to receive,” he explains. Joan Manuel Castells, the company's new CEO, points out that clients who leave the company due to price return "when they have a claim and realize they are not well insured".
The mutual is also growing strongly in health insurance, which accounts for 23% of the portfolio. "We have our own clinic in Barcelona and clients value it very much: it is a key element of loyalty" emphasizes the president. Fiatc invested 60 million to build its Diagonal clinic, in Esplugues de Llobregat, and is now investing another 6 million to expand it, with a new building that will concentrate the outpatient clinics. The clinic, points out Joan Manuel Castells, admitted 32 million in 2022, 73% of Fiatc's own insured, and the rest from mutual accident and professional and private medicine. The center has a staff of 380 people, and state-of-the-art equipment, including a De Vinci robot for prostate surgery, and a great weight in aesthetics, with specialized services in hair transplantation and bariatric surgery, for the treatment of obesity. . "In all treatments our insured have discounts, and the clinic is not managed to maximize profitability, but the service to the insured", he explains.
Fiatc, in fact, is looking for opportunities to open new private medicine centers. “The problem is not to build a building, but to ensure the necessary doctors to provide health care” said Joan Castells. This was precisely the key to the purchase of Ipresa, a health insurer based in San Sebastián that has a medical center in the center of the city. “We would like to grow by doing similar operations, buying local companies in cities like Málaga, Valencia or Madrid”, he assures. The group now obtains 50% of its premiums in Catalonia, but in the health sector this percentage reaches 70%.
The highest growth, with rates of 8%, was obtained in the Multi-risk (14.54% of the portfolio) and Diverse (11.58%) branches due to the company's efforts in specialization. Fiatc, explained its president, grows in industrial insurance for SMEs, in civil liability and in specialized branches such as boats, and is now entering the surety branch. Life insurance, which accounts for 34% of its portfolio, especially life-savings insurance, was reduced last year, on the other hand, due to competition from new products such as public income with higher interest rates. "This year we are already growing," said Castells.
From the insurer, Fiatc has created a business group that also includes a travel agency, and architecture and engineering firms that provide services to the group itself, as well as a group of residences, through its subsidiary InverFiatc. The group, which has 600,000 mutual members and 1,559 workers, had a turnover of 831 million euros last year and obtained a profit of 5.95 million euros.
The management of the group of residences contributed to Fiatc an income of 12 million euros last year. The insurer, explained its president, currently has four open centers (in Sant Cugat, Cornellà, Mollet and Sant Just) and another six in the pipeline, which represent an investment of 75 million euros. Of them, two will be in the city of Barcelona itself, in Gràcia and in the old Sant Josep clinic, in Putxet, another in Mollet and, for the first time, two of them will be outside of Catalonia, in Alacant and Elx. In total, the new projects will add 778 new resident places to the group, 200 day center places and 400 workers.
Preparing for the future, Fiatc has recently strengthened its organization chart with the appointment of Joan Manuel Castells Molinero, son of the president, as CEO. He “he had been with the company for seven years, and among other things he was responsible for the strategic plan. He brings the knowledge of a career in the financial sector with the rejuvenation of the direction that Fiatc needed, ”says Castells. The new CEO, for his part, highlights that after years in investment banking and venture capital entities such as Morgan Stanley and Abac “it is a professional turn. I am very happy, and it is a challenge to respond to the trust that the company has placed in me”.