Contributed by: Don WinnerA relative of the President of the Republic is involved in a company what might take over part of the insurance policies of the failed British American company in Panama. Although Panama's Minister of Commerce Roberto Henriquez said he didn't know, among the community of insurance brokers it is an "open secret" that the President's nephew, Juan Carlos Martinelli, is the General Manager of the World Wide Medical insurance company. A few days ago, British American workers and insurance brokers warned the failure of the company was requested in order to favor other insurance companies, however the Superintendent of Insurance, Luis Della Togna, denies this. He said "there is none of that." According to the President of the Insurance Brokers Association, Priscilla McLeod, the only fault should be placed on the Superintendent of Insurance from the previous administration (of Martin Torrijos) and she said there is nothing bad that there is a member of the Martinelli family involved in the insurance industry. All those involved say the company cannot be sold because the owners of British American are not willing to sign. For now, some insurers picking up former British American customers, but only healthy ones. (TVN Noticias)
Editor's Comment: There are (or were) several other insurance companies in Panama exploring the possibility of assuming all of British American's customers in one fell swoop. The first company to come forward with such and offer was World Wide Medical. I imagine there are all kinds of back room negotiations taking place. As pointed out in this article, the relatively young and healthy British American customers won't have any problem getting picked up by a new insurance company. The only ones who are absolutely screwed are the older and sick customers who now find themselves without insurance, and basically uninsurable due to preexisting conditions. The fact that (apparently) one of Martinelli's nephews is in the insurance business is most likely insignificant. I have not heard one word from the people behind British American of protest, saying they are getting screwed over, or anything like that. Rather, they have been silent, and it seems more like they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar with the transfer of the $10 million dollar bond out of the country. Again, let's see how this all spins out over time.