After 56 years, general insurance company BCIC is betting that downtown Kingston is the place to be.
A $50 million renovation of one floor of BCIC’s Duke Street Head Office is just the first phase of a three- to four-year makeover for the company, according to Managing Director Peter Levy. The ribbon was cut on the renovated office space on Wednesday.
The entire 4,000 square feet of space on the ground floor of the BCIC Building was gutted and completely redesigned with a focus on customer needs and staff efficiency. The renovation started in September 2018 and wrapped up in April, with a second phase slated for later this year.
Eventually, the entire five-storey structure will be refreshed, he said.
“There were three driving intentions to this project. Firstly, we wanted a customer-centric feel by giving the customers what they want. Rather than have a complete open plan, there are cubicles for customers to have private consultations,” Levy told the Financial Gleaner.
A new feature is the installation of two kiosks with access to BCIC’s online portal.
“With that they can get a quote or renew their policy online and get a certificate there on the spot, with assistance if necessary,” Levy said.
BCIC is one of Jamaica’s largest general insurers, with a network of eight branches spread across Jamaica at Duke Street, Cross Roads, New Kingston, Portmore, Mandeville, Ocho Rios, Savanna-la-Mar, and Montego Bay. Levy says his company is constantly jockeying with Guardian General and General Accident for the top spot in the market that he believes has room to grow.
“We’ve been growing at 20-25 per cent over the last four years. What we see is that more people are buying cars since the finance cost is cheaper. There’s a lot of real estate activity, so more people will want to insure their houses. And with the good performance of the economy, we expect to ride that wave,” he said.
“We’re trying to make the space one that we can occupy well into the future. We’re happy to see that the rest of the business community is catching up to the idea that downtown is the place to be. Digicel started it and others are following,” he said.