Professionalism, attention, cordiality, responsibility, advice, commitment, autonomy, transparency, innovation – these are weighty words, but it is a heavy task that the Compañía Cooperativa de Seguros has taken on. According to its president, Sergio Fuentes, it is building a co-operative insurance business, designed to serve generations of members for years to come.

“Above all, when we are building a company, our aim is that SURCO lasts for many, many years and generations,” Fuentes says. “And, of course, we want to specially build this company on the principles and values of co-operativism.”

SURCO is a Uruguayan co-operative insurance company, born in 1992 out of a consolidation of several important co-operatives in Uruguay.

Uruguay itself is an attractive place to do business. It is one of the most economically advanced countries in Latin America. Transparency International rates it the second-least corrupt country in Latin America.

All of this has provided ample ground for SURCO. In 2011 its business grew by nearly 12 per cent. In the case of agricultural insurance products, SURCO has a leading market position. It insures about 30 per cent of the land on which cereals and oilseeds are farmed.

“Our mission and vision are a constant guide for the making of decisions and the best management of the company,” says Fuentes. “Our best practices rest on them.”

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