The price of insurance over physical damage to property in Chile increased 20%, while policies covering vandalism damage jumped 40% since the October social outbreak, according to Lionel Soffia, president of Gallagher for Latin America. The days of violence would have caused insured losses of between $ 2 billion and $ 2.5 billion, according to estimates by Aon, the country's largest insurance and reinsurance broker, measured by the volume of intermediated premium.
Chile President Sebastián Piñera called on Chileans to help the country “live in peace” ahead of an anticipated fresh outbreak of protests in March. On Sunday, the annual music festival in Viña del Mar saw police clash with hooded protesters outside the heavily fortified event. Cars were torched and a well-known hotel (Hotel O’Higgins) vandalised. A Cadem poll showed that 85% of business leaders felt Chile was moving in the “wrong direction”, and 99% believed March would bring further polarisation.
Chile government and security forces are preparing for a potential revival of last October violent unrest initially triggered by a student protest which strongly hit the country economy. They are retraining 2,600 members of the security forces in protest-control methods and human rights, acquiring new armoured cars, drones and body cameras, as well as trying to improve their intelligence services.
JPMorgan lowered its growth forecasts for Chile from 1.1% to 0.9% by 2020, an estimate only higher than 0.7% of UBS, and slightly below the midpoint of the Central Bank range (0,5%-1,5%). In addition to the impact of the coronavirus emergency on the Chilean economy, its latest report adds concern about social instability in the country with potential repetition of violent demonstrations in March prior to the plebiscite for a new Constitution.