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'The question for the future is whether we as a people will let go of bad attitudes'

WILLEMSTAD:--- Today, on Sept. 14, 2023, Inter-Assure Insurances will celebrate its 30th anniversary. For CEO-owner Justus van der Lubbe, there is no doubt that his company stands out first and foremost because of its staff. For the insurance company, quality means much more than good know-how. At least as important is a good atmosphere within the office. 'All employees know what to do and how to do it, but also that they are particularly appreciated.' In terms of clientele, Inter-Assure also put quality first. An important guideline was and is not to go for volume, but for "the better client”. Especially young families with jobs who have built something together. Often these are solid relationships who like to secure their house, car or other belongings and are motivated to pay a premium for it. That this quality formula has paid off is evidenced by the steady growth over the past three decades.

Inter-Assure began in Curaçao in 1993 from a back room in the home of CEO Justus van der Lubbe, having previously gained experience in St. Maarten at his father's Assurantiekantoor J.P. van der Lubbe. In 1991, father Van der Lubbe disposed of his offices in Amsterdam, Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten. With the money from the sale of his share in the St. Maarten office, son Justus bought a small house on Mercuriusstraat six months after his modest start in Curaçao and furnished it as an office. Despite several challenges in the early years, Inter-Assure managed to get all the agencies from all the local insurance companies and some from the Netherlands. 'In 2011, I went to the Central Bank with an application to operate as an insurance company in addition to being an authorized insurance broker. Based on a track-record of almost 25 years, I was able to show that we had built a solvent portfolio. Since 2012, we have been operating as an insurance broker and insurance company in the office building in Saliña that we developed together with Curaçao architect Prof. ir. Carlos Weeber. At the end of 2022 we had a solvency of 304%.'

Mr. Van der Lubbe notes that this government is open to initiatives. That is a positive change, although the government should also be more realistic in those sectors where there are not enough people to do the work. What has not changed at all, however, and in the meantime even seems irreversible, is the neglect of the development of the inhabitants of Curaçao. For example, a critical society would never have allowed elderly care to slip to such an often degrading level. And people would long since have realized that health care has little to do with care and that they themselves will have to pay off debts for a far too expensive hospital building. Just as much as the citizens will also have to pay for the refinancing of ENNIA. But they don't seem to want well-informed citizens here. Therefore, education is allowed to muddle along and deliver young people who often do not master languages with which to inform themselves widely.

The big question for the future, according to Van der Lubbe, is whether we want to shake off attitudes that cause excessive problems. For example, letting things run their course and shifting the consequences to the younger generation. Not to mention the victim role one crawls into in order to avoid one's own responsibility where it suits. 'Constantly shouting that it's all because of what was done to us in the past seems to be a conscious choice. Because then no one notices that the government is keeping us small and no one feels called to take responsibility for anything themselves. Without question, the past should be clearly recorded and made widely accessible. But it is wrong to hide behind it instead of creating together the conditions to get out of it. Curaçao and its people are more than worth it.

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