Pacifica Insurance marks 38 years of outstanding service

Posted on Dec 30 2011
By Clarissa David

The management and staff of Pacifica Insurance Underwriters, Inc. led by president and chief executive officer Norman Tenorio, center, and general manager Shirley Sablan, fourth right, pose for a group photo outside their office at the Joeten Center in Susupe. Founded in 1973 by a group of investors with a vision for insurance needs, PIUI is celebrating its 38th anniversary this month. (Clarissa V. David) One of the most respected and leading names in the insurance business in the CNMI is celebrating a momentous occasion this month when Pacifica Insurance Underwriters, Inc. marks its 38th anniversary of providing personal and commercial insurance products.

Founded in 1973 by a group of investors that saw the need to help the community obtain protection from the unexpected, Pacifica Insurance has since established itself as an insurance market leader, representing insurance carriers in an agent and broker capacity and getting its clients “Rest Assured.”

Since its inception, Pacifica Insurance has been steadfast in providing the Commonwealth with comprehensive insurance services for just about everything-life, health, home, automobile, marine, bonding, and commercial insurances-working consistently to position itself as a premier insurance company in constant pursuit of the highest standards of excellence.

From its humble beginnings 38 years ago, Pacifica Insurance has evolved through the years, forming strategic partnerships and expanding into new markets in efforts to remain focused and continue realizing its goal to provide the best coverage and service that will exceed expectations.

In celebration of another milestone in its history, Pacifica Insurance is giving away shopping sprees and has launched its loyalty program called Pacific Loyalty, which entitles its clients to countless discounts and other benefits. Additionally, Pacifica Insurance gives back to the community by participating in charitable events and donating to various altruistic efforts.


Pacifica Insurance’s over three decades in the insurance trade wasn’t smooth sailing throughout, with several events such as the Asian crisis, the SARS outbreak, and the 9/11 attacks having significant impacts on the island economy and affecting businesses as a result, says president and chief executive officer Norman Tenorio.

These challenges, Tenorio said, underscored all the more the fact that obtaining insurance for the sake of protection and security has become indispensable.

“Insurance, in our opinion, is just as important as food and water. As mortals, we would face catastrophic events at one point in our lives and insurance is that product we can all have in order to remain sane as we face such crisis,” he told Saipan Tribune.

While most businesses understand and recognize the importance of insurance, Tenorio is hoping to see a consensus from the rest of the island community regarding the value of getting protection and coverage from only the best in the industry.

Full understanding

Shirley Sablan, general manager for Pacifica Insurance, points out that people purchase insurance for many reasons but without fully understanding what they are paying for most of the time. Purchasing insurance, she said, is akin to purchasing a canned good wherein you take note of the expiration date, check the packaging and ingredients.

“With insurance, we should also have a checklist to justify the premium we are paying for,” said Sablan.

Questions should be raised, such as “What company am I buying my policy from?” “Is the company financially stable?” “Will that company still be around when I need the money?” Is the company more capable financially than its competition?” “How am I covered and what are some exceptions?”

“When in doubt, observe and ask questions. When certain, observe at length and ask many more questions. After all, money does not grow on trees so ask before paying,” advised Sablan.

Best service

Pacifica Insurance, Sablan said, takes pride in its highly knowledgeable staff who can attend to all queries of customers and potential clients and provide superior customer service which they plan to further improve.

Efforts include making it easy for the public to obtain insurance with the help of their website ( that contains all information regarding various types of insurance, maintain their normal hours of operation, and continue receiving training in underwriting and claims services to increase their depth of knowledge, efficiency and accessibility.

Chief underwriter Jessica Pangelinan says underwriting requires a lot of knowledge and experience and Pacifica Insurance has the experience in this field.

“We cannot improve underwriting-we can only understand it,” Pangelinan said. “Individuals as well as businesses must choose a company that understands underwriting in order to get the best out of their investment.”


According to Pangelinan, what makes Pacifica Insurance different from its competitors is the way it provides coverage to its clientele, which can be found in the insurance policy “often overlooked and unread.”

“Take auto insurance, for example. Some may offer roadside service and some may not. Some may offer coverage on property damage for uninsured motorist and some may not. We are confident we can offer the best coverage for all lines because we understand that our policies can offer more,” she explained.

On the side of claims, Pacifica Insurance is “running on full throttle” with speed and efficiency, says claims adjuster Jose Tenorio.

Jose Tenorio disclosed that automobile is the most common claim and that the biggest claims come from businesses.

“This is why more businesses now are starting to realize just how important it is to have insurance,” he said. “I’ve seen businesses lose most, if not all, of their assets because of claims. The number of claims has risen simply because we have seen more people acquiring more insurance.”

Unfortunate incidents, Tenorio said, is when Pacifica Insurance steps in to help and cover someone’s losses. “People need to realize that we don’t live in a perfect world-and in an imperfect world there are many uncertainties.”

The very best

Sablan emphasized that people buying insurance should only purchase from the best, and Pacifica Insurance represents “the very best.”

“We are backed by the best carriers that consistently maintain high financial and security ratings: Tokio Marine Pacific Limited, Century Insurance, and Pacific Guardian Life and we offer group health plans through Select Care and Take Care. We will continue to train and enhance our ability to perfect our underwriting and claims services skills. We will continue to invest in technology. There will be continuous improvement. But most importantly, we will continue to love what we do and that is helping others secure their families and their futures.”

In memoriam

Pacifica Insurance was recently saddened by the untimely death of its former general manager and executive vice president, Estanislao “Stan” Waki.

Norman Tenorio described him as a charismatic individual with a strong passion for insurance, an asset to a company where he contributed much and helped make it successful.

“Stan was not only a colleague but a friend to the Pacifica team. Although his departure will leave a sense of emptiness because of all the years we’ve shared with him, our company will continue the tradition of providing our community with efficient service and premium insurance products. He will continue to live on in our hearts and will forever be grateful for his great contributions to our company,” said Norman Tenorio.

Top choice

Norman Tenorio envisions Pacifica Insurance as the top choice in insurance 10 years down the road.

“Our goal is to become a household name not because people love us but because they find our products superior and our services satisfactory. The insurance market isn’t growing, but our goal is to retain and continue to gain the trust necessary to stay in business a decade and more from today,” he said.

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