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Cambodians clamour for life insurance

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
A motorist and his family at an intersection in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Gross premiums in the insurance industry reached $142.9 million last year, a 26 percent rise on the figure of $113.5 million the year before, according to the Insurance Association of Cambodia (IAC).

In 2017, general insurance experienced moderate growth of seven percent to about $75.4 million compared with 2016.

However, gross life insurance premiums reached $67.5 million last year, up 56 percent from the 2016 figure of $43.1million.

“The rise of gross premiums in the insurance industry demonstrates the increasing demand from Cambodians for financial and risk management solutions,” an IAC report says.

IAC chairman Huy Vatharo said the success of the insurance industry had been significantly bolstered by the country’s stable economic growth and increasing demand for protection as more Cambodians understood the concept of insurance.

“I’m very excited to witness the industry growing throughout the past years, especially in 2017, when the number of insurers operating in Cambodia grew to 13, six of which are from the still-new life insurance industry which started in 2012,” he said.

“The presence of these insurance companies has a very positive impact on society through risk mitigation, job creation, talent development in the insurance sector and many more ways.”

Robert Elliott, IAC vice-chairman and CEO of Manulife, highlighted the positive impact that the life insurance industry had made on Cambodians throughout 2017 as life coverage rose daily.

“I’m very excited to see the life insurance industry growing in line with the rising living standard of the people as well as the fast-growing economy of Cambodia,” he said.

“Last year, two new life insurers joined the market, and in 2017, more than 86,000 new life insurance policies were issued to Cambodian families with a total sum assured of $2.5 billion.

“This is equivalent to a more than 60 percent increase on 2016.” Mr Elliott said.

“If something happens to the lives insured, their family will get the sum assured so that they won’t face a financial burden.”

Mr Vatharo added that the development of a good regulatory framework for the insurance industry also played an important part in the healthy growth of life and non-life businesses in Cambodia.

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