Gross premiums in the rapidly growing insurance sector rose by 28 percent during the first nine months of the year, reaching $143 million, although the industry remains plagued by a lack of skills and qualifications, experts said.
Speaking at a seminar on the insurance industry held yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Sunway Hotel, Bou Chanphirou, deputy director at the General Department of Finance and Industry, said gross premiums in the industry have increased an average of 37 percent during the last five years.
“The insurance sector in Cambodia has progressed remarkably during the last ten years since general insurance first entered the market, followed by life insurance and micro-insurance, which was established in 2012,” Mr Chanphirou said.
“This growth was enabled by the clear policies of the Cambodian government as part of its development strategy for the financial sector for the years 2016-2025,” he said.
Total assets in the industry last year equalled $296.7 million, Mr Chanphirou noted.
However, Mr Chanphirou stressed the need to upskill the sector’s workforce while strengthening institutional capacity in order to sustain current growth rates, keep up with regional and global trends and deliver products and services that satisfy consumers’ needs.
“Professionals in the sector are still limited when it comes to technical skills, such as actuarial, product innovation, underwriting, asset and liability management skills,” Mr Chanphirou said.
“On behalf of the insurance regulators of Cambodia, I encourage and urge all insurance institutions to focus on training their staff as much as possible as this is key not only to the success of the business, but also to the sustainable development of the whole sector,” Mr Chanphirou said.
Forte managing director Youk Chamroeunrith told Khmer Times that general insurance premiums in his company grew by 15 percent during the first ten months of the year. He added that Forte’s premiums in the segment will reach $40 million by the end of the year, noting that premiums in the Cambodian general insurance market as a whole will be worth $90 million.
This growth in Forte’s general insurance segment has been possible thanks to the strong performance of the property and medical insurance sub-segments, he said.
Mr Chamroeunrith added that the whole insurance industry will grow fast this year on the back of a rapidly growing life segment.
However, he agreed that the industry as a whole is lagging behind other markets in terms of professional development.