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Insurance survey indicates strong growth

CAMBODIA’S personal insurance industry could grow by up to 28 percent in the next year, a new survey released by IndoChina Research Ltd Friday illustrates.

The findings form part of a market research survey of 600 people between the ages of 18 and 45, carried out in the Phnom Penh, Vientiane in Laos, and Vietnam’s Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Although just 3 percent of those questioned in Phnom Penh as part of the survey said they had insurance, another 28 percent indicated that they intended to buy it in the next year – many said they were concerned about their health.

Leading company executives welcomed the research on Sunday.

CEO of Infinity Insurance David Cartsaid that the indicated growth of 28 percent was in line with his own estimates. Following the firm’s 23 percent growth recorded in 2009, he said: “People have more disposable income and are looking to secure their car or house or motorbike.”

He stated that although insurance is a relatively new concept in Cambodia, companies must overcome the issue of trust, as consumers give money to the firm with no immediate material result.

“The full benefits of insurance are still relatively unknown to people in the region,” the survey noted.

Managing director of Cambodian National Insurance Company (CAMINCO), Duong Vibol, said he believes that the market is developing.

“We have seen year on year that more customers are buying insurance. For CAMINCO, in the first quarter of this year we grew 40 percent compared to the same quarter last year,” he said.

He predicted the company will garner US$2.5 million in premium revenues in 2010.

Earlier this month, the chairman of General Insurance Association of Cambodia (GIAC), Chhay Rattanak, said that the industry could grow around 20 percent this year.

Cambodia, according to the survey, is still trailing both Vietnam, where 68 percent of people surveyed had insurance, and Laos, where the figure was 20 percent. Carter added that companies offering life insurance – such as Prudential – may enter the Kingdom as its $20 million market develops.

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