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Kingdom’s insurance sector small yet vibrant

Cambodia saw the highest growth rate for gross premiums in ASEAN last year, though insurance penetration and market size in the Kingdom remains much smaller than in other countries in the region, according to a report released yesterday.

Figures from the ASEAN Insurance Council’s (AIC) latest report show that gross premiums in Cambodia grew by 38.4 percent in 2015, while total insurance premiums in ASEAN as a whole grew by 2.9 percent during the same period.

“The insurance industry [. . .] can play an essential role in supporting and sustaining our region’s economic growth,” Evelina Pietruschka, AIC secretary-general, said in a release that accompanied the report.

“The overall ASEAN gross written premiums has a compounded annual growth rate of 5.8 percent from 2012 to 2015, indicating the industry’s stable growth and potential, despite the ups and downs of various markets and sectors in our region.”

Non-life insurance

Cambodian insurance penetration, calculated by weighing a country’s premium amounts to its GDP, was 0.46 percent in 2015, compared 0.36 percent in 2014, giving the country the lowest penetration rate out of all ASEAN countries. Overall penetration in ASEAN was 3.8 percent in 2015, the report showed.

The data showed that insurance market is still growing in the Kingdom with gross written premiums reaching $84 million in 2015, compared to $61 million in 2014. At the same time, penetration for life insurance reached 0.12 percent in 2015, from 0.04 percent one year earlier.

However, figures from the report highlighted a slight decrease in the growth rate of insurance in Cambodia, showing that life insurance grew at 192 percent in 2015, down from 293 percent in 2014. The general insurance premium growth rate also cooled, going from 27 percent in 2014 to 16 percent in 2015.

Nevertheless, AIC chairman Michael Rellosa noted that total premiums for the region reached $87 billion in 2015 – an optimistic sign for future growth. “This is already more than double our production six years ago, yet admittedly, the region is still sorely underinsured,” he explained.

“The growth potential is enormous. The increasing per capita income, lengthening lifespans beyond the working age, and rising healthcare expenditure in societies with weak traditions of universal health care – all of these indicators point to the growth of the industry in the region.”

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