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New life insurance product launched

Cambodia's nascent life insurance market grew slightly after Manulife Cambodia launched the Manulife Savings Protector yesterday.

Combining savings and protection, it will provide life protection for 10 or 15 years to create an estate for relatives in case of untimely death and offer benefits from annual dividends left on deposit with the company, which accumulate with interest, Robert Elliott, CEO of Manulife Cambodia said at a press conference yesterday.

“Essentially, what the client is buying is a savings protection policy,” Elliott said, adding that it protects their life and also allows people to save money systematically over a period of 10 to 15 years.

“So that they can accumulate savings for either retirement or some other plans,” he said.

Ser Kee Goh, CFO of Manulife Cambodia said yesterday this is the first product of this kind available in Cambodia.

Canada-based Manulife opened operations in Cambodia in June, entering a market where the concept of life insurance is still new.  

“We came to Cambodia because we see that economically the country is growing, and we forecast that there is an emerging middle class in Cambodia who are in a position to buy our kind of products,” Elliott said.

“We estimate that there is probably about a million people throughout Cambodia who will be emerging into that market.”

But for a majority of Cambodian’s life insurance remains unaffordable.

According to Solene Favre, CEO of micro insurance PKMI that targets the lower- and middle-income people and offers life insurance for a much lower premium, it is difficult to sell insurance, especially life insurance, in Cambodia.

“Lower- and middle-income people – it’s much more difficult to sell insurance to them because they have many other priorities, and they don’t see the priority to be protected for potential risks,” she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anne Renzenbrink at anne.renzenbrink@phnompenhpost.com

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