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Road claims concern Forte

AN increase in road collision claims has become a concern for one of the Kingdom’s leading insurers, as the sector posted strong revenue growth in the first nine months of this year.

Youk Chamroeunrith, general manager at Forte, Cambodia’s largest insurer, said yesterday that the firm had seen a 35 percent increase in premiums revenues from January to September, compared to the same period of 2009.

But he said that claims for road collisions were becoming an increasing concern for Forte, which had seen claims grow by 10 percent this year.

“Now, they’re increasing at a controllable rate, but if they continue to rise in the future it will be bad for the insurance industry,” he said.

“As people's living conditions are better and they use more luxury vehicles – the cost of compensation will be higher.”

He called for the government to strengthen traffic laws and enforce strict penalties for drunken drivers, a factor he said was important in keeping the number of claims from expanding too rapidly.

Road collisions were also pushing up claims and premiums at Cambodian National Insurance Company, said the firm’s managing director, Duong Vibol, yesterday. However, growth was still at a “reasonable rate”.

Premiums at CNIC had increased by 23 percent in the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period last year, and the number of claims had climbed 11.7 percent, he said.

Rival company Infinity Insurance had also seen an increase in motor vehicle claims, but Chief Executive Officer David Carter said they were growing in line with the increased number of vehicles on the road.

“Proportionally, we have not seen an increase in claims,” he said.

The firm has seen premiums grow 70 percent for the January to September period to US$4 million, compared to last year, he said. Cao Minh Son, chief executive officer of Cambodia Vietnam Insurance, has seen the firm’s premiums total $750,000 over the first nine months – while paying out less than $8,000 in claims during the period.

The firm set up shop in Cambodia in November of last year, and said its small claim payments came mostly from auto collisions.

“We hope that our premium would reach a $1 million target at the end of the year,” he said.

The two other firms providing insurance in the Kingdom – Campubank Lonpac and Asia Insurance – could not be reached for comment
yesterday.

In the first six months of this year, according to data released by the Interior Ministry’s Department of Public Orde – which collates road accident data from police reports – the number of road fatalities stayed almost steady at 931 from January to July, compared to 934 a year earlier.

The number of reported collisions declined 7 percent in the first half of this year – with totals dropping from 3,257 to 3,040.

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