Most companies involved in general construction for infrastructure such as bridges, roads and especially high-rise buildings choose Forte Insurance for their insurance needs.
Youk Chamroeunrith, director of Forte Insurance, said Forte has been operating since 1999 and provides many types of insurance services to serve Cambodian customers, including healthcare, life, vehicle, housing construction, public construction and even hydroelectricity construction insurance.
Forte’s insurance packages covers all sorts of risks inherent in the construction industry, such as fires and natural disasters.
“There’re many high-rise buildings in Phnom Penh that were insured by Forte such as Phnom Penh Tower, Vattanak, a Golden Tower – a 42-storey building – Canadia building, Bank ACLEDA, and dozens of large hotel buildings in Siem Reap, national roads, which are constructed under the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, especially the second Chroy Changva bridge construction and a hydroelectricity construction in Kamchaymea,” Chanroeunrith said.
Forte has paid out for a number of disasters, and many times, if it weren’t for Forte, those companies may have gone under.
“Insurance in the property and real estate sector is a problem. Cambodians do not take them seriously. This may be because they mistakenly believe that such service is expensive and complicated,” Chamroeunrith’s said. “Actually, it is the least amount of money compared to the price of the real estate. For example, a flat that costs tens of thousands dollars, its insurance costs are similar to a dinner party for friends, or about $60 or $70, while filling out the documentation can take only about five minutes.”
“Having insurance is like having a protector. The insurance service is to avoid unexpected risks. In Europe, there is a saying: ‘Without insurance, the world comes to a stand-still.’ It will be stagnant and there will be no development at all,” he said.
“This means that if there is no insurance, no vehicles in Europe would drive on the roads. Train cannot run, ship cannot travel and air transport services are also incapable. In short, they consider insurance services as part of the backbone for the economy and it makes economy stable,” Chamroeunrith’s said. “In Cambodia very few people understand its importance.”
He also noted that the Cambodian market is small compared to other countries in the region. “For example, the insurance market in Laos is about $55 million dollars, in Vietnam some $3 billion and in Thailand around $7 billion, while in Cambodia we have just $36 million.”
“But the insurance market in Cambodia has high potential because most of Cambodians have an average standard of living and Cambodian economy is experiencing high growth,” he said. “When it comes to Forte, which is very successful, we have about 40 per cent of the Cambodian market, and we’re particularly active in the the real estate sector is also very high.”
“When Forte first began operations in 1999, only about two per cent of our customers were Cambodian. Fast forward to 2013, and now 25 per cent of our customers are Cambodian,” Chamroeunrith added.