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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Infinity reports increased revenue, profits

David Carter blows out the candle at the fifth birthday party of Infinity Insurance last year at The Exchange.
David Carter blows out the candle at the fifth birthday party of Infinity Insurance last year at The Exchange. Stuart Alan Becker

Infinity reports increased revenue, profits

David Carter, the CEO of Infinity Insurance, says his company wrote $7 million in premiums in a total insurance market of $36 million, with a 10 per cent revenue increase and 25 per cent profitability increase over 2011.

“2012 marked our fifth anniversary in July and that was a very good year,” Carter said. “Our solvency compared to the market is the highest in the market. Solvency means solvent assets which is cash. Compared to our competitors we are the strongest in the marketplace and we are in the best position to be able to get our claims paid quickly.”

Carter said another key part of Infinity’s financial strength was laying off risk to high quality reinsurers.

“We lay off proportions of our risk to professional reinsurance companies who have the strongest market security including companies such as Swiss Reinsurance. We will continue to have the strongest market security.”

Since he first joined Infinity in May 2008, the company has grown by 200 per cent.

Carter and Chief Operating Officer Michael Girling are the two expats, along with about 50 Cambodians.

“Our senior Cambodian management within Infinity has all been there since the inception, including people who are in their sixth year with the company.”

Last year, Infinity trained and tested key staff in accordance with the standards of the Australian and New Zealand Insurance Institute and have enrolled four people so far, Carter says.

“We are representatives for the Australian and New Zealand Insurance Institute, and we have been running the Australian course and have set up a little college in our board room. I’m very happy to say that our guys are passing these exams with distinction,” Carter said. “The course is recognised as being as strong and worthy and superior to other courses offered locally. If our guys get qualified here, then they can go and work in Australia, Vietnam: anywhere else and their qualifications will be internationally recognised. We are proud of that, and we are the only ones doing it in the market.”

Carter says an important part of Infinity’s strategy is building capacity by investing in young Cambodians.

“The pay-off is that Infinity becomes a stronger company. If you have stronger people, you get a stronger company.”

The biggest part of Infinity’s business is medical insurance, according to Carter, with growth in property and construction insurance.

“We’ve beaten our budget for every year and I want to continue doing that by offering market leading service to our customers.”

Carter says it all comes down to making and keeping promises.

“If you make promises and don’t live up to them, your reputation can be irreparably damaged. I teach people you’ve got to be realistic. If we can’t insure something, we can provide reasons why. Everything is about managing expectations. If you do that, you build your reputation as being dependable. There is so much change going on here and dependability leads to growth in business,” Carter said.

“When all else is changing, and people know they can rely on you, where are they going to go? I’m very happy to say we’ve got customers that go way back to when we started. We also know that we’ve got to be competitive in our pricing.”

Included in the suite of products sold by Infinity is “hole in one” insurance for golf tournaments.

“These are fully supervised and we put a person on the hole who films every attempt and prizemoney is put up, typically in the form of the car. If you hit the hole in one, you get the car. We charge a premium against the hole in one happening, and if someone hits a hole in one, we pay out,” Carter said. Other fun insurance includes fishing competitions.

“If somebody catches a tagged fish, we pay out,” he said.

For vehicle insurance, Carter says the roads are improving and the laws are in place, but the challenges are in the implementation of the law and in the increasing number of cars on the road.

“There are more cars on the road than ever before, more accidents, and more police in attendance. That is proving to be a stress. The roads are better, but if you got more cars, they can speed. There are more accidents happening.”

Carter says if a customer gets into an accident anywhere in Cambodia, Infinity will deal with the police on behalf of the customer.

“Police training is very important especially in first response. The police officer has to know what to do and documentation is very important. A legal system can’t function without proper documentation.”

Infinity Insurance and its communications partner riverorchid Cambodia both received awards for creative work at the 19th Annual Communicator Awards, held in May in the United States.

The agency riverorchid won two gold awards for their Infinity Insurance “helmet” road safety effort and “Speedometre” promotion ad.

Riverorchid Cambodia, which was awarded Campaign Asia Pacific’s Creative and Media Agency of the Year 2012 accolades for Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, garnered two Awards of Excellence (Gold) in the print category for Infinity Insurance’s “Helmet” road safety effort and “Speedometre” promotion ad. Infinity Insurance CEO David Carter said that the road safety recognition was particularly meaningful. “With the perennial road safety concerns in Cambodia, our aim was to create a print ad that would engage our customers and all Cambodians through a compelling visual. And by working with our partners at riverorchid Cambodia, we were able to create a simple yet outstanding print ad that emphasises the importance of wearing a helmet while on your motorcycle,” Carter said.

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