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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - $10,000 insurance payout follows death of 90-year-old woman

A woman walks past BIMA’s offices in Phnom Penh
A woman walks past BIMA’s offices in Phnom Penh Vireak Mai

$10,000 insurance payout follows death of 90-year-old woman

Cambodia’s newest micro-insurance firm on Tuesday paid out a $10,000 personal accident claim to a family who lost a 90-year-old aunt.

Marked as the company's first payout for death in Cambodia’s nascent micro-insurance sector, the case has drawn scepticism from a national insurance body, which questioned the risk assessment made by the insurer for covering a person of that age.

The company, Milvik (Bima), which received their licence from the Ministry of Economy and Finance on April 10, paid the claim to two separate beneficiaries following what the company says was the accidental death of the women from Banteay Meanchey.

“[The] customer, though 90 years old, was in very good health at the point of sale. We generally ensure that we only sign on people in good health if they are above 65 years,” Sithy Lay, head of sales at Bima, said yesterday.

Lay said that the payout was under the terms of personal accident coverage, which, as opposed to death coverage, is a policy that has no limit on age.

“We have verified their claim in detail – including seeing some of her prior medical records and concluding within reason that the proximate cause for her death was an accident – a fall,” Lay said in an emailed statement.

Oeurn Chanvisoth, secretary of the Insurance Association of Cambodia, however, said that while his association currently does not include micro-insurance members, any life insurance coverage of a person at that age should be made with caution.

“I think I need to have the information to study this [case], ” he said. “It is a bit strange if it is a life insurance policy, but this is personal accident insurance policy which is different.”

The family said that the death was due to an accidental fall down some steps.

Milvik (BIMA), the Cambodian arm of Swedish micro-insurer Milvik AB sells their personal accident coverage in Cambodia for $3 for 3 months, $6 for 7 months or $12 for 15 months.

Correction: In the story "First micro-insurance sector death payout" published August 30, the Post incorrectly reported that the insurance payout was an industry first. The payout is actually a first for the company in Cambodia. A few death claims have been paid in the micro-insurance industry prior to the BIMA's first payout.
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