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Insurance to be Cambodia's next emerging market

Insurance to be Cambodia's next emerging market

121009_09
A vehicle passes by the Infinity Insurance office on Norodom Boulevard in Phnom Penh earlier in 2012. Photograph: Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post

Cambodians are starting to learn about insurance, thanks to Canadian company Manulife, which held a press conference on the topic on Friday.

Low awareness and a limited pool of skilled talent are challenges facing insurers in Cambodia according Prudential representative Pankaj Banerjee.

Despite this, he said Prudential viewed Cambodia as an emerging market.

“Rising per-capita income with a GDP compound annual growth rate of 11 per cent over the past decade, and being very young demographically, makes Cambodia an important growth market,” he said.

David Carter, CEO of Infinity Insurance, said the general insurance market in Cambodia was worth $30 million.

Carter believes that, due to Cambodia’s economic expansion, the insurance market will grow by 75 to 100 per cent in the next three to five years.

“There will be two things that cause this,” he said. “There will be organic growth as people become more aware of the need for insurance as the economy expands and infrastructure projects will inject new premiums into the market.”

Although most foreign-owned organisations target Cambodians with disposable income, French company Prevoir Kampuchea Micro-Life Insurance caters to low- to middle-income earners.

“I think micro-insurance is a better option for targeted clients such as low-and-middle income people as we design products with very low premiums,” Solene Favre, CEO of PKMI in Cambodia, said.

The education strategy focuses on how micro-insurance can be a form of poverty reduction.

“PKMI is working as a partner with UNDP to show how, through micro-insurance, we can reduce the poverty of vulnerable people. The first action of this partnership is education on insurance,” Favre said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erika Mudie at [email protected]

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