Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Insurance claims drop in Q1

Insurance claims drop in Q1

Insurance claims drop in Q1

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Firemen attempt to extinguish a fire at the June Textiles factory in Phnom Penh last year. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Claims on Cambodia’s six biggest insurance companies declined year on year by more than 90 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, data from the General Insurance Association of Cambodia (GIAC) shows.

The value of claims in 2011 was raised by fires that gutted two garment factories early last year.

There were US$2.1 million in claims between January and March this year, down from $24 million during the same period in 2011.

Insiders said increased industrial performance and safety had reduced the number of incidents in the Kingdom this year.

“During this time last year, we had two big garment factories, River Rich and June Textile, that cost about $22 million in fire damages.

“But early this year, we did not face any big accidents, so things got a bit better,” Ty Atith, the deputy director of operations at GIAC, said yesterday.

Several claims worth about $500,000 each were filed this year, the majority being related to engineering accidents and health claims, GIAC data shows.

Asia Insurance (Cambodia) Plc awarded River Rich Textile garment manufacturer $1.1 million for their destroyed company warehouse in Kandal province.

Despite a substantially lower claim value, premiums collected hit about $9.4 million, a year-on-year average increase of 39 per cent, as more businesses bought into insurance.

Fire insurance premiums increased by 27 per cent, data showed.

Motor insurance premiums rose by 21 per cent and health insurance by 16 per cent.

David Carter, chief executive at Infinity Insurance, said in an email his company’s insurance premiums had risen by 36 per cent during that period.

“We have seen a major increase in medical and property premiums. This reflects a combination of an increase in economic activity, more employers seeking coverage options beyond the mandated scheme, and more clients moving to Infinity,” he said.

“Our clients still come from across all industries with the notable exception of the garment industry, where we have taken a very conservative approach.

“We are seeking to maintain our market position, but most importantly to achieve market-leading profitability, while continuing to serve our clients well.”

Youk Chamroeunrith, the general manager of Forte Insurance, said claims had not increased early this year and premiums had risen by 30 per cent.

“We did not get any significant claims over that period of time. We’ve had bad claim experiences over the past three years, mainly caused by fires,” Youk said.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]

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