The insurance sector in Cambodia earned about $85 million in gross written premiums in the first quarter of this year, increasing by 16.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the Insurance Association of Cambodia (IAC).
Of that, general and life insurance premiums came to $39.1 and $44.6 million, respectively, surging by 19.5 and 15.5 per cent year-on-year, and accounting for 46 per cent and nearly 53 per cent of the total.
Micro-insurance premiums were to the tune of $1.2 million, down by 26.7 per cent year-on-year, and accounted for just 1.4 per cent of the total, the IAC said.
The insurance sector paid out around $11.3 million in claims over January-March, with general, life and micro-insurance accounting for $9.1, $2.1 and $0.2 million.
As of March 31, there were nearly 1.2 million active policies, categorised as “general” (510,000), “life” (380,000) and “micro-insurance” (280,000).
IAC chairman Huy Vatharo told The Post on June 28 that the insurance sector in Cambodia remained in positive territory despite Covid-19’s sweeping devastation across various economic sectors.
“Positive growth in the market reflects the need for insurance services, which people and businesses institutions use as a means of hedging against various risks that lead to financial hardship. In other words, they do not risk taking risks that could lead to property damage, accidents or other losses that could lead to financial loss,” he said.
Forte Insurance Group CEO Youk Chamroeunrith said his firm did not face any significant challenges in the first quarter, even as the Kingdom grappled with the February 20 community transmission of the novel coronavirus.
In fact, he said, premiums grew by 10 per cent year-on-year during the quarter, “largely due to health and motor insurance”.
He attributed the continued growth in the Kingdom’s insurance sector to Cambodians’ increased “understanding of the benefits and necessity” of policies, higher incomes and a large number of unserved and underserved customers.
In developed countries, total premiums account for about seven per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), while that figure is just 0.6 per cent in the Kingdom, he said.
Chamroeunrith had previously noted that the rate is between six and seven per cent in neighbouring countries.
IAC said it currently comprises 33 insurance companies – 16 general insurers, 11 life insurers, five micro-insurers and one reinsurer.