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Insurance sector sees healthy expansion

An insurance agent assists a customer at a Manulife branch in Phnom Penh.
An insurance agent assists a customer at a Manulife branch in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

Insurance sector sees healthy expansion

Cambodia's insurance industry continued to experience strong growth during the first half of this year, with the total gross premium reaching $68 million, an increase of 21 percent compared with the same period in 2016, according to a report released yesterday by the Insurance Association of Cambodia (IAC).

While the report did not break down premium growth by insurance type, IAC Chairman Huy Vatharo said life insurance accounted for the biggest upswing in terms of percentage, while general insurance, including fire, health and vehicle coverage, saw modest gains.

“I’m very excited to see the prosperity of the insurance sector in Cambodia alongside the country’s economic rise,” he said. “This reflects higher understanding of the population and business institutions towards the concept of insurance.”

Cambodia’s insurance industry consists of seven general insurers and six life insurers. Life insurance, which only entered the market five years ago, has experienced substantial growth with over $1 billion worth of coverage issued in the first half of this year, according to the report.

Robert Elliott, vice chairman of the IAC, said in the report that the past five years have shown an extraordinary growth in life insurance premiums that were underpinned by efforts from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to educate customers about the need for long-term financial planning.

“As a result of that more Cambodians trust [the] life insurance business and allow us to protect their family,” he said, adding that continued support and further collaboration with the MEF would allow the sector to build a stronger financial future for the country.