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Life insurance industry gross premiums set to rise to $260M

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A parade of tuk-tuks drive along Sothearos Boulevard in the capital’s Phsar Kandal I commune during a promotional event for Canadian life insurance firm Manulife in 2013. Heng Chivoan

Life insurance industry gross premiums set to rise to $260M

The insurance industry is expected to see its gross premiums increase to about $260 million at the end of this year from $196.4 million last year due to rapid growth in the sector, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said.

In a statement released in conjunction with “Insurance Day” yesterday, the Ministry said the sector’s annual growth was about 35 per cent in the last five years and expects it will keep increasing by at least 32 per cent in gross premiums this year.

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said during the 19th Insurance Day celebrations on Thursday that Cambodia’s insurance industry is progressing strongly and had become the main contributor to the non-banking sector.

“As part of the financial industry, the insurance sector plays an important role and is necessary for the building of a social safety net and the national economy,” he said.

He said the industry’s gross premiums had been used as saving deposits in banks or as investment funds in the capital market.

Pornmoniroth said the ratio of the industry’s gross premium to GDP increased to nearly one per cent last year, or an equivalent of one person spending $12.04 to buy risk protection.

Forte Insurance managing director Youk Chamroeunrith said having been in the Cambodian market for only some 20 years, the sector is still young and needed to be broadly promoted to create public awareness.

“The economic growth and the growth of middle-income wage earners will boost the need for insurance services. Insurance Day is another message to the public to be aware of services provided by the sector,” he said.

Grand China Life Insurance PLC CEO Liqun Yu said during the event yesterday that Cambodia’s insurance market is still small due to poor awareness.

However, he believes that the sector is now seeing growth.

“The insurance sector will grow strongly in the future if we keep promoting the benefits of having coverage,” he said, adding that the company has more than 1,500 clients since entering the Cambodian market about a year ago.

The ministry’s secretary of state Ngoun Sokha said there are 13 general insurance companies in Cambodia, 11 life insurance ones and seven involved in microinsurance.

He said the industry’s total assets last year was $427million, while it paid out over $25 million in claims.

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