Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Life insurance outstripping general a first

Life insurance outstripping general a first

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A parade of tuk-tuks drives along Sothearos Boulevard in front of Wat Ounalom in the capital’s Phsar Kandal I commune during a promotional event for Canadian life insurance firm Manulife in 2013. Heng Chivoan

Life insurance outstripping general a first

Gross life insurance premium in the Kingdom exceeded gross general insurance premium last year for the first time following an increase in the number of operators, as well as rising consumer demand.

Though the Kingdom’s insurance industry generated $196.4 million in gross premium at the end of last year, Insurance Association of Cambodia (IAC) president Huy Vatharo on Thursday said gross general insurance premium reached $87 million, micro-insurance $9 million, and life insurance $99 million.

“In addition to risk protection, life insurance provides savings for customers, meaning that if customers don’t face any unfortunate incidents they can get back some money at low interest rates,” he said.

However, Vatharo said both general and life insurance have distinct advantages as their approaches to risk coverage differ. He added that it is standard for life insurance premium to be higher than general insurance.

Life insurance first appeared in the Cambodian market in 2012 when Cambodia Life Insurance Plc, a joint-venture between the Cambodian government and four foreign private firms, was launched, becoming the first ever life insurance firm in the Kingdom.

In the same year, the sector was joined by Canadian life insurance firm Manulife and then Prudential Corporation Asia before other firms in the following years.

General Insurance services got off the ground in Cambodia in 1990 through the state-backed Cambodian National Insurance Company (Caminco).

According to IAC figures, as of last year there were eight life insurance companies operating in the Kingdom and 12 general insurance companies.

Remarkable growth

Speaking to reporters at an Asian Claims Convention seminar held in Phnom Penh on Thursday, Mey Vann, the General Department of Financial Industry director-general under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, on Thursday said the Cambodian insurance industry has seen remarkable growth of about 35 per cent per year over the last five years.

Cambodians have seen increasing incomes as the Kingdom has risen to lower-middle income country status, which has improved their living conditions and financial management.

“Cambodians are now able to save up in the financial sector and save through risk protection via the insurance sector,” he said. “The rise in insurance premium at 35 per cent per year over the last five years reflects the distribution of resources from economic growth.”

Vann did not disclose the amount that the sector has paid out in claims within the last five years, but said the amount is nearly half of the insurance premium that has been sold so far.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10