The life insurance company which is 51 per cent owned by the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and 49 per cent owned by shareholders from Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong is starting to sell more policies this year following an opening in May last year.
The Director General of Cambodia Life Insurance Company Plc, also known as “Cambodian Life”, In Meatra, says he wants to see the entire industry develop in Cambodia.
“We need to provide best practices in the insurance industry right from the start,” he said, “Life insurance is about long term savings.”
Cambodian Life has four insurance products licensed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance: term life, whole life, housing loan insurance and group term life insurance.
Only in operation for a year and with a government majority shareholder, In Meatra said Cambodian Life had been focused on educating Cambodian people about the benefits of long term financial planning.
“To raise public awareness we have gone around Cambodia in the provinces and at the universities in Phnom Penh to educate people how life insurance can help their life and family,” he said.
In Meatra said about 100 policies have been sold since the company opened last year, including two term life policies with $500,000 payouts.
“This is the time to build a life insurance foundation and I’m pleased to work with all insurance companies to understand the real needs of the Cambodian people,” he said. “We must provide good care to our customers and build momentum. It may take some time to make money and we need to spend a lot of time and resources and budget to provide education to Cambodian people.”
Cambodia Life is reinsured by Hanover Re of Germany, the third-largest reinsurance company in the world.
“Hanover Re is a close partner of Bangkok Life and they have worked together for a long time and have a lot of trust. They provide us with knowledge and have given our staff some scholarships to go overseas for training which is a great benefit to us,” he said. He said all the insurance industry players needed to abide by same set of laws and regulations mandated by the government. While insurance companies compete, In Meatra said they could join forces to educate the public.
“We need to have a close relationship and discuss what we can provide to the industry. We are business and we compete, but on the other hand we can conduct public education together with our competitors,” he said.
“We need to have a close relationship between government and industry and harmonise the two. We cannot go separately. Like ASEAN in 2015, we can join hands in the regional context of development with common interest.”
Cambodia Life is rolling out two new “endowment” products, one for education and one called premium payback. The prepared policies have been sent to the MEF. “We hope for approval soon,” In Meatra said. “The education product will benefit people who need a safety net for their children’s education.”