Despite the impact on incomes due to global economic uncertainties, the Kingdom’s insurance industry has performed well so far this year, with insurance premiums growing 6.3 per cent to $81.2 million in the second quarter of 2023 from $76.3 million in the corresponding period last year.
Data by the Insurance Regulator of Cambodia (IRC) showed that the gross premium from general insurance recorded an increase of 16.4 per cent at $33.3 million in the second quarter of 2023 from $28.6 million in the same period last year.
The premium from life insurance, however, dipped marginally to $46.1 million whereas micro-insurance saw a 12.3 per cent rise in premium at $1.7 million.
Group CEO for Forte, Youk Chamroeunrith told The Post that their firm recorded an eight per cent increase in premiums in the first half of 2023, particularly fire and vehicle insurance as well as real estate and construction. Medical insurance premiums have dropped in the period though, although there was an increase in medical claims.
“I have noticed that the impact from the ongoing slowdown of the global economy resulted in slower growth in the industry while we face a tough competition among other players,” he shared.
IRC director-general Bou Chanphirou has previously said that the Cambodian insurance market has been growing “fairly rapidly” despite Covid-19, at an average annual rate of about 25 per cent.
The recent launch of the 2021-2030 insurance sector development strategic plan has set out a roadmap for the agency in the short-, medium- and long-term, he mentioned.
The framework of the short-term 2021-2023 strategy defines an insurance distribution system with a particular focus on the promotion of product sales through banking and financial institutions, in arrangements known as bancassurance.
According to Chanphirou, the ratio of national gross written premium (GWP) to gross domestic product is roughly 1.1 per cent.
In July this year, Ros Seilava, secretary of state for the Ministry of Economy and Finance remarked that the insurance industry in Cambodia has experienced growth over the last two decades.
However, there is a lack of public awareness about getting insured to ensure protection.
“We see that there is a lack of public awareness about the benefits of insurance despite industry growth. There is a need for the industry to provide more education to the people about the value of the industry,” he said.
According to data from IRC, as of June 30, the industry had 18 general insurances, 14 life insurance, seven micro-insurance companies, one reinsurance company, 20 insurance brokers and 34 corporate agents and loss adjusters.
The total value of the assets in the sector expanded 10.8 per cent to $1 billion as of June 30, 2023 from last year.
The Cambodian insurance sector’s GWP for 2022 amounted to $331.9 million, up 10.7 per cent from $299.8 million a year earlier, IRC said.
Last year, total assets value was close to $977 million, rising 14.9 per cent year-on-year, with life insurance representing the lion’s share at $662.8 million, up 20.12 per cent, followed by general ($309 million; up 5.23 per cent) and micro ($5.2 million; down 0.08 per cent).