Cambodian Insurance Brokers Association – Trust and Digitalisation Are Key For Growth

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The Cambodian Insurance Brokers Association held its first AGM in 2023 and saw over 120 participants from the insurance industry attend the event. 

In attendance were Dr. Hor Sovathana, Deputy Director General of the Insurance Regulator of Cambodia (IRC), who presided over the event, and CIBA Chairman Meas Sophat.  B2B Cambodia spoke with both to learn more about the growth of the insurance industry and how digitalisation and trust are key factors.

Cambodian Insurance Brokers Association (CIBA) – Chairman Meas Sophat

Meas Sophat told us “We are a young industry and it’s an emerging business. Before CIBA was established many in this sector found it challenging to understand the regulations and from a tax perspective, so I think it’s important we came together and set up an association for our common interests.”

He added that Malaysia and Indonesia were celebrating 40 years of having insurance broker associations, so Cambodia is a bit behind. “We need to catch up with more mature markets. In 2022 we made CIBA more recognised and visible and we had a better voice with the regulators which is a big benefit”, he said.

Some of the key points in our discussion were:

Insurance Penetration in Cambodia – “Insurance brokers distribute insurance and grow the industry and brokers now have a 28% market share, so they hope to increase this to 60% in the next 5-10 years. So we have a big role to play in our industry.”

Digitalisation and tech impacting insurance – “We can see the impact as brokers are using consumer lines which are untouched – we need digital platforms to engage with consumers and this needs to be stable and perform as well as in the mature markets. We are willing to invest as it’s an opportunity.”

Key Goals for 2023 – “We have a three-year strategy to take CIBA forward and we want to increase our capability and increase the professionalism of our members which we can activate through education. We are preparing a professional broker course that the IRC is recognising and certifying – but this is a big project as well as a code of conduct and compliance.”

CIBA is run by a management committee which consists Meas Sophat, Chairman; Lim Eng, Vice Chairman; David Treal, Management Committee Member; Chea Kimmeng, Management Committee Member; Sang Sokphal, Management Committee Member; Anthony Galliano, Management Committee Member; and Thomas Yip, Management Committee Member

Dr Hor Sovathana  – Deputy Director General Insurance Regulator Cambodia (IRC)

As part of their strategic plan, the IRC wanted a broker association in the Kingdom as a distribution channel was key for the Cambodian insurance industry and they have been working together to enhance professionalism since 2022.

Among the joint goals are the plans to develop the code of conduct and work on increasing insurance penetration in the market (which is under 2 per cent according to Dr Hor Sovathana).

The penetration has been increasing but is low and “public awareness and education is needed as insurance is based on trust” said Dr Hor.

The IRC and CIBA are trying to build trust within the Cambodian society and incentives and provide guidelines through a sandbox. COVID has forced the digitalisation of the industry and they want to be more innovative in offering a platform and tools for insurance.

Dr Hor Sovathana told us that they have goals to increase the penetration to 5.5% by 2030 which is a big task but they hoped they can achieve it.

There are regulations for compliance and regularity requirements such as capital needed for insurance brokers to be established as the Insurance Regulator Cambodia (IRC) doesn’t want the market to be over-saturated with suppliers.

Currently, as many as 40 insurance companies are operating in Cambodia.

In addition, there were two panel discussions on key insurance topics covering insurance distribution in Cambodia, and how insurance brokers contribute to the development of the insurance sector in Cambodia were held at the AGM.

Other attendees at the AGM included AG Insurance Brokers, Alpha Insurance Brokers, Etiqa General Insurance, Forte General Insurance, Global General Insurance Brokers, Infinity General Insurance, MGA Asia Insurance Brokers, People & Partners Insurance, Phillip General Insurance, and Provita Insurance Brokers who were sponsors of the AGM.

Cambodian Insurance Brokers Association AGM 2023
Photo Credit: Cambodian Insurance Brokers Association

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