As Cambodia’s insurance industry continues to grow at a rapid rate, more businesses and individuals are realising the importance of protecting themselves against accidents and danger.
Charles Cheo, Deputy Managing Director of Forte Insurance, says the company has seen an average growth of 30% a year, with a huge increase in people investing in personal insurance cover. He adds this is a trend he expects to continue well into the future as the importance of buying insurance grows.
“We currently write a lot of corporate accounts but have seen a large growth in personal lines,” he says. “I think there’s more of an awareness of insurance and not just expat services or product within growing middle class.”
Another factor that has driven up the market, which saw the sector reach a total premium of $12 million in the first quarter of 2013, is more businesses adhering to the law.
Cheo explains, “It’s within the insurance law that any company registered here has to have insurance from a locally registered insurance company. There was a time when a lot of foreign companies came in and purchased insurance from overseas but that’s contravening law. Now, we are seeing a lot of the premiums that should be retained in the country starting to.”
Another element that has pushed the market forward is the rise in small Khmer businesses snapping up insurance. “Insurance is there to protect and prevent, or help incase unforeseen circumstances happen,” Cheo adds. “We have seen a growth in Cambodian SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) starting to understand the benefits of insurance and investing in it.”
The majority of companies in Cambodia will invest in property insurance so, for example, if the business is a manufacturing factory then this would protect them against the danger of fire and flooding. Cheo adds that recently there has been a surge in businesses buying interruption policies.
“These offer much higher protection as if there was a fire and a factory had to close for a year and your business is interrupted then this would come into play,” he says.
Cheo comments that other forms of insurance that businesses tend to invest in for their employees include personal accident insurance, motor insurance and medical insurance.
Forte Insurance is the largest under-writer based on cross of premiums. It has been operating in Cambodia since 1996 and currently holds between 39 and 40% of the country’s market.
For more information, visit www.forteinsurance.com