Mr. Youk Chamroeunrith, Chairman of Forte Life Assurance (Cambodia) Plc, gives an inside look at their life insurance products, business strategy, and how people can benefit from the financial protection they offer, allowing for security and peace of mind.
Life insurance licenses have been issued in Cambodia since 2012, with product promotion and marketing initiatives commencing the following year. Over the past seven years, the local insurance industry has enjoyed robust growth of more than 50% per annum on gross premium incomes, achieving $100 million in total premium incomes in 2018.
Despite the increase in life insurance gross premiums, the market in Cambodia still has very low penetration, which creates both challenges and opportunities. One of the largest challenges, notes Mr. Chamroeunrith, is educating the public on the importance of life insurance. Whether as a form of income protection, savings, investment, or as an additional stream of post-retirement income, says Chamroeunrith, it provides financial protection.
Thanks to Cambodia’s relatively young population (more than 50% are under the age of 40), robust GDP growth at an average of 7% per annum, a growing middle-class and increasing income levels, Forte Life Assurance is able to forecast great opportunities for future growth.
For those who have never considered life insurance, Chamroeunrith reveals why life insurance is a. Life insurance, he says, is an essential financial tool that allows individuals to secure financial protection for their family and build a comfortable retirement income. This is especially crucial because life is unpredictable, and there may be cases where an income stream abruptly dries up due to an unfortunate event. Payment from a life insurance plan allows family members to maintain the lifestyle they’re used to; a well-thought-out plan can also provide policyholders with an additional source of post-retirement income.
To meet the needs of an array of customers, Forte Life Assurance offers numerous types of life insurance products. Ranging from low income to high net worth individuals, they offer plans suitable for all needs, including corporate employee and credit-related loan customers. Their Mirco Life products are specifically designed with low premium primary protection, which is ideal for low-income populations. Individually, their life products incorporate features that allow the accumulation of savings over extended periods for future financial needs such as retirement or investment.
Additionally, says Chamroeunrith, the policyholder also simultaneously enjoys protection during the length of the policy. Group corporate employee plans are designed with more flexibility for the employer to choose the right protection coverage within their allocated budget.
While innovation drives Forte Life Assurance, they also make simplicity as a key when guiding people through the life insurance process. They believe in keeping things as simple as possible when it comes to imparting knowledge and information on insurance, says Chamroeunrith, and their product design allows clients to easily create their insurance coverage based on needs and affordability.
Looking back at 2019, Forte Life Assurance made several large strides in evolving from a micro-life insurer to a full-fledged life insurance company. Chamroeunrith says that the past year, though hectic, brought with is some outstanding achievements. Forte’s continued strength in micro-life insurance saw them grow at a rate of 15%, with an estimated gross premium income of $3.5 million. The company also invested a sizable sum on building sales, leadership capabilities, enhancing product development, and the implementation of a robust IT system for Group and individual life products.
Looking forward to a successful year in 2020, Forte Life Assurance’s strategy is to grow their micro-life business by prospecting and signing up additional business partners across a wide range of industries. They are looking to substantially build their group insurance portfolio, guided by their vision to become Cambodia’s preferred group employee benefits provider. Additionally, Forte Life Assurance is developing and recruiting a direct market sales team– part of their innovative, yet simple, product approach that will ultimately result in enhancing overall customer experience and satisfaction.