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Forte Insurance says investing in human capital is key to winning consecutive ‘Best General Insurance Company’ award

Harrison White

Cambodia’s largest general and life insurance provider Forte Insurance has been recognized as “Best General Insurance Company 2022” by the Global Banking & Finance Review, an international awards body based in the UK.

According to Global Banking & Finance, Forte has continued to set industry-leading benchmarks, marking the eighth consecutive year of being the best general insurance company in the country.

The Global Banking & Finance Review awards are recognized throughout the global banking and financial community. Open to companies of all sizes, award winners are selected based on a criterion that includes innovation, achievement and strategy.

Speaking to Cambodia investment Review Group Chief Executive Officer of Forte Insurance Mr. Youk Chamroeunrith highlighted the insurance provider’s emphasis on investing in its human capital as its most important factor to remain market leaders in Cambodia’s rapidly developing insurance industry.

“My team and I are honored to be selected as Cambodia’s best general insurance provider for eight consecutive years. We thank the Global Banking & Finance Review for recognizing our exceptionally comprehensive, efficient insurance services while ensuring the continued growth and further development of the Kingdom’s insurance market,” Chamroeunrith said.

Developing the workforce

Starting from humble beginnings in 1998 Forte Insurance today incorporates a large, ever-expanding and diverse pool of talent in an industry that was only reestablished by law in the early 2000s.

“Forte Insurance believes in a diverse work environment and a strong culture of inclusiveness that allows our workforce to contribute to their full potential. Their unique outlook and experiences are crucial to our continued success,” Chamroeunrith said.

“Above and beyond, however, our people are reliable, honest and efficient. Their knowledge and experience allow us to continuously grow and offer high-quality products and services,” he added.

Chamroeunrith explained that, “Educating the Cambodian population on the importance of insurance products to protect both assets and income through building trust in the institution that provides the products has been our biggest challenge to the sector development.”

Youk Chamroeunrith - Forte Insurance
Group Chief Executive Officer of Forte Insurance Mr. Youk Chamroeunrith

Attracting talented to staff to work in the sector has been made easier recently as the financial services industry continues to develop into one of the fastest-growing industries in the country with staff retention now becoming a major issue.

“To retain our staff in the highly competitive financial industry, Forte Insurance is continuously engaging in programs to develop and redefine our professional capabilities, including being the only insurer in Cambodia to offer higher-level certification (AMII and ACII) training that meets globally-recognized insurance standards,” Chamroeunrith said.

“Our company’s management style is based upon allowing employees to take on responsibility and grow into leadership positions. This was a key strategy element that assisted the growth of the company as well as staying on top of upcoming market trends,” he added.

Insurance premiums tipped to grow

According to a report by the Insurance Regulator of Cambodia, despite the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, Cambodia’s insurance industry reported a growth of 9.5 percent in total premium at $293.4 million in 2021, up 9.5 percent year-on-year.

The country’s insurance penetration stood at 1.1 percent last year, up from 1.04 percent for the previous year, while insurance density amounted to $17.5 per capita, up from $16.3, the IDC report added.

Looking to the future trends of the sector Chamroeunrith believes that Cambodia’s insurance industry will continue to grow, predicting premiums will double to approximately two percent of Gross Domestic Product over the next five years, and tipping premiums will hit between $600 and $800 million a year.

“I believe we will see the continued growth of total premiums across the country as Cambodia remains one of the most under-insured economies in the region. In addition, the increase in digitally available products should turbocharge the sector and allow us to easier reach those who live outside the major centers,” Chamroeunrith said.

Cambodia’s financial sector is currently undergoing a digital revolution increased by the COVID 19 pandemic with many new ‘Insurtech’ providers looking to enter the local market with opportunities for easier access to customers to purchase packages, pay premiums and collect payouts.

“Many customers before the pandemic preferred to purchase products, make payments, and collect payouts at our company branches spread out across the country. However after the lockdowns forced consumers to go digital we have seen a continued trend of consumers utilizing our digital capabilities, Chamroeunrith said.

“Of course, digital is the future for all financial services and while there will always be a need for physical offices for both our customers and staff, the digital race is rapidly becoming the new battleground for new customers,” Chamroeunrith added.

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