Head of Automobile Insurance at Forte Insurance Mr. Kheang Ratanak spoke with CIR Leader Talks on the government’s plans to introduce compulsory insurance for private vehicles, the changing culture of driver safety, and car insurance protection and value-added services Forte is offering.
Cambodia has been slowly re-developing its insurance sector since the 1990s legislating its Insurance Law in 2000 and developing regulations around Life Insurance in 2012.
Increasing incomes have seen Cambodians achieve lower-middle income country status, with improving living conditions and financial management, regulators are now looking to implement compulsory automobile insurance.
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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 premiums 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 $17.50 per capita, up from $16.30, the IDC
“Cambodia is one of ASEAN members yet to implement compulsory third-party insurance for private vehicles,” Kheang Ratanak said.
“At Forte, we believe the sector is ready for the move and although it will require close collaboration with all stakeholders, the implementation would be indispensable for vehicle owners as well as the public,” he added.
Changing the culture of driver safety
According to a UN Development Programme and National Road Safety Committee (NRCS) 2021 study on road accidents in Cambodia behavior was found as the main contributor when assessing fatalities.
The four factors that cause deaths are: the use of alcohol and drugs, speeding, ignoring traffic rules, and using phones while driving. Other contributing factors to road casualties included failure to wear a helmet or seatbelt, the report found.
Earlier this year, the International Business Chamber of Cambodia (IBC) launched a pioneering working group with aims to support the Royal Government’s goal to reduce deaths and injuries from road accidents by 50% by 2030.
The initiative has also formally partnered with Cambodia’s NRSC to help deliver on the “National Road Safety Plan” by promoting corporate responsibility around road safety and advocating awareness with member company employees and within the community.
“Promoting responsible driving is paramount to ensuring that any compulsory automobile insurance policy was actually effective. This is because for any insurance policy sold to be valid, the driver must be adhering to all Cambodian road laws during and before any accident,” Kheang Ratanak said.
“Over the last 10 years we have seen increased compliance with road safety laws in Cambodia. However, we understand that there is still needs to be a large culture shift with regards to safety basics such as seat belt wearing and drink-driving,” he added.
Forte Automobile Insurance
Kheang Ratanak explained that Forte offers a wide range of cover and pricing options for customers to choose the best automobile insurance coverage for them with prices starting at just $0.25 per day for the basic third-party insurance policy.
“From the standard coverage in our affordable “Basic” package to the full protection of our “Comprehensive” policy, we can create a flexible package that means you only pay for the level of cover you need,” he said.
Third-Party Liability cover protects policyholders should cause bodily injury to others or damage their car or other property while driving, the policyholder is also entitled to up to $1,500 for the cost of legal fees and aggregated liability up to $150,000 for whole policy period.
“Our comprehensive policy is tailored to give policyholders maximum protection if their vehicle suffers accidental loss or damage, as well as protecting them against claims from others. The extensive nature of a full Comprehensive policy can ensure against passenger liability, theft, fire, strike, riot, civil commotion, and even flood damage,” he said.
According to Forte’s online quote calculator, a 2020 Honda Civic valued at around $50,000USD would cost $105.00 for annual third-party liability and $892.50 for annual comprehensive coverage.
In addition, Forte also offers its RED (Rapid Emergency Dispatch) Team which is an exclusive value-added service for Forte’s Motor Vehicle Insurance policyholders that provide immediate aid during road mishaps.
“Many customers before the pandemic preferred to purchase products, make payments, and collect payouts at our company branches spread out across the country,” Kheang Ratanak said.
“However after the lockdowns forced consumers to go digital, we have seen a continued trend of people using our digital capabilities. Forte is committed to offering all these products as well as bundle packages in person, online, or over the phone to make it easy for our customers,” he added.