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Asean's gross written premiums up 2.9% to US$96.3m in 2015 (Amended)
TOTAL gross written premiums recorded in Asean went up 2.9 per cent to US$96.3 million, while overall insurance penetration rate edged up slightly by 0.4 percentage points to 3.8 per cent in 2015.
These were the key findings in the 2016 Asean Insurance Statistical Report released on Wednesday by the Asean Insurance Council (AIC), at the opening of the 2nd Asean Insurance Summit (AIS) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Within the region, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia have the most developed insurance markets, contributing 33 per cent, 23 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, of Asean's insurance premiums.
Those that recorded the highest growth in gross premiums were Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
In terms of life insurance business, the region recorded a 3.9 per cent rise in net written premiums to US$68.7 million in 2015, with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand as top contributors.
The highest growth was registered by Cambodia, followed by Vietnam and the Philippines.
The region's general insurance business grew 2.9 per cent in gross written premiums, led by Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
Again, Cambodia and Vietnam recorded the highest growth in general insurance business at 16.4 per cent and 13.9 per cent, respectively.
AIC secretary-general Evelina Pietruschka said: "Several markets like Singapore and Thailand have comparable penetration rates to mature markets like the United States or Europe, nearly in the double digits, but the overall Asean insurance penetration rate still measures just 3.8 per cent, indicating there is still plenty of room for insurance to grow in this region."
She noted that the insurance industry has high stability and can play an essential role in supporting and sustaining the region's economic growth.
"The overall Asean gross written premiums have a compounded annual growth rate of 5.8 per cent from 2012 to 2015, indicating the industry's stable growth and potential, despite the ups and downs of various markets and sectors in our region," Ms Pietruschka added.
Aimed at positioning the region's insurance industry to play a greater role in the Asean Economic Community (AEC), the summit paves the way for more than 200 regional insurance companies and regulators to seek solutions to key issues. These relate to marine, aviation and transport development, insurance education as well as infrastructure financing.
Following the summit, the AIC will provide feedback and recommendations from the industry to regulators for their consideration in policy formulation.
Amendment: Based on the release, the previous article said in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), total gross written premiums recorded in Asean rose 0.4 per cent in 2015. The release has since been corrected and the article now reflects that it meant overall insurance penetration rate edged up slightly by 0.4 percentage points.