Prévoir News

Obstacles Hinder Microinsurance Market

A majority of Cambodians would likely purchase microinsurance for their health and crops but are not doing so because they don’t know about the insurance options available to them, and insurance companies lack the cash to expand their services, experts said Monday.

In a new study entitled Understanding and Needs of Low-Income Populations Regarding Microinsurance, released Monday at a seminar at the Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh, the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) states that 78 percent of the 302 Cambodians interviewed said they would be interested in microinsurance, mostly for help if they fall ill.

Micro-Insurance Access Urged

Cambodia's finance sector should increase insurance accessibility to its smallest lenders to help protect against indebtedness at times of disaster, an industry expert said at a conference in Phnom Penh yesterday.

Speaking at the Hotel Cambodiana to an audience of industry representatives on rural entrepreneurship, Jaime Aristotle Alip, founder and managing director of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions, said Cambodia’s microfinance institutions (MFIs) should move to the “next level” and offer more micro-insurance options to help protect micro-businesses from the burdens of loan default.

Micro-Insurance Takes Hold

Low-income Cambodians who take out microfinance loans can also get basic health coverage for $5 per year.

The micro-insurance is available through Prevoir Kampuchea Micro Insurance Plc or PKMI, which is a subsidiary of the French family-owned insurance company Group Prevoir that has been in operation since 1910.

Micro-life insurance on rise

When 46-year-old Than Thol got a $900 loan from Samic Microfinance last year, he took advantage of a little-known and  lengthily worded insurance program called Measure for Economic and Accelerated Development for All, or MEADA.

MEADA provides coverage for families of mostly lower-income borrowers in the case of an accidental death. For an annual payment of $15, Thol is shielded against confiscation of his collateral in the event that he dies before paying off the loan.

New life insurance product launched

Cambodia's nascent life insurance market grew slightly after Manulife Cambodia launched the Manulife Savings Protector yesterday.

Combining savings and protection, it will provide life protection for 10 or 15 years to create an estate for relatives in case of untimely death and offer benefits from annual dividends left on deposit with the company, which accumulate with interest, Robert Elliott, CEO of Manulife Cambodia said at a press conference yesterday.