November 7, 2011

Insurers hit with few flood claims


The number of flood-related insurance claims has been fewer than expected despite the Kingdom’s worst flooding in a decade, industry insiders say.

Although the floods, which began in late August, had affected large sections of the country, few claims had been made, Infinity Insurance chief executive David W Carter told the Post.

“Flood-related claims have made up less than one per cent of total claims [since the flooding began],” he said, adding that these were relatively minor losses. “Claims are in line with budget expectations, and we have not received any major claims that would affect our financial strength,” Carter said, with the majority of the claims derived from the Siem Reap area.

Infinity had maintained a strong financial position, supported by re-insurers including Swiss and Munich Re, he said.

The company’s total premium revenue rose 20 per cent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2011, hitting US$3.9 million.

Other major insurance compan-ies stated that while premium revenues had increased this year, the percentage of flood-related claims had been nominal.

“We have had some claims since the flooding, but very few. I’d say they have accounted for about 0.5 per cent of total claims,” Cambodia-Vietnam Insurance chief executive O Cao Minh Son said.

The majority of claims the company received came from Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov commune, primarily affecting construction and engineering companies.

Other representatives in the sector believed that flood-related claims have been marginal, as the flooding has not fully receded.

“Some were affected, but we don’t have exact figures [for claims] to point to because the floods are only just beginning to slow,” General Insurance Association of Cambodia chairman Chhay Rattanak said yesterday.

While the exact number of claims received could not be provided, he estimated that flood claims had accounted for less than 10 per cent of the total.

Most claims hailed from the Siem Reap province, Chhay Rattanak said, adding that while the tourism and services sectors were slightly impacted, the railway in Banteay Meanchey province experienced $1 million worth of damages, he added. The value of total claims throughout the insurance sector has hit $32.5 million for the first nine months of the year, compared to $13.7 million in 2010, according to CIAC figures. Chhay Rattanak said that claims had increased as a result of recent factory fires, while the flood’s impact remained small.

Premium revenue throughout the industry increased 18 per cent year-on-year to $20.4 million in the first nine months of 2011.

A breakdown of these figures showed that fire insurance comprised 27 per cent, motor insurance 20 per cent and health insurance 16 per cent.

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