Is life insurance coverage growth slowing in Malaysia?

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 July 2017: 

Malaysia’s life insurance industry is poised to record high single- digit growth in terms of new business premiums in 2017, says the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM).

President Toi See Jong said the positive performance would be mainly supported by the better economic growth of the country.

“Malaysia’s gross domestic product is forecast to hit between 4.3% and 4.9% this year.So, the life insurance industry will grow in line with the country’s economic growth.”

Last year, new business premiums in the industry rose by 6.9% year-on-year to RM9.75 million.

Toi said the implementation of an online platform from Jan 1 this year,  would help improve growth of the industry.

The Life Insurance and Family Takaful Framework (Life Framework) introduced by Bank Negara Malaysia, had specified that term products be available through direct channels from Jan 1.

This is to be followed by critical illness and medical and health insurance/takaful products by 1 Jan 2018.

However, Toi said the premiums contributed by the online platform was still  small, as it was at the initial stage of implementation.

“As insurance policies are quite complex, we believe agents still play a vital role in explaining the insurance products.”

He stressed that various educational and promotional programmes are still needed to further increase the awareness level among the people and reduce the insurance protection gap.

LIAM has targeted to reach the life insurance penetration rate of 75% in 2020, and it currently stands at around 55%.

– Bernama

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