Myanma Insurance is attempting to make insurance products more accessible by redesigning life insurance policies, according to an interview with General Manager of Myanma Insurance U Khin Muang Win.
“We will renew our life insurance policies to attract the general public. We also submitted a proposal to the ministry of planning and finance on 2 August 2017 to be able to sell crops insurance policies,” he said.
Life insurance is the most popular insurance product globally, but ranks fourth in Myanmar, with a total consumer base of about 500,000 people. Of those, only few tens of thousands of people are provided life insurance as a benefit from their employers, U Khin Muang Win said.
Myanma Insurance sells public life insurance, government services personnel life insurance, defences services personnel life insurance, snakebite life insurance, sportsman life insurance, workmen’s compensation insurance, marine hull insurance and farmer’s life insurance. Myanma Insurance plans to shorten terms for public life insurance, government services personnel life insurance and defences services personnel life insurance to make these policies more attractive.
“Most people dislike long-term life insurance plans because their value can be reduced over time by rapid inflation,” he said.
“For example when people buy government services personnel life insurance, they have to buy for the period from 18 up to 60 years of age. Therefore, we are reviewing to introduce the short-term insurance such as five or 10 years,” said U Khin Maung Win.
“Currently, we are observing what other countries are doing to be able to sell crop insurance to the farmers,” he said. Crop insurance pays out when farmers’ lose their crops due to unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, infestation. Farmers’ insurance policies can also protect farmers from radical commodity price changes due to trade policy shifts or export market changes.
Crop insurance is very important to the local farmers who seek more stability in agricultural markets, said Dr Soe Tun, vice chairman of the Myanmar Rice Federation.
“Half of the premium is subsidised by the government in many countries,” Dr Soe Tun said. “Therefore, we want our government to pay half of the premium.”
People are also interested in health insurance this year because Myanma Insurance has tripled payouts for health insurance claims.
“Previously, Our Myanma insurance paid mainly the death compensation. But now we’ve updated the health insurance in such a way that we can pay the compensations for those who are hospitalised. The compensation has also increased up to Ks1.1 million from Ks400,000 for receiving medical treatment at the hospital. People can also buy the insurance for the surgeries. Health insurance premiums can be paid with installments,” said U Khin Maung Win. Myanma Insurance currently provides more than 30 categories of insurance to the public. Private insurers offer 12categories of insurance. Myanma Insurance is a quasi-independent agency under the supervision of the Insurance Business Regulatory Board,” said U Khin Muang Win.
Foreign insurers, including companies from India and Japan, are involved in Myanmar and also engage in some lending activities. Currently, Myanma Insurance has earned 40 per cent of its revenue from fire insurance, its most popular policy, followed by motor insurance, marine cargo Insurance, and life insurance.
By May Thet Hnin