VN insurance benefits from foreigners

The participation of foreign investors in Việt Nam’s insurance market will develop the market while enriching domestic insurers with experience and governance.

Actualités économiques  | 

According to a report of Bảo Việt Securities Company (BVSC) on Việt Nam’s insurance industry, the number of life insurance products in Việt Nam rose from 100 in 2009 to 350 by the end of 2016. The number of non-life insurance products also surged from 200 in 1999 to more than 1,000 today.

BVSC also predicts that new products will continue to increase in the domestic insurance market.

Meanwhile, modern distribution models of the local insurance industry have also been gradually developing, thanks to the participation of foreign investors.

A survey of Swiss Re shows that Việt Nam’s non-life insurance market is trending to enlarge direct distribution channels, such as online or telesales, while the local life insurance market’s distribution is still mainly through intermediate agents.

Bancassurance was launched in Việt Nam for the first time in 2001 with the cooperation between AIA and HSBC, while online distribution channel was implemented by a majority of large-sized insurers in 2016.

According to BVSC’s report, the capital hike, with the participation of foreign investors, has helped domestic insurers enhance their insurance capacity through training, legal framework and operation of products.

Phạm Thu Phương, deputy director of the Ministry of Finance’s Insurance Supervisory Authority, said the insurance sector this year targets to gain a total revenue of VNĐ129.24 trillion (US$5.69 billion), up 22.38 percent against 2017. The sector also plans to reinvest VNĐ305.49 trillion into the economy.

Insurance firms also target to increase their total assets to VNĐ370.81 trillion this year.

To meet the targets, the insurance industry will focus on building and streamlining legal policies, restructuring insurance companies besides developing new products and improving the quality of services.

The insurance industry is expected to benefit from the country’s projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth of more than 6 per cent annually over the next three years.

The industry has great potential as the country has one of the world’s lowest life insurance penetration levels, at less than one per cent of the GDP. The average insurance premium in Việt Nam stands at some $30, much lower than the global average of $595 and Southeast Asia’s $74.

The fast-growing domestic insurance market prompted many foreign companies, including the United Kingdom’s Aviva Plc and Canada’s Sun Life Financial Inc, to step up their presence in Việt Nam through mergers and acquisitions or joint ventures in 2017.

The insurance market maintained a high growth rate of 21.2 per cent in 2017, gaining a total revenue of VNĐ105.61 trillion. Besides maintaining a high growth rate, the financial status of insurance companies also improved in 2017, with their total assets rising by 23.44 per cent to VNĐ302.94 trillion. — VNS

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