Despite the military coup, the Thai Life Assurance Association (TLAA) predicts its industry will grow by 12 per cent this year as it believes domestic purchasing power will recover and various distribution channels are well placed.
Sara Lamsam, president of the association, said yesterday that it had maintained its 2014 target for gross premium income because the industry showed healthy growth in the first quarter, expanding 23 per cent year on year.
Even though the results for April are yet to be announced, Sara believes premium income will continue to grow because several life insurers have introduced various policies to cope with customer requirements, there are various distribution channels and premium payments are convenient for customers.
He said the TLAA had found that people had more interest in buying insurance with a one-time payment.
The fragile political and economic situation did not affect the life-insurance industry much, with the consistency rate in the first four months of the year remaining stable at 87 per cent.
Sara said policy renewals in the first four months grew by 19 per cent. Therefore, the projection of 12-per-cent growth in gross premiums this year was possible.
Sara, who is also the chief executive officer of Muang Thai Life Assurance, said his company had maintained gross premium growth of 15 per cent.
“We are building a training academy upcountry to cash in on urbanisation and improving technology to achieve the goal of becoming a digital insurer,” he said.
Muang Thai Life’s gross premiums in the first four months grew 36 per cent and new
business by 52 per cent year on year.
The company yesterday launched a new heath-insurance programme and added new features to attract policyholders who don’t make a claim within three years by paying back part of their premiums.
The premium starts at Bt6 per day and covers customers aged 20 to 55, with a maximum protection of Bt500,000. The protection lasts throughout a payment period of 15 years.
The programme was designed to tap white-collar workers because this segment has high purchasing power.