Viriyah Insurance plans by the end of this year to expand its cross-border coverage service to vehicles transporting Thai goods to Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar, besides Laos, where the service is already in effect.
Deputy managing director Arnon Opaspimoltum said Viriyah reached an agreement recently with a partner in Laos under which the latter will share responsibility to cover compensation claims to Viriyah policyholders if they have a traffic accident in that country.
Viriyah is seeking partners in Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar to serve Thai policyholders in those countries through the same collaboration model as with the Laotian partner, marketing manager Krit Hincheeranun said.
He said the local-partnership model would help bring in more premiums from commercial trucks and tipped that income from this segment would grow by at least 20 per cent from Bt1.9 billion last year.
In 2013, premiums from motor insurance were Bt30.94 billion, but only a small proportion of that was from commercial transport vehicles, he said.
Goods to be insured later
Krit added that if the cross-border motor-insurance scheme is successful, the company planned to design insurance products to protect not only the vehicles but the goods being transported in those countries. That plan could see fruition in the next few years.
If the company clinches partnerships in Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar, it will assign Viriyah offices in main provinces close to those neighbouring countries to coordinate with the partners. It already has assigned its office in Udon Thani to collaborate with the local partner in Laos.
The company considers that the partnership model will build relationships and bring healthy growth rather than the establishment of its own companies or joint ventures in neighbouring countries.
Arnon said the motor-insurance market was likely to see total premium growth of 5 per cent from last year’s value of Bt203 billion. However, as the market leader, Viriyah hopes to surpass that growth rate, though it will be a challenge to match the double-digit growth it witnessed last year.
Viriyah’s total premiums last year grew 21 per cent to Bt33.98 billion. Motor insurance represented Bt30.9 billion, with growth of 21 per cent, while other segments brought in Bt3 billion, with growth of 25 per cent.
The government’s first-car tax-incentive scheme launched in 2012 accelerated motor-insurance premiums, but after that programme ended, premiums resumed normal growth, Arnon said.
The company reported net profit of Bt1.66 billion last year, the same figure as in 2012.