IKBZ hopes to capture new business with online platform

Local insurer IKBZ is hoping to become the first firm to allow people to buy its policies online – through computers and mobile devices – early this year, a senior official at the insurer told The Myanmar Times.

The firm plans to start offering insurance policies online in January, with the option to register on mobile devices to follow in the next few months, U Nay Myo Aung, managing director of IKBZ, said.

He believes IKBZ would be the first of Myanmar’s insurers to offer policies online, rather than through a branch network. The company lists 14 separate branches – including its head office branch – on its website.

IBKZ offers 11 different insurance policies, including group life, fire, motor and travel insurance. Fire insurance, which is mandatory for buildings, is the most popular, U Nay Myo Aung said.

Health insurance, which covers hospital bills with a lump sum payment in the event of accidental death, is among the newest.

One difficulty for the health insurance industry is the lack of actuaries and sophisticated actuarial tables to help measure risk. Another limiting factor for the industry in general is the lack of available investments for firms looking for long-term returns on assets.

“We can’t really make a lot of investments because of the lack of capital markets,” U Nay Myo Aung said. The prospect of the first round of IPOs on the Yangon Stock Exchange later this year should offer fresh sources of potential investment.

“We will be investing in equities in the future,” he said.

Private insurers have been allowed in the market since 2013, when state-owned Myanma Insurance’s monopoly came to an end. There are 11 private insurers in the market, including Myanma Insurance.

Source: Myanmar Times

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