Myanmar to Grant Licences for More Types of Insurance ‘Soon’ as Industry Liberalises

Myanmar finance authorities have submitted a pro­posal to the government on seeking permission to grant operation of all types of insurance servic­es to the private sector.

Licenses for all 40 types of insurance plus addi­tional farmers’ insurance and overseas employment life insurance are expect­ed to be granted by the government soon, said U Kyaw Win, minister for planning and finance.

Out of 40 types of insur­ance, the government’s Myanmar Insurance (MI) has so far allowed licenses for only 12 types of them with private companies. Of them, traveling insur­ance, total vehicle insur­ance, fire insurance and life insurance are the best sellers.

MI has granted licenses to 11 private insurance companies since May 2013. Starting from 2015, MI has planned to open up more insurance cat­egories to private compa­nies.

These categories include products like mercantile marine insurance, credit guarantee and health in­surance, but it still limits life and general insur­ance.

The Insurance Busi­ness Supervisory Board, chaired by former Deputy Finance Minister Maung Maung Thein, said at pre­sent Myanmar has 11 pri­vate insurance companies with its premium income reaching more than 72 billion Kyats (65.45 mil­lion U.S. dollars) annu­ally.

The country has insur­ance penetration of 0.1 percent of GDP, an in­crease of about 4.5 times compared with one dec­ade ago. However total premium income is small relative to the country’s economy.

Following credit guar­antee insurance that MI launched in July 2014, health insurance was the second new product be­fore the launch of weather index insurance as its third new product.

Health insurance poli­cies has been introduced for the first time in My­anmar under a one-year trial since July 1, 2015 and people aged between 6 and 65 years are set to be eligible for the health insurance.

In the latest develop­ment, nine local Myan­mar private insurance companies began a new version of health insur­ance sale to local citizens and foreigners in January this year which guaran­tees to pay partial cost of hospitalization expense and insurance coverage for accidental deaths.

Since 2012, the country has started liberalizing the sector, granting li­censes to private compa­nies but restricting them to operating only six kinds of insurance services.

Of the 20 foreign in­surance companies wait­ing to enter Myanmar’s insurance market, three have been reportedly to operate in some special economic zones.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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