Vietnam seen as attractive destination for insurers
By Dinh Dung - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – The young population and low rate of insurance penetration in Vietnam are among elements making the country an attractive destination for local and foreign insurance and financial services companies, experts told a seminar on Thursday.
|Jack Howell (L), chief executive off cer of Prudential Vietnam, chats with a participant at the tea-break of the strategic issues conference organized at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon in HCMC on Thursday - Photo: Dinh Dung|
“We find the Vietnamese insurance market exciting because it is still a very young, emerging market… that provides wonderful opportunities for life insurance companies,” said Kevin McWhinney, managing director and international partner for Limra and Loma company.
He told the Daily on the sidelines of the 2012 Limra and Loma Strategic Issues Conference opening on Thursday at the hotel InterContinental Asiana Saigon that there was much room for insurance growth in Vietnam as only some 5% of the Vietnamese population own life insurance policies.
“There are some 5% of Vietnamese people owning life insurance on Friday, while in mature markets like Hong Kong or Singapore insurance have been there for many years with 40% – 60% of market penetration,” McWhinney said.
The 20th annual conference themed “Generation Next: What Does the Future Hold?” attracted over 200 chief executive officers and key staff at financial services companies from dozens of countries.
The two-day event offers a platform for participants discussing emerging trends and developments in marketing, distribution and corporate management. Some 20 key speakers talked about strategies and technologies that insurance companies must embrace to capture consumers’ attention.
Jack Howell, chief executive officer of Prudential Vietnam Assurance Private Ltd, echoed McWhinney’s remarks, saying that Vietnam market offers a lot of opportunities to insurance companies.
He, however, said that every market has challenges, and one of the biggest challenges is how to help customers understand the benefits of insurance, educating them to buy right products and to understand what they buy and appreciate the value they buy.
Howell said the local insurance market is witnessing increasing competition, but that is good for the market as it gives customers more options in looking for the products they need.