Liberalisation to help boost life insurance penetration rate

  • Business Premium
  • Monday, 22 May 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) efforts at liberalising the insurance sector will address the protection gap in the country and increase the insurance and takaful penetration rate to 75% by 2020.

Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) industry promotion committee chairman Ramzi Toubassy said liberalisation would also help boost insurance sales in the country.

“According to BNM, the overall insurance and takaful penetration rate in Malaysia has ranged between 54% and 56% over the last five years.

“The advances in digital technology, demand and expectation for life insurance products and services will bring about new challenges and demands to a career in life insurance sales. But it will also help increase the penetration rate,” he told reporters after the opening of the 2017 Limra-Loma Operational Strategies Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

He said the Malaysian insurance industry had been undergoing a transformation with implementation of key initiatives under BNM’s Life Insurance and Family Takaful Framework (LIFE Framework), aimed at promoting product innovations, diversification of distribution channels, greater transparency and consumer protection.

Ramzi said the significant developments and regulatory changes taking place in the industry required industry practitioners to move quickly to adapt to the new rules and policies, to re-strategise business models and think of new ways of responding to changing market demands.

He said towards becoming a more matured insurance market, such as that in Hong Kong, Australia and Japan, the association aimed to minimise the number of part-time agents.

“About 70% of insurance agents are currently part-timers. We need to turn them into full-time agents, so that they can fully dedicate themselves to the industry, and provide better services,” he added. - Bernama

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