KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 (Bernama) -- The general
insurance and takaful sector is expected to experience premium
growth of between 9.0 and 11.0 per cent this year, according to
ISM Insurance Services Malaysia Bhd.
This was in line with the global economic recovery
and the increase in domestic vehicle sales, its chief executive
officer Carl Rajendram told reporters after presenting the general
insurance and takaful market performance report for 2009 here today.
"The general insurance, particularly motor
insurance, will grow in line with the increase in car sales in
the first quarter of this year and a better sales forecast for
the whole year," he said.
The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has
projected its motor vehicle sales forecast at 550,000 units this
year, up from 536,905 units sold last year.
Rajendram said other related insurance products
like marine, aviation and transit were also expected to see growth
this year amid a pick-up in economic activities, including exports
In 2009, gross general insurance premiums grew
by 5.8 per cent from 8.4 per cent in the previous year, while net
premium growth was at 4.9 per cent from 10.2 per cent in 2008.
Gross general takaful contributions grew 20.2
per cent from 22.5 per cent in 2008 and net contributions grew
by 21.2 per cent from 26.2 per cent over the same period.
The combined general insurance and takaful gross
premiums grew by 6.9 per cent from 9.3 per cent in the previous
year and net premiums by 6.1 per cent from 11.2 per cent in 2008,
Total assets of the sector declined by 0.6 per
cent to RM21.9 billion in 2009, he said.
Total general insurance and takaful premiums in
2009 amounted to RM13.04 billion from RM12.2 billion in the previous
year while net premiums stood at RM9.19 billion against RM8.66
billion in 2008.
The general insurance and takaful per capita spending
improved in 2009 to RM460 from RM440 in 2008.
"However in comparison with developed and
other emerging economies, the general insurance and takaful penetration
remained low at an estimated 1.8 per cent of gross domestic product
in 2009," Rajendram said.
He said the industry was expected to consolidate
further this year with the number of companies likely to be reduced
to 25 from 30 companies last year.
He also said that modernisation of the sector
was long overdue, with Malaysia being among the last few countries
in the world to still operate under a tariff pricing structure
for motor and fire insurance.
"The enhanced regulatory framework and good
technology infrastructure implemented by the government should
drive higher penetration and greater innovation in the areas of
pricing and distribution in the coming years," he added.