The life market showed premium growth in 2018 of just over 50%, overtaking its income in the non-life market (including personal accident and healthcare) for the first time, after non-life growth of around 15%. Healthcare, written by non-life insurers, grew by some 12%.

There was no local life market until late 2013. The number of life insurers has continued to grow, to nine by mid-2019. These nine licensed life insurers are at various stages of development. There are also seven microinsurers which write most of their business in life and healthcare.

PhillipCapital Group of Singapore gained a life licence for Phillip Life Assurance Cambodia Ltd in June 2018. In February 2019, Forte converted its microinsurance company to a life insurer (Forte Life Insurance). Both life and general insurers are allowed to write microinsurance without any additional licensing requirements.

Membership of the Insurance Association of Cambodia (IAC) was also expanded by its opening to microinsurers, of which there were seven in 2019 (after Forte's conversion mentioned above). Market statistics for the microinsurance sector showed 2018 premiums of some USD 9mn, approaching 5% of total market income. Over half of microinsurance premiums related to medical and healthcare covers, and a further 30% to life business.

The 2015 Insurance Law still awaits a sub-decree and supporting regulations (known as prakas) to make it fully effective. Between them, these would cover among other things solvency and capitalisation, investments, intermediation, bancassurance and microinsurance.

Cambodia ranked 130 in worldwide all-classes premium terms for 2017, between Papua New Guinea (127) and Brunei (137). For life business, Cambodia was 109, between Fiji (107) and Brunei (111). PA and health are written as annual business by non-life insurers only. At a worldwide level for those classes in 2017 Cambodia was placed 122 in premium income, compared for example to Macao (105) and Papua New Guinea (127).

In Cambodia, non-admitted business is not allowed. However, foreign ownership of insurers is permitted without limitation as to shareholding, other than where a private company proposes a joint venture with the state in which case Article 46 of the 2001 Sub-Decree on Insurance indicates the state's shareholding shall be at least 51%.

For more information about Axco's Insurance Market Reports for Cambodia, please contact axco@axcoinfo.com.