KUALA LUMPUR (July 1): The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) has expressed hope that the new government would continue to support insurers and takaful operators to reach out to more Malaysians in line with the aspiration to insure 75% of the population by 2020.
President Anusha Thavarajah said despite the recent change in the Malaysian government, she believes the initiative would continue as it would benefit the community as a whole.
Currently, she said, the penetration rate remains at around 56% with only about 32% of Malaysians owning more than one policy.
“We expect a high single-digit growth for the industry this year, about 8% to 9%, about the same momentum that we saw last year,” she said on the sidelines of the association’s inaugural Raya Open House here recently.
She said LIAM, together with Bank Negara Malaysia, launched 10 affordable protection plans under Perlindungan Tenang in November last year, and hopes for more collaborative efforts in order to create public awareness of the need for insurance or takaful for family protection.
Anusha also urged more insurers and takaful operators to participate in the 'Perlindungan Tenang – Mampu & Mudah', a national initiative specially targeted at the bottom 40% of households (B40).
The plan, she said, would allow Malaysians to protect themselves and their families against life’s key risks with premiums from as little as a few ringgit per month.
“Awareness about the plan is still very low, the insurance companies are now slowly going out via different channels to introduce the plan but more needs to be done, and LIAM would continue with publicity efforts in order to create more awareness among the public,” she said.
On another note, she said currently only about six companies are offering the 'Perlindungan Tenang’ plan, adding she hopes more insurers and takaful operators would come on board to participate in the initiative which is aimed at reducing the protection gap in the country.
Anusha said currently, awareness among rural residents is lower compared to those in urban areas, hence the need for insurers to reach out to those in the segment by creating more channels for the group to access the plans.
She added that if the Perlindungan plan takes off, the aspiration to insure 75% of the population could be achieved.
Formed in 1974 as a trade association registered under the Societies Act 1966, LIAM has 14 life insurance companies and two life reinsurance companies as members.