According to the data from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, there were around 2,500 developments covering an area of 7.7 million square meters of land last year and about 700 buildings – ranging from five to 55 floors – that were built across the country.
Most of which are located in the Kandal, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, and Battambang provinces. This contributed to investments in the construction sector which rose to an all-time high at nearly $3.5 billion or up to 40 percent from 2014.
But despite the construction sector showing strong investment growth, construction owners still seem to take the topic of getting insurance lightly.
According to the director and general manager of Forte Insurance, Youk Chamreounrith, with the rapid growth in the sector, risks become an inevitable factor in construction site management and should be one of the primary issues that owners and companies are keeping their focus on. He says that “in the insurance sector on the construction in Cambodia people seem to understand about it limitedly, while the other countries care of construction insurance a lot and take care of risks in the construction sites.”
He states that the growing problem even urged him to demonstrate the risk issue to construction owners. He further encourages that “people, investors, and as well as construction owners should clearly learn and consider the importance of construction insurance. If the construction meets a small problem, it’s okay. But if the problem in the construction is big or the contractor runs away, the construction will get stuck” and will cost the owners more than they had anticipated.
Hopeful for the future of insurance though, Chamreounrith says that “in the previous time, Forte paid millions of dollar insurance for some construction owners; however, the number of construction owners’ insurance purchasing is low. But I hope people and the owners will understand clearly about the construction insurance.”
This is a sentiment that is backed up by Chhay Rattanak – the deputy director-general of the General Department of Financial Industry, Ministry of Economy and Finance – who says that the insurance sector plays a vital role in both developed and developing countries and is one of the pillars of the financial system and economic development through risk curb in the construction, industry and service sector.
“Last year insurance capital in total was $8 million as insurance in the engineering sector was $3.5 million. In the last five years the sector saw an increase of 20 percent year-on-year which requires stakeholders to prepare regulations to improve the sector,” Rattanak said. He further expounds that “with the strong growth of the construction sector, the ministry called for construction companies and as well construction owners to buy insurance to protect their construction site. However, insurance purchasing from construction owners is still low which requires the ministry involved to prepare and urge them to buy insurance.”
In 2015, about 500,000 people had life insurance worth about $22 million, which increased three-fold from the year before. The total premiums for general insurance also rose 16.4 percent last year from $53 million to about $61.6 million, with property, fire, vehicle, and the medical categories leading the way. This is according to the Insurance Association of Cambodia.
The report from the association shows that the fastest-growing segment of insurance was property and fire that had premiums rising 35.1 percent, followed by vehicle insurance that grew 14.5 percent, medical insurance by 26 percent, and personal accident insurance up by 18.8 percent from 2014.
Slowly, Cambodia is seeing the rise of construction security through insurance education and appreciation where hopefully, one day, the vision of Chamreounrith and Rattanak will come to be a reality.
This story was featured in the September 2016 print edition of PROPERTY VIEW magazine, produced by the CVEA. Realestate.com.kh is very proud to support the CVEA’s Property View publication. For more information about joining the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA) please click here. And, if you are interested in advertising placement or advertorial in the next edition of Property View Magazine, please contact Mr. Virith via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or call: 078 959 567 or 098 66 26 68