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3 Apr 2023

Financial Institutions

Non-life insurance business 2023: Recovery seen in written premiums, but impact of COVID-19 insurance must be addressed (Business Brief No.3997 Full Ed.)


        The non-life insurance business shows a promising outlook ahead in terms of premium income, thanks to several supporting factors. These include the economic recovery, ebbing price competition due to the decline in the number of insurance companies and rising operating costs, particularly reinsurance. We at KResearch expect that gross written premiums within the general insurance business will grow steadily at 4-5 percent in 2023.
        Growth in written premiums within the non-life insurance business this year will chiefly be driven by car insurance. KResearch expects that direct premiums from car insurance will grow 6.8-7.5 percent YoY in line with the positive effects from new car sales, tourism and transportation. Additionally, direct premiums from car insurance will be supported by higher premium rates as competition is expected to decline, rising insurance costs based on reinsurance rates, including electric vehicle (EV) insurance, which has an average premium rate about 20 percent higher than those for conventional cars in the same category, as partly reflected by the fact that EVs are relatively new in Thailand. However, clarity on premium rates and specific conditions of electric vehicle insurance will likely be seen at the end of 2023. As more EVs are sold and there are more insurance service providers, EV premium rates will likely be more appropriate, thus supporting the EV market.
        Regarding the impacts of COVID-19 insurance from 2020 to 2022, as total claims reached THB150 billion, four non-life insurance companies had to close down while one is under the rehabilitation process Additionally, the General Insurance Fund still owed more than THB50 million per the insurance contracts to its creditors as of end of 2022. Therefore, close attention must be paid to the role of insurance regulators in finding funding and borrowing sources for the General Insurance Fund to settle claims to the insured persons, who were infected with COVID-19, on behalf of the insurance companies that have been declared insolvent or closed down. Moreover, it may take a while for the General Insurance Fund to recover so that it can act as a guarantor or buffer for the non-life insurance sector and insured persons once more.
        It is also necessary to keep abreast of the relevant framework for approving new insurance plans under prudent risk assessment, with the recognition placed on the ability of insurance in providing non-life insurance coverages. This move is intended to lay a solid foundation and build confidence in the general insurance system over the long term for the benefit of both the insured and non-life insurance companies in terms of their sustainability.

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Financial Institutions