Local private insurance firms will soon be allowed to sell maritime shipping insurance, a senior government official said.
Dr Maung Maung Thein, deputy minister for finance, said, “More freedom to sell different types of insurance will be provided to local companies. There are seven types of insurance that are already permitted. Soon, maritime shipping insurance will also be permitted.”
He added that local insurance companies possess “good experience” as the companies had provided insurance service for almost three years, which makes them capable of providing maritime commodities insurance.
State-run insurer Myanmar Insurance Enterprise (MIE) had a monopoly in the insurance sector until 2012, when the government issued licences to 11 private companies to provide insurance services. The government only last month allowed those firms to provide health insurance services for the first time in the country’s history.
U Aung Soe Oo, general manager of IKBZ Insurance, one of the local private insurers, told Myanmar Business Today, “Health insurance is our priority at the moment. We will wait for official confirmation on other new services from the Ministry of Finance before making a move.”
Local insurance companies can provide insurance in Kyat, and in special cases in US dollars, allowing them to compete with foreign insurers. Eighteen foreign insurers were given licence to open a representative office in Myanmar in 2013, however, they are not allowed to do any business in the country.