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Travel Insurances Surge

The number of travel insurance issued by state-run Myanmar Insurance Enterprise (MIE) has surged in the recent months thanks to an influx of tourists and foreign businesspeople, a senior MIE official said.
Increasing foreign investment and the upcoming 27th SEA Games are resulting in more insurance issued at the MIE, U Sein Min, general manager of MIE said.
Before the former military government launched a sweeping nationalisation in 1963, there were more than 70 local and foreign private insurance companies operating in Myanmar. Only MIE has been doing insurance business since then.
As the country transforms from decades-long military rule, more economic reforms are going to boost the insurance sector, he added.
MIE received premiums worth K25 billion ($25.77 million) in 2011-12 financial year and K47 billion ($48.45 million) for the 2012-13 FY.
Now, MIE offers 46 different classes of insurance, fire insurance being the most popular and life insurance being the least issued.
Myanmar will allow foreign investors into its insurance sector by around 2015 once local private insurers have had time to establish themselves, U Maung Maung Thein, deputy minister for finance, said in September, after the head of Prudential Plc, Britain’s leading insurer, expressed interest in Myanmar.
In September, for the first time in more than 50 years, 12 private insurance companies were given conditional approval to start operating by the Insurance Business Supervisory Board (IBSB).
As Western economies slow and the developed economies in Asia become saturated, insurers are increasingly turning to Southeast Asia, drawn by its growing middle classes and lack of insurance policy holders.

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