Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dhipaya plans to lure more retail clients


Dhipaya plans to lure more retail clients


Dhipaya Insurance is banking more on personal lines as premium contributions from the construction industry and megaprojects are likely to be bearish this year because of political instability and unfavourable economic conditions. ''We hope to expand into personal lines as much as possible, as new construction and megaprojects planned by the government are unlikely to take place within this year, mainly because of political uncertainties,'' said the company's managing director Charuek Kungwanphanich.

He said contributions from big corporations and state enterprises, one of Dhipaya's major customer groups, were relatively sluggish in the first half, resulting in flat growth overall.

However, insurance contracts with big clients are generally signed in the third and fourth quarters of the year.

For the first six months, Dhipaya reported written premiums of 3.69 billion baht, 2.12 billion of which came from miscellaneous business, mostly from megaprojects of the government and state enterprises.

Motor insurance generated 1.06 billion baht, fire 399.14 million, and marine and cargo 105.48 million baht. Underwriting profit increased by 11% to 707.45 million baht, with investment profit increasing by only 4% to 172.47 million.

Net profit rose 3.23% to 303.90 million baht from 294.39 million a year earlier.

According to Mr Charuek, greater contributions from state megaprojects in the second half were expected to help raise written premium growth by 5-6% this year.

To meet the growth target and tap more into personal lines, the company yesterday launched TIP SMART, a smart-card programme aiming to attract buyers of personal accident and household insurance.

''TIP SMART will make insurance much more convenient and simple. Buyers just rub off the access code on the back of the card and call back the call centre at 02-660-3455 and the policy's protection will become effective immediately,'' he said.

Mr Charuek admitted returns from investments were likely to remain bearish until the end of this year, as the investment environment, particularly for the stock market, was unlikely to improve soon.

The company currently has investment assets of six billion baht, with about one billion in stocks.

It expects net profit to increase to about 565 million baht by the end of the year, up slightly from 531 million a year earlier.

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