Sompo Japan aims to join top 10 Thai nonlife insurers in 2020

BANGKOK, NNA - Japan's largest nonlife insurer, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., is seeking to become one of the top 10 casualty insurance companies in Thailand in 2020 by promoting sales of personal insurance policies.

Takanori Ono, chairman of the firm's Thai arm, Sompo Insurance (Thailand) Public Co., says the company is targeting a dramatic annual growth rate of 15 percent in the personal insurance segment to achieve the goal.

Sompo Japan is currently ranked 24th in the Thai nonlife insurance market, far behind the top three -- all Thai insurers -- of Viriyah Insurance Public Co., Dhipaya Insurance Public Co. and Bangkok Insurance Public Co.

Currently, 70 percent of its revenue is generated by commercial insurance, most clients being Japanese companies in Thailand, while the rest comes from personal insurance, mainly vehicle insurance.

The company aims to even the ratio of commercial and personal insurance sales by 2020 by launching more personal insurance products such as life, health, travel, property and asset insurance in every quarter starting next year.

Sompo Japan launched a new travel insurance plan named "Sompo Go Japan" last month in a bid to win clients among the growing number of Thai tourists traveling to Japan, expecting to gain annual premium income of 80 million baht ($2.22 million) from the new product.

The new plan, only available for Japan-bound travelers departing from Thailand, offers additional services different from a typical insurance policy, including insurance on mobile phones and a bilingual assistant service for coordinating with hospitals in Japan.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of Thai visitors to Japan this year is expected to reach 800,000-900,000, up 15 percent from last year. Sompo Japan hopes to sell the new product to 20 percent of them.

Sompo Japan expects to earn total premium revenue of 3 billion baht this year, growing 9 percent from last year.

Thailand's nonlife insurance market, worth 209 billion baht, is expected to grow 4 to 5 percent next year thanks to government-launched infrastructure projects. (NNA/Kyodo)