Kazkom Life: How developed is Kazakhstan’s life insurance industry?
Abylai Jakishev from Kazkom Life discusses the potential for growth in Kazakhstan's insurance sector
It’s the size of Europe and rich in natural resources, but Kazakhstan’s economy has been suffering since the downturn in oil prices. Still, its financial services industries have been evolving, after recovering from the 2008 crisis. Abylai Jakishev, advisor to the chairman of the board of directors for Kazkom Life, explains the current state of the country’s life insurance sector, what reforms are needed to grow its nine percent penetration rate, and what changes we can expect in the next two years.
World Finance: It’s the size of Europe and rich in natural resources, but Kazakhstan’s economy has been suffering since the downturn in oil prices. Still, its financial services industries have been evolving, after recovering from the 2008 crisis. Joining me is Abylai Jakishev from insurer Kazkom Life.
Abylai; how developed is Kazakhstan’s life insurance industry?
Abylai Jakishev: Life insurance industry in Kazakhstan has been actively developing in the last 10 years. It’s only nine percent of the population in Kazakhstan who are covered by insurance; the main part of the insured are borrowers or financial institutions. And as the adjustment of the national currency in 2015, it has been issued new insurance products for customers, that are bound to the national currency.
One of the major events which took place in 2015 was the merger of two big companies: BTA Life and Kazkommerts Life. The company takes first place in insurance reserves, the second place for assets. We’re also leading in cumulative insurance – it has signed more than 30,000 insurance agreements.
World Finance: Nine percent penetration is quite low; are there reforms needed in order to expand insurance through Kazakhstan?
Abylai Jakishev: Yes, it is very necessary to develop online insurance. It will help us to clear the path to our clients, by selling new products online via internet, mobile applications, and other services. As well as leaving the insurance agents on the side.
It is very important to create insurance products that are more affordable, and more understandable for customers. We also started contacting foreign brokers as well as foreign markets for future cooperation.
World Finance: What can we expect in the next year or two: any foreign entrants coming into Kazakhstan? And what is Kazkom Life doing?
Abylai Jakishev: There are only seven participants in the life insurance market today, and we do not anticipate any change in the number of players in the market.
With the arrival of a new major shareholder, Kazkommerts Life has changed its strategy. We are improving on the quality of our customer service at the moment, and willing to get more audience and clients on the market.
World Finance: Abylai, thank you very much.
Abylai Jakishev: Thank you.