The Jakarta Post
Insurance firm Allianz Indonesia said on Tuesday it would expand microinsurance services to low-income people by adding more agents to reach potential customers in rural areas.
Allianz subsidiary Allianz Life Indonesia president director Joachim Wessling said Wednesday that microinsurance in Indonesia had become one of the fields with the most potential for business.
“For us, microinsurance isn’t a charity or donation. It’s a business. We make money. On the other hand, it’s a way for us to contribute to lower-income people in this country,” he told reporters in his office in Jakarta.
He said that Allianz Life Indonesia would expand microinsurance services by strengthening cooperation with partners such as rural banks (BPR), cooperatives and other micro financing institutions nationwide.
“Besides those partners, we also now have about 15,000 agents spread throughout at 80 offices in 44 cities across the country. We plan to increase the number of agents to 50,000 in the next four or five years,” he said.
Agents were essential for the company’s push to reach customers in rural areas, he added.
According to Allianz Life Indonesia reports, the company’s microinsurance portfolio has grown significantly since the business’ inception in 2006.
The company previously recorded Rp 9.5 billion (US$1 million) in microinsurance premiums, which was expected to increase to Rp 30 billion this year. The company currently has 440,000 microinsurance customers nationwide.
Allianz Life Indonesia deputy president director Handojo Kusuma said the company was committed to continuously expanding the business because many people needed insurance in Indonesia but could not afford to pay standard insurance products’ premiums.
Earlier this month, the company launched a new microinsurance product named Tamadera, whose least-expensive premium was priced at Rp 10,000 (about US$1.12) a week for a five-year period.
Wessling said that Indonesia was one of the most potentially lucrative markets for insurance products due to its large population and robust economic performance over the last several years.
He added that the government has also encouraged foreign investment in the insurance businesses.
“It’s easy to conduct business here when compared to Russia, for example. The government is
very supportive of foreign investors,” he said. He added that Indonesia would remain a conducive and promising business hub in years to come.
The presence of German insurance giant Allianz in Indonesia dates to 1981. The company established its first subsidiary, PT Asuransi Allianz Utama Indonesia, which operated in the general insurance area, in 1989.
In 1996, a second subsidiary operating in life insurance, PT Asuransi Allianz Life Indonesia, was established. Allianz Indonesia presently has almost 1.7 million customers.
Wessling said Allianz Indonesia planned to move to its new building, Allianz Tower, on Jl Rasuna Said, South Jakarta, in March 2001.
The company designed Allianz Tower to bean environmentally friendly building with low consumption of energy and water. (rdf)