Brief about Bhutan Insurance Industry

The need for Insurance within the Country was envisioned by our fourth King, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck and hence the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan (RICBL) was established on 7th January 1975 under the Royal Charter to cater to the life as well as non-life insurance needs of the people.

The lack of insurance knowledge by the common mass and also lack of insurance education and awareness program made selling of insurance an uphill task then. Selling of Life insurance was even more difficult as Bhutanese associated taking a life policy to death and tagged a taboo. The Government had to intervene and made rural life insurance compulsory for all above the age of 8 years. The rural house insurance scheme is also made mandatory by the Government for the benefit of the rural people. This scheme has been managed by the RICBL till 2013 with the Government subsidizing the loss. However, RICBL has now taken over the Rural Insurance Scheme.

However over time, the need for insurance and its benefits started to seep into the common mass and now many do not want just the conventional products but customized products and services. The leaps and bounds in the insurance sectors can be very well seen from the growth RICBL has made over the years.

With the increased number of insurance takers, the regulators felt the need for another insurance company to offer better products and services and also have competitive rate. Therefore, Bhutan Insurance Limited was established on 20th August 2009. Bhutan Insurance has also grown by many folds in just a few years.

The Insurance and banking Industry is regulated by the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan, the Country’s Central Bank.

To increase risk appetite and enhance capacity within the Country, the first Reinsurance Company, GIC-Bhutan Re Ltd. was opened on 5th September 2013. GIC-Bhutan Re partners with General Insurance Corporation of India with GIC, India holding 26% stake in the Company.

GIC-Bhutan Re has since then started writing risks not just from within the Country but also from outside Countries like Bangladesh, UAE, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Philippines. From 2014, GIC-Bhutan Re has also started participating in the treaties of the PSU’s of India.

GIC-Bhutan will be expanding its business base to countries other than ones mentioned above in due course of time to have better spread of risk.