Total insurance premiums are estimated to have reached 30.69 trillion VND (1.57 billion USD) this year, a rise of 20.3 percent on last year, according to the Ministry of Finance's Insurance Management and Supervision Department.

The department reported non-life insurance premiums contributed roughly 17 trillion VND (871.8 million USD), up 24 percent on last year.

Life insurance premiums rose 16 percent to 13.69 trillion VND (702 million USD).

This year also saw insurers pay out more than 12 trillion VND (615.4 million USD) in claims to institutions and individuals.

Director of the Department Trinh Thanh Hoan said next year they will streamline the existing regulations to further develop the insurance market and encourage institutions and individuals to take out insurance.

Insurers will be encouraged to provide insurance to the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors and in remote areas, Hoan added.

He said the department also plans to submit proposals to the Ministry of Finance for licensing the establishment of 3-4 insurers and insurance brokers next year.

According to the department's statistics, the country has 53 insurers, including 29 non-life insurers. There are also 12 life insurance and 11 insurance brokers. The country has only one re-insurance firm.

The department forecast the total insurance premium will reach 35.29 trillion VND (1.8 billion USD) next year, up 18.8 percent year-on-year. Non-life insurance will see big rises of roughly 22-25 percent to 20 trillion VND (1.03 billion USD) while life insurance rise will be 12-15 percent.

General Secretary of the Vietnam Insurance Association Phung Dac Loc also believed the insurance market will experience strong growth next year as the Government has targeted a GDP growth rate of 7 percent.

"Strong economic growth, which helps lift worker incomes, will lead to further development of the insurance market," he said.

Loc anticipated the life insurance market will grow roughly 18 percent next year with mixed insurance as the key product.

He said there are still plenty of domestic opportunities for insurance companies to expand, with just 5 percent of the total population holding life insurance. Loc estimated that roughly 30 percent of the country's population can afford to take out insurance policies.

The Business Monitor International also reported this year that Vietnam 's insurance market was likely to see strong growth with total premiums of up to 58.45 trillion VND (2.99 billion USD) by 2014. This will include non-life premiums of 27 trillion VND (1.38 billion USD)./.