The insurance market experienced a lower rate of growth in the first half of this year, mainly due to economic difficulties, according to Trinh Thanh Hoan, Director of the Ministry of Finance's Insurance Supervisory Authority (ISA).

The ISA's statistics showed that non-life insurance premiums in the first six months came to a total of 11.8 trillion VND (562 million USD), a rise of only 2.2 percent over the same period last year.

The rise was substantially lower in comparison with the same periods over the last two years, which were recorded at around 20 percent, Hoan said.

Life insurance also struggled to maintain a growth rate of 13 percent, reaching 9.1 trillion VND (434 million USD).

In total, all insurance premiums experienced a growth rate of 6.86 percent over the same period last year, down from the growth rates of 2012 and 2011, which came in at 17.8 percent and 22 percent respectively.

The figures reflected that the insurance market was slowing down, which were mainly attributed to the range of economic difficulties that were adversely impacting on domestic businesses, said Hoan.

According to the ISA Deputy Director Phung Ngoc Khanh, the insurance industry aimed at reaching a total premium of 43.711 trillion VND (2.082 billion USD) this year, a rise of 6.5 percent over last year.

More than 54 percent of this was non-life insurance, which recorded a growth rate of only 5 percent but life insurance is expected to grow at 9 percent.

Experts at the ISA's conference on July 15 to review the insurance market performance in the first half of the year also pointed out that the insurance market is too complicated and managing it is difficult due to the lack of an adequate information system, which will prevent fraud and link enterprises together electronically.

The ISA will upgrade the management regime in the coming months, Khanh said, adding that inspections could also be carried out at some insurance companies, including BIDV Insurance Joint Stock Corp, ACE Life Vietnam and the Vietnam Airlines Insurance Joint-Stock Company.

Figures show that there are 58 insurance companies currently operating in the country, 29 of which are non-life insurance, 13 life insurance, 12 insurance brokers and two are reinsurance companies.-VNA