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Sompo Japan offers car insurance in Myanmar

YANGON -- Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance has entered Myanmar's auto insurance market in a first for a foreign company.

     The Japanese nonlife insurer recently began selling car insurance in the Thilawa special economic zone to the southeast of Yangon. It will mainly market vehicle insurance, as well as bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, to customers including businesses operating in the zone. With just 5% or so of drivers in Myanmar carrying insurance, the market is expected to enjoy significant growth.

     The unit of Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings acquired a business license in May, becoming the first foreign insurer to do so since the nation's transition to democracy began. It has been selling fire insurance and other products in the Thilawa zone.

     State-owned Myanma Insurance had maintained a monopoly on the insurance market under the former military junta. Private and foreign insurers were gradually allowed into the market starting in 2013.

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