New takaful operator AIA AFG Takaful Bhd plans to set up three branches next year, its chief executive officer Wan Azman Wan Mamat said.
He said the company is on the lookout for suitable locations, one in the Klang Valley and one each in the southern and northern regions.
"We hope to expand our market throughout the country and offer more comprehensive Takaful coverage to the public," he told Bernama in an interview here.
Wan Azman said AIA AFG Takaful is lining up a new product for its agency in January next year to excite the market, as it aims to be one of the top three takaful operators in 2014, which he believes to be achievable.
AIA AFG Takaful is a joint venture between American International Assurance Bhd (AIA) and Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd (ABMB), a unit of Alliance Financial Group Bhd.
AIA and ABMB secured a family takaful licence from the central bank in September 2010.
Wan Azman said the company will take on a multi-distribution channel approach including direct marketing and strengthen its agency force to penetrate the market especially among Bumiputeras, who are presently under-served.
"The takaful penetration rate is only around 11 to 12 per cent, while insurance is 40 to 45 per cent and of our customers, only 10 per cent are Muslims," he said.
He said the company will recruit 1,000 new agents next year and develop premier agencies, who are more professional and given business priority and service.
AIA AFG Takaful Bhd launched its first agency office, managed by a group of its agency managers known as Imtiyaz Consultancy, in the Klang Valley last week. The office recently achieved "Million Dollar Agency" status.
"We will support more agency office set-ups like this in strategic locations and major cities next year," Wan Azman said.
The company offers four Family Takaful products -- A-Mas, an investment-linked plan; A-Prima, which focuses specifically on protection benefits; and A-Excel, a comprehensive Takaful endowment plan.
Recently, it introduced A-Medik, a stand-alone medical card that offers medical and hospitalisation benefits to individuals that can also be extended to their family.