Kurnia’s journey to greater heights

IN 1991, Industrial and Commercial Insurance, a failing and insolvent insurer with a total of 56 staff, was bought over and renamed Kurnia Insurans.

Today, as one of Malaysia’s most valuable brands, Kurnia has over 1,800 people in its staff, with 30 branch offices and an extensive agency network throughout Malaysia and also in Thailand (eight offices) and Indonesia (six).

“We envisage to be the insurer of choice for all Malaysians through our high level of service standard that we are constantly upholding and improving,” said Tan Sri S. K. Kua, founder of the Kurnia Group.

With 16 continuous years of hard work and perseverance, Kurnia has now become one of Malaysia’s top valuable brands.

Kurnia was the first general insurance company in Malaysia that surpassed the mark of RM1bil in total gross premium written in 2004. In June 2006, Kurnia recorded a total gross premium written of RM1.1bil. Its assets, which have been growing positively for the past 15 years, is close to RM1.9bil.

Kurnia was well ahead of most of its competitors as the top general insurer. It held a share in the general insurance market based on a net premium of 14.6% in 2006. Over the last seven years, its premium has doubled, translating into a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16% from 1999 to 2005.

Building strong brand values

In the earlier years, Kurnia focused on expanding its agency network and building a strong service culture to meet expectations. All agents were supported with fast and efficient service, so that they were able to offer first class service to policyholders. Kurnia was among the first in the industry to issue and deliver policies within 24 hours, and also assigned dedicated marketing executives to attend and resolve any problems regarding policies or claims procedures.

Kurnia quickly gained support from customers because its agency force is committed to deliver the top class quality service.

Innovative products

Kurnia’s main goal is to meet customers’ needs and expectations. As such, Kurnia has customised insurance products and services for people from all walks of life. Everyone will find a policy suitable to his or her unique needs.

In response to consumers’ demand for more comprehensive medical insurance protection at affordable prices, Kurnia introduced the “cashless” medical insurance scheme in 2004, where policyholders can gain admission to panel hospitals without having to pay a deposit. This made Kurnia one of the few insurers in Malaysia that fully administered the scheme in-house.

Tan Sri S. K. Kua, founder of the Kurnia Group.

Since then, Kurnia has launched several other innovative medical insurance policies catering to the needs of all market segments. Kurnia also offers a full range of general insurance products, including motor, fire, medical, personal accident, engineering, marine, workmen’s compensation and many other miscellaneous classes of insurance.

Upholding service excellence

Kurnia was quick to embrace the internationally recognised quality management standards in early 1995, and has been certified under ISO9002 since 1996. In 2002, Kurnia received the ISO 9001:2000 certification. Kurnia’s continuous commitment to quality has enabled it to meet and surpass the standards year after year.

Pioneer in 24-hour Auto Assist services

In 2000, Kurnia was among the first and only insurance company in Malaysia to launch and operate a free 24-hour vehicle breakdown service, known as “Kurnia Auto Assist” (KAA). Its key mission is to provide roadside repair and towing assistance to its policyholders. The KAA membership has grown significantly to more than a million today.

Express claims

Kurnia Express (KE) was launched in 2003, offering fast claim services by providing immediate cash settlement for motor own-damage claims within an hour.


Amidst rising market competition, Kurnia capitalised on the Internet to enhance its services and values. Customers are able to buy and renew policies through Kurnia.com, while its agency force is able to submit policies online. That further strengthened Kurnia’s brand value and achieved a higher level of performance, efficiency, effectiveness and quality of service. Policy documents are also delivered online.

Brand building journey

Kurnia started its brand building efforts actively when it became one of the top general insurance companies in Malaysia in term of gross premium written in 1997.

The company took advantage of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 when others were cutting back on A&P spending. It brought the Commonwealth Games 1998 live to Malaysian TV viewers and also collaborated with the Road Transport Department and other Government agencies to embark on a three-year road safety campaign.In the insurance industry, particularly in motor insurance, Kurnia has been instrumental in bringing about many positive changes and improvements.

Corporate social responsibility

Beyond the good internal brand governance, Kurnia is also committed to corporate social responsibility projects in local communities. Kurnia recognises that communities and societies play an essential role in its success as a corporate entity in the community.

For instance, its collaboration with the police department and The Star newspaper on the Road Safety Campaign to promote the values of courtesy, loyalty and independence to all Malaysians. Some of the community events that Kurnia has taken part in over the years include the Commonwealth Games live telecast, Thomas Cup live telecast, Road Mission 2000, The Star Tsunami Relief Fund, and the Sin Chew Anti-Crime Campaign.

Employer of choice

Kurnia Insurans owes its success to its dedicated and experienced team of staff, who have been working tirelessly to bring the company to where it is today. Kurnia is committed in improving its staff through employee training, and also enhancing benefits and values so they will continue to be the driving force in the company.

Transformation journey

Kurnia has recently engaged an internationally renowned consultant to embark on a multi-million-transformation programme, which is known as “TOP” for Transformation of Operation and Performance, to further strengthen operational efficiency and effectiveness in claims management, agency management, performance management and marketing management.

Moving forward

Kurnia will continually strive to provide values to its customers and agency force, so that it will become the insurer of choice of the people for all their insurance needs.

Kurnia’s strong commitment is for people from all walks of life, who need general insurance protection. It seeks to meet customer expectations through excellent service, to be an employer of choice, to continue in its current role as a caring corporate citizen, to achieve 30% of the Malaysian general insurance market share, and to deliver reasonable returns to shareholders.


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