Landscape study finds impressive 30% comparable growth in written premiums in Africa

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The preliminary findings of the Microinsurance Network's Landscape of Microinsurance in Africa 2015 were presented during the press conference of the 11th International Microinsurance Conference today in Casablanca. The preliminary briefing note of this landscape study was launched, summarising key trends and insights. The full report will be published in early 2016. 

This year's study identified 61.9 million people in the Africa region covered by at least one microinsurance policy, up from 44.4 million people identified in the 2011 study. Total written microinsurance premiums amounted to almost USD 647 million, representing a 31% comparable increase since 2011 for institutions who reported data for both studies. Interestingly, this growth was identified not just in credit life products but across all product lines. Though life covers still dominate the region in terms of coverage, the largest growth was seen in health and agriculture covers. Mass market channels are shown to be playing an important role, accounting for 45% of the distribution of microinsurance in the region.
 
Morocco, the host country of the International Microinsurance Conference this year, experienced significant microinsurance development with 1.3% of the population covered by at least one microinsurance policy, compared with 0.06% in 2011. Ghana (29.6%) and Zambia (22.2%) also experienced notable growth, up from 7% and 0.94% respectively in 2011. 
 
These important developments, combined with an average 30% profit reported by insurers, lead Michael J. McCord, chair of the Microinsurance Network, to determine, "Microinsurance is a profitable business in Africa". 
 
Looking forward, Bachir Baddou, director general of the Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Associations (FMSAR), a partner of the 11th International Microinsurance Conference, emphasised the importance of health microinsurance, asserting that, "When we look  at the insurance needs of low income people, the first thing is often health insurance." McCord echoed this sentiment, suggesting that "a facilitative approach would be the best way forward for fostering growth in the African microinsurance markets, with some subsidies for health and agriculture insurance. "
 
The Landscape study is part of the Microinsurance Network's World Map of Microinsurance programme, co-published with Munich Re Foundation. The study was undertaken by the MicroInsurance Centre with support by the partnership “Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A)”. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) contributed financially to the study.