Emerging markets, Africa included, to drive global insurance growth rates


They may have low insurance penetration rates than the developed world, emerging markets in Asia and Africa are catching up. Whether this trend holds, depends on the willingness of insurance companies to innovate and do things differently, experts told RISKAfrica during the 2018 Annual Convention of South Africa’s Actuarial Society. The event took place in Cape Town this week and drew over 1400 delegates.

A new survey from Deloitte Southern Africa, for which a few dozen insurance companies with operations in emerging markets were interviewed, reveals that emerging markets accounted for 24% of global non-life and 38% of life growth rates last year. Whilst Asia is driving this trend, growth rates in Africa are predicted to speed up, both on the non-life and life side.

“The insurance companies in emerging markets that took part in our survey believe the African industry will grow by 6% to 10% per year over the next 3 years,” said Jaco van der Merwe, actuary and Deloitte Southern Africa’s head of the Short Term Insurance.

For this to materialize, insurers in Africa have to work harden on dealing with societal, practical, and sometimes cultural obstacles that prevent growth. This is where innovation, tech and thinking out of the box come in – amongst other things.