Insurance market grows by 20pc in five years

03May 2016
Beatrice Bandawe
The Guardian
Insurance market grows by 20pc in five years
  • Tanzania continues to be an attractive investment destination and with the continued inflow of foreign direct investments (FDIs), more international players are expected to enter the market

The insurance market has grown by 20 per cent in the past five years, the Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam Life Insurance, Julius Magabe (pictured), has said.

Magabe was commenting on the significant changes he has noticed in the industry over the period and where he sees it headed, saying that the number of insurance service providers has increased and is expected to keep on increasing given the existing untapped potential.

Apart from that there has been increased competition with growth in the number of industry players and this has benefited the end consumer in-terms of product features and pricing. According to him, there has also been improved awareness of insurance services as more players market their products.

Tanzania continues to be an attractive investment destination and with the continued inflow of foreign direct investments (FDIs), more international players are expected to enter the market either by startups or by way of mergers and acquisitions as witnessed over the past few years, he said.

“We also expect to see consolidation of smaller companies to form sizeable business when capital requirements are increased by the regulator and this will allow for growth of a stronger market whilst creating a sustainable job market for insurance professionals,” he said.

On Sanlam, he said it recorded a 22 per cent growth in premium income in 2015 and maintained its strong market leadership position in life insurance market, with a market share of over 55 per cent.

Magabe said this in an interview with Smart Money recently while briefing on the major achievements and milestones for his firm during the year 2015.

“In 2015, we were also awarded by NBAA for the sixth year in a row for best presented financial statements and we also have the highest credit rating in the life insurance industry of AA-,” he said.

Apart from those achievements, in March this year, Sanlam Life Insurance launched Sanlam Education Care, which is a unique education insurance policy designed with the customers need in mind.

“But there is more to come and the public should expect to see a few more new innovative products to address their changing needs. Nonetheless, we are always flexible to customise a product based on specific client needs,” he said.

Also after observing that many people don’t consider having life insurance cover as an important aspect, Sanlam Life Insurance embarked on different approaches to create life insurance awareness and ensure that the few who are covered are efficiently serviced and become good ambassadors.

Elaborating on the advantages Sanlam Life Insurance has had over competitors in the business, he said: “Our expertise as a member of a 98 per cent year old financial services group with global presence, gives us an edge above other players, as we are able to bring to the market world class products and services,” he noted.

“Additionally, our over 55 per cent market share and consistent AA- rating by Global Credit Rating Company is a clear testimony that we are the life insurer of choice in this market. Sanlam Life Insurance has a strong client portfolio cutting across the private and public sectors and in all economic industries such as banking, insurance, pension, mining, tourism, energy, and manufacturing to mention a few,” he added.

Explaining the major problems facing his company in the local market and what is being done to address them, he said: “I wouldn’t say we are facing problems but rather faced with the challenge of driving life insurance uptake at a much faster pace in a rather vast country where majority of its population is in the rural areas.”

The level of life insurance awareness is also still low but there are encouraging improvements, he said.

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