Sub-Saharan Africa is currently a region of potential economic growth, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicting emerging markets and developing economies at the forefront of growth for 2017-18, at more than double the rate of advanced economies.
In terms of insurance penetration, which is defined as the total written premiums as a share (%) of a country's gross domestic product (GDP), Africa is one of the most underinsured regions worldwide. Among them is Nigeria, which has the largest economy in the sub-Saharan region but an insurance penetration rate of 0.3%.
In stark contrast is South Africa, who's penetration rate is one of the highest in the world at 16.99% and accounts for three quarters of insurance uptake in this region.
So, with relatively low uptake and underinsurance in the remainder of the region, there is both a need and opportunity to grow this industry, therefore the future of the insurance industry in sub-Saharan Africa is one to watch.
Over the last decade, insurance markets in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have grown from 4.5 million risks covered to more than 60 million risks covered today. However, according to a report published today by Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) in partnership with the Centre for Financial Regulation & Inclusion (Cenfri), insurance penetration in SSA remains amongst the lowest in the world with life penetration at 0.3% and non-life at 0.5%, limiting its intermediation potential and contribution to inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.