In some parts of the world, it’s a belief that insurance is, in one way, like parachutes; if it doesn’t work the first time, it’s useless. That seemingly crooked credence almost seemed applicable to Africa, until the continent’s insurance markets bested it.
Long before there was a fledgling tech wetland in Africa, traditional insurance seemed to be existing only for the sake of it. A mix of complex ‘emerging market’ factors mostly hamstrung the continent’s insurance markets. For most of the last few decades, insurance premiums were majorly challenged by paltry economics and the overarching distrust factor.
While countries like Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, and DRC now starboard their insurance markets to liberalization, innovation-driven companies are rising to tie the loose ends, across Africa.
As of 2013, Africa—according to insurance premiums per capita—was ranked last among the emerging market regions of the world, with a penetration rate of 3.65 percent. While that was indeed beneath the 6.5 percent global average, that gallantry is quite indebted to the performance of South Africa’s insurance market—one of the world’s most advanced.
Today, the drawbacks persist but the momentum is changing, thanks to the resilience of African economies, a growing middle-class, the uptake of smartphones and increased internet penetration.