By Favour Nnabugwu
Nigeria has emerged one of the top insurance markets in Africa, ranking third with overall premium income of N386 billion (over $1billion). The insurance market in the continent as dominated by South Africa continues to dominate the continent’s insurance market, with its Life and Non- Life Insurance Premiums dominating the sector with market size of over $1billion each in 2014.
Immediate past President of AIO, Mrs.Lamaia Ben Mohmoud, at the recently concluded 43rd African Insurance Organisation’s Conference and General Assembly in Marrakech, Morocco, said African insurance premium volume in 2014, totalled $69billion showing a slide from $72 billion level in 2013.
In a recent African insurance market survey published in the maiden edition of the African Insurance Barometer, Life Insurance accounted for about two thirds of the 2014 total insurance premium in the continent with the remainder being generated from Non-Life Insurance, which took the lion’s share of 71 per cent of total premiums in 2014.
The publication said, in Life Insurance, South Africa’s share of the total market was 87 per cent, and 40 per cent in Non-Life Insurance. “Insurance premiums accounted for 2.8 per cent of African GDP in 2014. With the exception of South Africa and Namibia – where insurance penetration levels reached 14 per cent (Life 11.3 per cent, Non-Life 2.7 per cent) and 7.3 per cent (Life 5.1 per cent, Non-Life 2.2 per cent) respectively.”
The publication disclosed that in 2014, African Life insurance premiums, stood at $45.8 billion, translating into a Life insurance penetration rate of 1.9 per cent, significantly below the global average of 3.4 per cent. It said, at an inflation adjusted real growth rate of 1.6 per cent, African Life insurance also grew much slower than global Life insurance premiums, which increased by 3.4 per cent in 2014. It said with the exception of South Africa, African Life insurance markets are very small with only five other countries reaching a market size of more than US$ 500m in 2014.