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Tanzania Insurance Sector Market Report 2024

Tanzania Insurance Sector Market Report 2023

Tanzania Insurance Sector Outlook And Investment Opportunities

Tanzania’s economy and population are expanding rapidly, and so is its insurance market which enjoys high growth and presents significant opportunities for expansion, a trend mirrored by international benchmarks within the African region, indicating ample room for development.

Tanzania Insurance Performances, 2023

Preliminary data by the Association of Tanzania Insurers (ATI) indicates that the Tanzanian insurance industry gross written premiums (GWP) reached TZS 1,251 billion in 2023, which is about +10% more than TZS 1,138 billion in 2022.

The growth in gross premiums for general insurance policies increased to TZS 981 billion in 2023 from TZS 895 billion in 2022, representing a growth of almost +10%.

The life insurance segment exhibited even stronger growth, with gross written premiums rising to TZS 269 billion from TZS 242 billion in 2022, indicating a remarkable increase of +11%.

Tanzania Insurance Gross Written Premium GWP by Company, 2022-2023

Tanzania Insurance Gross Written Premium GWP by Company, 2022-2023
Source: ATI

Tanzania Insurance Growth Drivers

Among the various reasons that make Tanzania a promising market for investors in the insurance sector are:

  • Economic growth
  • Population growth;
  • Infrastructure development.

Economic Growth

The economic forecast for Tanzania is highly promising, with the United Nations projecting a robust real GDP growth of 5.9% in 2024 and 6.1% in 2025.

Such an upward trend in GDP typically correlates with increased economic activities and a rise in wealth among both individuals and businesses.

TIRA emphasizes that this economic growth is likely to spur a heightened demand for insurance products. As people and businesses experience greater financial security and accumulate more assets, their inclination to safeguard these investments intensifies, thereby boosting the insurance sector.

Also, Africa’s and insurance industries are standing at a significant critical development juncture in the wake of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which Tanzania ratified in 2021.

Tanzania’s Prime Minister, Hon. Kassim Majaliwa, stressed that AfCFTA offers massive opportunities for the insurance business in an array of economic sectors including agriculture, minerals, oil and natural gas, and urged African insurance companies to cooperate and develop strategies to cover all risks on the continent.

Population Growth

Tanzania’s population has increased by 37% in the last 10 years to reach 62.7 million in 2022 when the latest national census was completed. The population is expected to continue to grow rapidly, between 2% and 3% per year over the 2022-2050 period.

Its working class is graduating to medium-level income earners, therefore, the disposable income for services like insurance is high and increasing.

The most populated city Dar es Salaam is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa and is steadily accumulating interest from investors hoping to offer insurance and capital to the city’s urbanizing population. 

But market expansion efforts target rural areas too, seeking to tap into previously untapped segments.

Infrastructure Development

The expected major construction projects in oil and gas, but also in energy, mining, and transportation, call for increased investment in the insurance industry to enhance risk mitigation. For Khamis Suleiman, CEO of Sanlam Insurance, there is no doubt that given these projects and associated, construction insurance will grow the most.

Oil & Gas

Tanzania’s natural gas reserves are estimated at 57 trillion cubic feet with a total annual production of 110 billion cubic feet. The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) estimates that the country’s gas fields are large enough to cover the domestic power requirements and make Tanzania the next natural gas hub in Africa.

Furthermore, in 2024 the Tanzanian government is expected to sign the final host agreement for the construction of the Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project (TLNGP), a planned USD 30 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing plant to be located in the Indian Ocean, opposite Tanzania’s main offshore gas exploration sites.

As for oil, although Tanzania does not produce it, most of the 1,443 km East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project will pass by Tanzania to facilitate the export of Ugandan crude oil to international markets.

Traditionally the energy risks in the Tanzanian insurance market were 100% fronted to the non-resident reinsurers. This was because the local capacity of the insurance market was low and it was not a prudent decision for a company to retain any portion of the risk.

With the emergence of oil & gas projects in the country, the insurance market realizes that the amount of premiums that will be lost by only fronting the risks as individuals will be greater than when risks are assumed as a consortium and underwritten on a treaty basis.

ln view of the foregoing the Tanzania Energy Coinsurance Consortium was launched in November 2022 to provide a mechanism for insurers to jointly underwrite large and specialized risks in the oil and gas sector. At the time of its establishment, a total of 22 local insurance companies joined the fund that will cover the risks of large projects.

Meanwhile, reinsurance programs for the Consortium were finalized in June 2023. Subsequently, TlRA issued Guidelines on Reinsurance, Retention, and Specialized Risks Management in June 2023. The Guidelines provide, among other things, that all energy risks emanating from Tanzania shall be placed through the Tanzania Energy Coinsurance Consortium.

New Products & Digitalization

In the rapidly evolving landscape of Tanzania’s insurance sector, two pivotal trends are reshaping the industry: the introduction of new products and the acceleration of digitalization. These developments are not only enhancing the range and accessibility of insurance services but are also setting the stage for a transformative shift in how insurance providers engage with their customers and manage risks.

As Tanzania strides forward, the integration of innovative insurance products and digital technologies is creating unprecedented opportunities for both insurers and insureds.

Adding to this narrative, TIRA has openly expressed its support for innovation within the sector, particularly for products aimed at underserved segments of the population. “If you have a new insurance product that you think will address the people’s needs, especially low-income earners, those in the informal sector, or sectors like agriculture, mining, and fishing, we, as regulators, are ready to accept and make it easier for you to develop these new products,” explains TIRA’s Commissioner General Dr. Baghayo Saqware.

This commitment from TIRA underscores the regulatory body’s recognition of the importance of inclusivity and accessibility in insurance services, and its willingness to support initiatives that contribute to these goals.

Agriculture Insurance

The agriculture sector plays a pivotal role in Tanzania’s economy contributing approximately 26% of the country’s GDP and 30% of total export earnings.

Despite this, the sector has yet to reach substantial commercialization and productivity frontiers. Agriculture production and farmers in the country face numerous inherent risks and uncertainties, including climate change, weather variability, pests, and diseases.

For the past decade, agricultural insurance has been contributing less than 1% of the total insurance market share.  This is partly because the agricultural insurance products on offer mainly target commercial farmers and not the vast majority of the farming community who are smallholder farmers who cannot afford insurance premiums.

In 2023, there were six insurers underwriting crop and livestock insurance, mostly traditional indemnity-based multiple peril crop insurance (MPCl) or named-peril crop insurance (NPCl) on medium and large cereal producers and agribusiness with linkage to bank credit.

The same applies to traditional livestock insurance, with a focus on the provision of individual animal accidental death and named disease cover to commercial dairy producers.

Eventually, in July 2023, Tanzania saw the launching of the Agriculture Insurance Consortium (Konsotia Ya Bima Ya Kilimo) to provide comprehensive insurance coverage for agricultural activities.

The consortium is a collaboration between the government and the Association of Tanzania Insurers (ATI) to offer insurance solutions for the tobacco crop, with plans to expand coverage to other crops, livestock, fisheries, and forestry

Furthermore, to overcome this situation where market-based agriculture insurance focuses on the most profitable segments of agriculture production, TIRA has been collaborating with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), through the Insurance for Rural Resilience and Economic Development Programme (INSURED), to provide technical assistance to the development of the Tanzania Agricultural Insurance Scheme (TAIS).

The broad objective of TAIS is to provide agriculture insurance products that are accessible, affordable, relevant, appropriate, and simple.

The scheme aims to mitigate financial losses suffered by farmers due to damage and destruction caused by insured perils. The modality of insurance coverage will include both group-based and individual coverage.

TAIS will also contribute to the transformation of subsistence farmers into sustainable commercial farmers by enhancing resilience measures against shock events such as weather and climate vagaries, pests, and diseases.

The scheme categorizes agriculture insurance into four categories: crop insurance; livestock insurance; aquaculture insurance; and forestry insurance.

Under TAIS, the Government’s role will include sensitizing farmers, providing subsidies on premiums, and managing data (such as meteorological, yield and disease incidences, and extension services).

Health Insurance

In 2019, only 32% of all Tanzanians had health insurance covered whereas the majority (26%) were subscribed to the Community Health Fund (CHF), 8% were subscribed to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and only 1% were subscribed to other private health insurance schemes. The remaining 68%, who often work in the informal economy must pay for health services every time they need them.

To overcome this situation, Tanzania enacted its universal health insurance law at the end of 2023. Under the new legislation, it is now mandatory for every citizen to participate in a health insurance program, whether it be a public or private plan.

To accommodate individuals who are financially incapable of paying for health insurance, a designated government fund is being established. The sources of revenue for the fund, are expected to come from levies on carbonated drinks, liquor, cosmetic products, gaming tax, motor vehicle insurance fees, and electronic transaction levies.

The law, officially passed by the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania on 1st November 2023, received the President’s signature on 4th December 2023. Its implementation is scheduled to commence on 1st July 2024, following the publication in the Government Gazette.

Commissioner Saqware explains that the new health insurance law will significantly increase the market, especially for health insurance. “The Minister of Health has designed the health insurance package. There will be both public and private health insurance companies providing such a package, and citizens or residents will have to choose their preferred provider. The financing for those with no income will be supported by government subsidies, partly from taxes on alcohol and betting firms as may be determined annually by the Ministry of Finance,” he adds.

Islamic Insurance

Islamic insurance, known as Takaful, adheres to Islamic law (Sharia) and is founded on the principles of cooperation, responsibility, protection, and shared risk. Unlike conventional insurance, which is characterized by elements of uncertainty (gharar) and gambling (maisir), Takaful operates on a community-based model where policyholders contribute to a mutual fund used to settle claims. This model is rigorously overseen by a Sharia board to ensure all operations comply with Islamic principles, including the strict prohibition of investments in haram (forbidden) sectors.

In Tanzania, with a population of 63 million where Muslims constitute approximately 35% to 40%, there is a palpable demand for Takaful. Mohamed Issa, Chairman of Yusra Sukuk Company, Tanzania’s first Islamic brokerage and investment advisory firm, sheds light on this demand: “One specific study conducted in 2012 by consultants from Malaysia assessed the demand for Takaful or Islamic insurance in Tanzania. They surveyed the entire country including Zanzibar and found that the demand for Takaful was very large across Tanzania. So while formal studies are limited, industry indicators point to high demand. Data availability will improve as the industry grows.”

Acknowledging this potential, the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) facilitated the sector’s growth by issuing the Takaful Operation Guidelines in 2022. The following year, in July 2023, Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi launched Tanzania’s first Islamic insurance company, ZIC Takaful, a subsidiary of the Zanzibar Insurance Corporation (ZIC). ZIC Takaful offers a diverse range of general insurance products, from motor to personal accident insurance, all in accordance with Takaful principles.

In January 2024, the landscape expanded with First United Takaful becoming the second company in Tanzania to provide Islamic insurance. The inauguration, led by Dr. Saada Mkuya, Minister of State in the Office of the President, Finance, and Economy of Zanzibar, underscored the significance of Takaful. Dr. Mkuya highlighted that Takaful represents not just a product but a significant evolution in the insurance industry, signaling a transformative shift towards inclusivity and adherence to Islamic financial principles.

Microinsurance

Despite rapid growth, insurance penetration in Tanzania remains notably low, attributed to a variety of factors such as a poor savings culture, limited disposable income, and a negative perception of insurance. To partially address this situation, the microinsurance sector is gradually emerging. Microinsurance products provide affordable coverage, with small premiums, to low-income households and individuals with minimal savings.

According to the most recent Microinsurance Landscape Survey for Tanzania in 2015 by the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT), microinsurance covered 4.5 million people, representing only 18% of the adult population. At that time, coverage was provided by six insurance companies. The microinsurance market in Tanzania mainly offers life, hospital, and simple funeral insurance coverage. Other products include personal accident, credit life, and crop insurance. The total gross written premiums (GWP) for all microinsurance products were minimal, amounting to just USD 5.7 million, which is only 2% of the industry’s total GWP.

Delivering microinsurance remains a challenge. According to the latest data available from TIRA, five microinsurance products from five insurance companies were approved as of 2021. Just over 77,000 policies were recorded as being sold that year.

Several methods and models exist, which can differ according to the organization, institution, and provider involved. As in other growing microinsurance markets around the world, mobile network operators (MNOs) are driving the increase in scale and coverage in Tanzania. In 2015, they accounted for 50% of the market, while banks contributed 36%. Microfinance institutions, Savings And Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS), and tied agents were responsible for the remaining 24%.

Gregory Fortes, CEO of Mo Assurance, one of the companies achieving the highest levels of underwriting profits, emphasizes the importance of affordability. For him, microinsurance represents the way forward, offering more affordable products designed to be accessible to the broader population.

Suleiman is confident in the growth of microinsurance, as companies are increasingly taking this sector seriously. He anticipates the emergence of stand-alone microinsurance companies. However, some expect a degree of merger and acquisitions as there are many smaller companies, and the market requires quality, not quantity.

Digitalization

New technologies and the digitization of distribution channels are critical to increasing insurance uptake, as well as improving the operability of insurance companies. This is why TIRA’s initiatives include a digital transformation, aimed at enhancing operational efficiency and customer service through the adoption of technology. There is a strong focus on product innovation to cater to evolving customer needs, covering emerging risks like cyber threats and pandemics.

To enhance its services and operational efficiency, TIRA has introduced its Online Registration System (TIRA ORS), revolutionizing the registration process for insurance registrants and minimizing the need for physical visits to regulatory offices.

Furthermore, it facilitated the successful execution of the annual license renewal exercise for 2022, simplifying this crucial process for stakeholders.

In a bid to enhance data accuracy and reduce fraud risks, the Authority has undertaken the integration of its systems with key government institutions. These institutions include the Tanzania Police Force (TPF), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA), National Identification Authority (NIDA), Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA), Zanzibar Revenue Authority (ZRA), and Zanzibar Business and Property Registration Authority (ZBPRA). This cross-system integration has proven instrumental in verifying information submitted to the Authority.

Additionally, plans are in place to upgrade the existing TIRAMIS system to effectively handle health and life insurance information, expand the TIRA ORS to accommodate the entire licensing and accreditation of insurance registrants, develop a new TIRA RBS System, and create the TIRA Self Service (TSS) Billing portal to automate the revenue collection process.

Digitalization is also a crucial way to improve the distribution and uptake of insurance products.

“Spur in the uptake of insurance products can only happen by embracing digital and other non-conventional ways of distribution, using multiple channels such as MNOs, banks, fintechs, insurtechs, etc., to reach the end consumer. I believe that opening up the distribution channels for insurance will have a significant impact in driving penetration over the next 5 years, and we have started seeing the signs already. A lot of innovation is happening in the non-conventional distribution space, delivering products to consumers who for many never thought they would ever consume insurance at such affordable rates,” says Julius Magabe, CEO of Sanlam Life, Tanzania’s largest life insurance underwriter.

In its dynamic approach, TIRA issued the Insurance Digital Platforms Guidelines in 2022 to establish a mechanism for regulating and supervising activities of insurance digital platforms (IDPs), thus encouraging the evolution of insurance digital business models in the market to increase insurance uptake. By the end of 2022, five IDPs were registered. The number has increased to 11, and currently, four out of the five mobile operators active in Tanzania sell insurance products, namely Vodacom, Tigo, Airtel, and TTCL. Other licensed Digital Platforms include specialized companies.

One of those is SmartX, with its BimaSokoni, the first web insurance aggregator in the local market for motor, life, health, and other insurance products. Its CEO, Azhar Ghartey, explains that Tanzanian consumers are now aware that insurance can be bought online, which greatly increases the chance for penetration throughout the country thanks to the new regulatory framework.

The performances to date are very promising, as Ghartey explains; “In 2023, we analyzed the results from 2022 and made our platform much simpler and easier for one to purchase motor insurance, which resulted in not only higher traction but even much more conversions. For every 10 quotations, we would convert at least 3 to policies. This is largely due to the updates on the platform which made it more convenient to purchase insurance. Furthermore, our digital marketing efforts were immensely expanded to raise awareness and educate customers about insurance. This led to over TZS 100 million in GWP by BimaSokoni for just motor insurance. Later in the year, we launched business insurance, and marine insurance, and are on course to launch home and health insurance in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.”

Ghartey also sees an opportunity in pay-as-you-go insurance, where one can pay for insurance only for the time they require. “As we interact with multiple prospects of insurance, the common concern is they cannot afford insurance for the entire year as they would only use their vehicles a few times,” Ghartey explains, unveiling one of the main barriers to the update of insurance in Tanzania, with a population with an estimated income per capita of just USD 1,326.63.

However, the “digital revolution” in the distribution of insurance products can represent a great challenge for the largest intermediary—the brokers—who have seen their market share steadily decrease from the introduction of bancassurance. “Intermediaries such as brokers and agents may find it difficult to invest in technology as it is not their core business but also may prove to be very expensive for them to do so. It becomes easier for them to onboard a digital platform whereby they can leverage the technology and sell insurance online,” Ghartey highlights.

Jerome Katz, the newly appointed CEO of MUA Insurance Tanzania, fully concurs with the importance of leveraging technology in the insurance sector. He emphasizes, “Technology will be crucial in reaching the growing middle-class and emerging market segments. The simplicity and ease of subscription are key drivers for retail growth.”

Following its rebranding from Phoenix Assurance of Tanzania to MUA Tanzania in late 2023, the company wants to reaffirm its commitment to continuous improvement and the provision of innovative, reliable, digital, and customer-centric insurance solutions, Katz explains.

In 2014, Mauritius Union Assurance (MUA) acquired Phoenix Holdings, which owned insurance subsidiaries in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. This strategic acquisition marked a significant expansion for MUA, extending its footprint across East Africa and setting the stage for further growth in these markets.

In 2022, MUA (previously known as Phoenix) reported a Gross Written Premium (GWP) of Tsh42bn, ranking it in the 6th largest position. In 2023, MUA stabilized its GWP and slightly lost market share but became more profitable. Thanks to its robust underwriting capabilities, the company significantly decreased its loss ratio, Katz notes.

Tanzania Insurance Development Strategy

The roadmap for the development of the Tanzanian insurance sector is spelled out in the Financial Sector Development Master Plan 2020/21 – 2029/30 by the Ministry of Finance, which is implemented by TIRA.

According to the Plan, by 2030, 90% of the population should be covered by health insurance, 50% of the adult population should have access to and use insurance products, 20% of adults should have life savings products, 10% of retirement plan beneficiaries should use annuity products. All in all, the insurance penetration should reach 5% by the end of this period, of which 3% for general insurance and 2% for life insurance.

In 2018, the baseline year of the Plan, these metrics were 15%, 0.9%, 0.1%, and 0.4%, and by 2022 insurance penetration increased to 1.99% (0.68% for commercial insurance and 1.27% for public insurance).

As of 31 December 2022, the insurance industry in Tanzania recorded a total of 3,952,085 policyholders and 13,879,199 beneficiaries nationwide, encompassing both commercial and public insurance, thus reaching about 22% of the 62 million population. In terms of commercial insurance, there were 2,297,107 policyholders and 9,800,144 beneficiaries (16%). On the other hand, public insurance recorded 1,654,978 policyholders and 4,079,055 beneficiaries (6%).

Among the pillars of the strategies to reach these ambitious goals, the Plan calls for 10 new demand-driven insurance products to be developed by 2030, and eight (8) affordable insurance distribution channels developed.

The government has it very clear that it cannot alone achieve the ambitious goal of expanding insurance coverage to this degree without support from the private sector, and technology.

The former Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Finance and Planning Emmanuel Tutuba, now Governor of the Central Bank, put it clear: “This transformation can only happen if the insurance industry pivots itself on innovation and synergy. The first part is digitalization. The second part is for the players, re/insurers, insurance brokers/agents, bank assurers, and all the players across the insurance value chain to work in synergy to achieve the economies of scale”.

To stimulate and develop the market, TIRA has recently established, in association with the Association of Tanzania Insurers (ATI), the Oil & Gas Consortium to complement the ongoing mega oil and gas exploration projects in Tanzania. The consortium is expected to underwrite the oil and gas business in the country for the account and benefit of its members, increase the retention capacity of the Tanzanian market, and develop local technical skills in underwriting the said insurance business. “We expect them to retain not less than 45% of the energy risk premiums with support from reinsurance arrangements,” Commissioner Saqware stresses.

TIRA is also analyzing the mining value chain and aims to develop life insurance further, including establishing its mortality tables.

Meanwhile, the Authority continues its work to increase awareness, particularly for life and general insurance. It has also developed Guidelines to ensure the smooth delivery of insurance services to the public to achieve the targets and is spearheading digital transformation, aimed at enhancing operational efficiency and customer service through technology adoption.

This scenario presents a fertile ground for the insurance industry in Tanzania, aligning with the global observation that economic prosperity often leads to a more dynamic and expansive insurance market.

TIRA has also been introducing new mandatory covers, engaging with insurance companies and intermediaries to deploy awareness programs, and developing new products that are in line with the needs of the people. It is expected that it will continue in this direction. For example, In July 2023, it made it compulsory for insurance agreements and policies to be written in both English and Swahili. “We’ve received positive feedback, and insurance uptake has increased significantly. Our goal is to have at least 50% of the population with medical insurance by 2030,” Commissioner Saqware explains.

Risks & Threats to the Expansion of Insurance in Tanzania

Despite global and local financial challenges, the Tanzanian Insurance Market has shown notable growth and resilience. However, it still faces impacts from global issues like the post-COVID era, the Russia-Ukraine war, disruptions in global supply chains, and pressures from USD supply changes due to US Federal Reserve rate movements.

TIRA has identified key threats to the industry’s development. This section details these threats and TIRA’s analysis, offering insights essential for understanding and addressing these challenges in the Tanzanian insurance sector.

External Risk

These are potential threats or uncertainties that originate from outside insurance community and can have an impact on their operations, goals, or well-being.

Macroeconomic Risks
Currency Depreciation

The year-on-year depreciation of the Tanzania Shilling remains stable below one percent at 0.49% to reach TZS 2,320.65 per one US Dollar at the end of 2022. However, it showed a downward trend movement to the level of TZS 2,500+ per USD at the end of 2023.

Inflation

In 2022, inflation sustained an upward movement largely owing to global supply chain disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine. Specifically, headline inflation rose to an average of 4.9% in the year ending 2022 from 4.1% in 2021. However, in 2023 inflation fell progressively and reached a year low of 3% in December.

Environmental Risk
Russia-Ukraine War

The Authority considers necessary auto adjustments in the conduct of the insurance business in areas highly exposed to the effects of the war including premiums for aviation class of insurance and other classes due to the increase in the cost of commodity importation like oil and wheat.

Market Risk

These are risks related changes in market price dynamics affecting the future earning capacity of the industry assets/ investments.

Foreign Exchange Risk

The movements in exchange rates expose the investments, especially the assets invested in foreign currencies in line with the respective liabilities/obligations held. Tanzania’s market foreign exchange exposure Net Open Position (NOP) improved to 2.5% in 2022 from 7.8% in 2021 indicating a tolerable risk and less impact to investments and their consequential earnings. However, with pressures in USD supply, TIRA anticipates more exposure on investments against the obligations of the insurance market. The Central Bank of Tanzania (BoT) had adjusted the allowable maximum forex exposure limit from 7.5% to 10%, to bring in more accommodation to the players on forex exposures.

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Financial System Stability Index (FSSI)

The assessment of financial vulnerability and financial soundness indicators by BoT for the period ending December 2022 indicated the financial system to be resilient to short-term shocks. The index slightly improved to 0.0 at the end of December 2022 compared to -0.1 in December 2021. The improvement was attributable to continued efforts by BoT in implementing accommodative monetary policy measures, and supervisory and prudential measures to cushion against the external shocks, thus reducing the industry non-performing loans (NPLs) level, increase in return on assets, decrease in liquidity due to increase in investment in more profitable avenues and growth in credit to private sector supported by the decrease in lending rates.

Liquidity Risk

This is the risk that the industry’s overall available liquid assets will be insuflcient to meet clients’ admissible claims, other liabilities, funding of asset and addressing changing market conditions.

General insurers’ liquidity ratio slightly increased to  115.9%  during the period ended 2022 compared to 111.5% in 2021. Similarly, the life Insurance liquidity ratio increased to 83.3% from 63.6. These ratios exceeded the minimum prudential requirement of 95.0% and 60.0% for general and life insurers, exhibiting the resilient and healthy liquidity status of the industry.

Governance Risk

This is the risk related to the board conduct, conflict of interest, board competence and  board mandates that may lead to the boards of the insurer’s companies failing to discharge their responsibility.

Significant corporate governance issues were identified among insurance registrants affecting their overall performance. These issues encompass concerns such as the conduct of insurance company boards and the division of authority between boards and company management, high management expenses, claim expenses and commissions. Lack of professionalism observed by some players leads to violation of the principles governing the insurance industry.

Litigation Risk

This is the risk related to litigation process and determination of the insurance cases.

Resolving insurance disputes represents a crucial milestone in the operation of insurance companies, particularly in determining the extent of their liabilities. Challenges related to understanding insurance matters and the intricate interpretation of insurance laws have occasionally given rise to such disputes. The potential for subsequent liabilities resulting from these disputes poses a risk, leading to increased expenses and financial losses.

Underwriting Risk

This is the risks related to the addressing of claims, commissions, and management expenses

TIRA’s analysis revealed that managing underwriting risks related to handling claims, commissions, and management expenses had an impact on the overall performance of the industry. The extent of underwriting risk, as reflected in the underwriting loss of TZS 110 million for general insurers, played a significant role in affecting the industry’s net profit after tax of TZS 55.0 billion. However, this underwriting risk showed an improving trend from 2021 to 2022 in both the non-life insurance and life assurance portfolios, primarily due to increasing profits.

Insurance Risk

This is the risk associated with the level of assumed risk by an insurance company with respect to its level of capitalization.

Practical underwriting necessitates making informed decisions about assuming risks that align with the insurance company’s capitalization. Taking on excessive risk exposure can create insurance-related risks and have repercussions on the longevity of businesses and the stability of the industry.

Tanzania’s insurance industry demonstrated healthy levels of assumed risk with an insurance risk ratio within acceptable ranges. The ratio for non-life insurance had improved to 104% in 2022 from 111% in 2021, while the life assurance ratio improved to 152.6% in 2022 from 231% in 2021.

Compliance Risk

This is the risk associated with the players of the market not conforming to the laws, regulations guidelines or circulars, and may result into fines, sanctions, and reputational damage.

Instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations present a compliance risk to the market, carrying the potential for financial losses. TIRA stresses that incidents have been periodically observed, prompting the need for appropriate corrective measures. However, the level of compliance was noted to greatly improve in 2022 with a significant drop in the recorded incidences of non-compliance and levied penalties. The level of recorded non-compliance incidences was 28 with a total amount of TZS 307 million being a 53.9% improvement as compared to 2021 with 114 incidences amounting to TZS 665.8 million.

Cyber Risk

This is the risk associated with security breach to the systems and data, posing a threat to business sustainability.

During the period under review, cyber risk has emerged as the foremost emerging threat, particularly within the financial sector and the broader economy. This has necessitated a shift in focus from mere protection to building resilience as a means to ensure long-term sustainability. While the Insurance industry, like any other, has faced risk exposure, it has remained diligent, with no reported incidents qualifying as cyber risk attacks, including data security breaches and business interruptions during the period under review.

Similarly, the Ministry of Finance of Tanzania, in its Financial Sector Development Master Plan 2020/21 – 2029/30, identified several constraints and challenges that the sector faces and that constraints its growth. These are:

  • Shortage of insurance professionals in the industry in key disciplines including actuarial science: This has resulted in insufficient skilled manpower to meet the growing requirement of the insurance industry;
  • Low level of public education and awareness of insurance products and services: This leads to low participation in insurance by members of the public. However, TIRA has successfully implemented and continues to implement awareness campaigns and initiatives.
  • Low technical and financial capacity of the local insurance industry to underwrite risks emanating from technological, environmental, and climate change;
  • Low level of innovation in insurance products and services to cater to the needs of the low-income segment of the population, resulting in low access and usage of insurance services.
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Newcomers and Consolidation

The challenges highlighted by TIRA significantly impacted UAP Insurance Tanzania. In January 2024, Old Mutual Holdings announced the divestiture of its entire stake in UAP Insurance Tanzania to Strategic Ventures, a consortium formed by the existing minority shareholders of the insurance company. Arthur Oginga, CEO of Old Mutual Holdings, commented on the sale, stating that the Tanzanian business encountered difficulties in achieving the expected return on capital due to various operational and environmental factors. Consequently, the company no longer perceived a viable pathway to fulfill its strategic objectives in this market.

However, the significant increase in socio-economic activities in the country necessitates an effective insurance industry, highlighting opportunities for players capable of filling the gaps.

Unsurprisingly, the Tanzanian insurance market has attracted the attention of both domestic and international investors due to its potential for growth and development. The number of insurance companies, and more recently reinsurance companies, has been increasing steadily.

The ownership landscape of the Tanzanian insurance industry, which includes both life and non-life segments, reflects a dynamic interplay between local and international entities. As of 31 December 2022, Tanzania held the greatest share of industry ownership with 69.6%, followed by Kenya (20.9%), South Africa (3.5%), Botswana (1.8%), and Zambia (1.8%).

In the general insurance sector, 66.9% of the ownership was Tanzanian, followed by Kenya (25.6%), South Africa (2.5%), and Zambia (2.4%). Regarding life insurance, of the six registered life assurance companies, 79.1% of the ownership was Tanzanian, followed by South Africa (9.9%), Kenya (8.5%), and Switzerland (2.5%). In terms of reinsurance, 74.7% was owned by Tanzanians, followed by Botswana (22%) and Kenya (3.3%).

Among the latest players to enter the Tanzanian market and reap the growing context are CRDB Insurance Company (CIC), East Africa Reinsurance Company (EARe) Tanzania, ZIC Takaful, and First United Takaful, which entered the market in 2023, contributing to the growing number of insurance companies to 40.

CIC is the spin-off of CRDB bank-who was already and is the leading bancassurance agent into the insurance space. CIC offers general insurance coverage but aims to be innovative in its service delivery.

Wilson Mnzava, the Managing Director, hinted that one of the areas of focus would be agriculture, with innovative measures being designed.

EARe was licensed to operate in Tanzania in the late became in 1993 the first privately owned reinsurer established in Kenya, thanks to a joint initiative involving leading insurance companies in Kenya and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Its CEO Peter Maina explains that the Tanzanian market ranks as the second-largest for the company in terms of premium volume, hence the local presence is a key strategic move in expanding across Africa.

2023 also saw the arrival of Sharia-compliant (Islamic) insurance products in Tanzania, with its beginning in Zanzibar with 1.3 million residents of which 99% are Muslim. In July 2023, Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi launched Tanzania’s first Islamic insurance company, ZIC Takaful, a subsidiary of the Zanzibar Insurance Corporation (ZIC). ZIC Takaful offers a diverse range of general insurance products, from motor to personal accident insurance, all in accordance with Takaful principles.

In January 2024, the landscape expanded with First United Takaful becoming the second company in Tanzania to provide Islamic insurance. The inauguration, led by Dr. Saada Mkuya, Minister of State in the Office of the President, Finance, and Economy of Zanzibar, underscored the significance of Takaful. Dr. Mkuya highlighted that Takaful represents not just a product but a significant evolution in the insurance industry, signaling a transformative shift towards inclusivity and adherence to Islamic financial principles.

Forty insurance companies for a market with 2% insurance penetration may seem many. However, TIRA disagrees. Dr. Saqware points out that “the number of insurance companies licensed in Tanzania seems big, but compared to the population, insurance is highly encouraged, particularly in medical insurance and reinsurance as we have few of them. There’s no limitation on the number of companies. We encourage new companies to enter the market and offer products that meet the community’s needs. Tanzania is a vast country with diverse needs. The insurance participation in the country’s GDP is about 2%, and we are confident we will reach and surpass our objective of 3% by 2030. The working class is graduating to medium-level income earners. Therefore, the disposable income for services like insurance is high and increasing.”

And companies agree. Ghartey of SmarteX is one of them: “I see more companies entering the market after government efforts have increased in the insurance sector. But also, I see more consolidation to take place as more opportunities will be out there concerning technology and consumer behavior.”

However, some expect a degree of merger and acquisitions as there are many smaller companies, and the market requires quality, not quantity.

This may affect not just smaller players. In 2022 German multinational financial services Allianz announced that it had completed the acquisition of a majority stake (51%) in the Jubilee General Insurance Company Tanzania, the largest in the country. The transaction is part of an agreement signed with Jubilee Holdings Limited (JHL) in September 2020, for Allianz to become the majority stakeholder in Jubilee Holdings’ short-term general insurance business (property and casualty) in East Africa, namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Mauritius.

Consequently, it is fair to expect both newcomers to enter the market and consolidation to take place in the years to come.

Investment Framework

Tanzania’s investment landscape is buoyed by its robust economic and demographic growth, alongside significant infrastructure development. The nation benefits from political stability and well-defined laws that safeguard investor interests, creating a conducive environment for investment.

To entice new entrants into the insurance sector, the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) is in sync with directives from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and collaborates with various regulatory bodies to make the insurance market appealing to both domestic and international investors. TIRA is dedicated to executing its five-year Strategic Plan, which, among other objectives, seeks to broaden the pool of registrants by improving the legal and regulatory framework.

Moreover, the execution of the Financial Sector Development Master Plan (FSDMP), the National Financial Inclusion Framework III (NFIF), and other intergovernmental strategic endeavors underscores a unified push to bolster and widen the nation’s financial sector, including insurance. These efforts are geared towards regulatory enhancements, infrastructure advancement, financial inclusivity, and the cultivation of partnerships. The goals are to elevate financial inclusion, spur economic growth, ensure regulatory stability, encourage innovation and competition, and establish Tanzania as a prime hub for regional and international investors.

The cumulative effect of these initiatives is anticipated to forge a more inclusive, stable, and growth-driven financial sector, benefiting both individuals and the broader economy.

Conclusion

Tanzania’s insurance sector, though still very small, is on a rapid growth trajectory, buoyed by the country’s robust economic and demographic expansion.

The government and regulatory bodies are actively engaging with industry players and stakeholders to implement the recommended regulatory reforms, aiming to attract new investment into the sector.

Uniquely positioned as the only country that is a member of both the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Tanzania leverages its business protocols to serve as a strategic gateway to the southern and eastern African markets.

This strategic positioning, coupled with the government’s commitment to reform, presents significant opportunities for expansion and investment in the insurance sector.

Suleiman projects that insurance penetration could reach 2.5% within five years, with motor and engineering insurance emerging as key products to address construction-related risks.

Dr. Saqware encapsulates the sector’s potential succinctly: “The working class is evolving into medium-level income earners, thereby increasing the disposable income available for services like insurance.”

In summary, the Tanzanian insurance market is poised for promising growth in the upcoming years, characterized by dynamic expansion and strategic development, offering a fertile ground for both existing and prospective investors.

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