The Tanzania insurance sector is growing steadily, with 30 insurance companies and 112 insurance brokers currently active in the market (2014 TIRA data).
The insurance penetration, i.e. the contribution of insurance to National Gross Domestic Product remains very limited, paving the way for plenty of room for further growth.
As summarized by Stephen Okundi, CEO of Real Insurance Tanzania, an extension of Real Insurance Kenya: “There has been a lot of improvements compared to when the Tanzanian insurance market was liberalized.
Indeed during the year under review, 2014, the Tanzania insurance industry continued to play its strategic role within the Tanzanian economy by providing the national underwriting capacity and contributing towards the mobilization of financial resources for the sustainable economic development of the country.The number of players has increased and there has been increased trust from the general public on the ability of insurance companies to honour their promise. The sector is still in the growth stage.”
The Tanzania insurance industry total premiums reached TZS 554.4 billion in 2014, increasing by 17.0% from TZS 474.1 billion in 2013, and the TIRA estimates that the Tanzania insurance sector should have grown by 18.0% in 2014 reaching approximately TZS 559.4 billion.
Tanzania insurance penetration (premiums as a percentage of GDP) remained at 0.7% in 2014 as recorded in 2013.
The Tanzania insurance premium per capita (insurance density) grew by 13.9% to TZS 12,052 in 2014 from TZS 10,582 in 2013.
General insurance business showed a growth of 18.0% in gross premium income from TZS 417.7 billion during 2013 to TZS 494.0 billion during the year under review.
Meanwhile, life assurance business volume increased by 7.1% from TZS 56.4 billion during 2013 to TZS 60.4 billion in 2014.
Demand has been boosted both by Tanzanian people gaining awareness of the benefits of insurance coverage and by improving economic standards.
The growth of the insurance industry was broadly consistent with the growth of the national and the finance intermediation sector GDP during the year under review.
Tanzanian Insurance Sector Background
In 1996, the Insurance Act liberalised the market paving the way for private new entrants to the market, until then a monopoly was held by the government’s National Insurance Corporation.
These changes successfully attracted foreign and domestic investment to the Tanzanian insurance sector.
Most companies are partnerships between foreign companies and local investors, combining external sector knowledge and financing with local market expertise.
In 2009, a new Insurance Act established a general framework for companies operating in the insurance industry and created a regulatory and supervisory body, the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA).
Since its establishment, TIRA has pushed the industry towards a risk-based system, doing away with the old compliance-based system.
TIRA has also prepared and distributed insurance related publications aimed at improving insurance understanding and awareness among the population.
At the same time, TIRA has been working closely with insurance brokers to improve efficiency and professional standards in the industry.
As a result, Tanzanians are becoming more aware of the benefits of insuring against loss and the insurance sector is seizing an increasing percentage of the country’s growing economy.
Players in the Tanzanian Insurance Market
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