Considering the large size of its market and the potential for greater penetration, Tanzania continues to be an attractive market for insurance investment. Currently, insurance penetration stands at 1% of GDP, lower than the global average of 2.3%, and also less than other prominent African economies such as Kenya and South Africa. However, consistent progress over the past five years—Tanzania has posted an average of 20% growth per year in the insurance market—signifies that there is a transformation to come. Local experts project 15% growth or more for the insurance sector in 2017. The industry is now worth over TZS500 billion, a figure that is set to change as penetration rises.
In that regard, Tanzania is home to the youngest liberalized market in East Africa, and will continue to enjoy steady growth in the medium to long term. Insurance operators in the country are determined to leverage the freshness of the sector by developing local talent, increasing and promoting innovation, and encouraging both businesses and individuals to learn more about and implement insurance. In September 2016, the second annual Tanzanian Insurance Brokers’ Association conference was held in Zanzibar and attended by nearly 100 insurance brokers, insurers, and stakeholders, including the Tanzanian Commissioner of Insurance and the Minister of Finance. The conference focused on the changes and challenges ahead, while participants discussed how to achieve excellence across the insurance sector. “We believe we will have a vibrant insurance industry in the next two years in Tanzania,” George Alande, Country CEO of Jubilee Insurance, emphasized in an interview with TBY.
Recent crackdowns on corruption bode well for insurance companies operating in the country, as they will now benefit from more opportunities in the sectors of agriculture, infrastructure, and oil and gas. There are many government-led initiatives already underway, such as Terminal 3 at Julius Nyerere Airport, which will seek support from insurance companies in the months to come.
Tanzania’s insurance industry has transformed significantly since the first regulations were introduced in 1996 under Insurance Cap Act 394. This milestone was the outcome of a state-led economic liberalization that began during the latter half of the 1980s. This act established the Insurance Supervisory Department (ISD), which was then placed under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. Just over a decade later—due in part to market incongruity and other shortfalls—legislation was drafted in line with the modern and competitive insurance marketplace that has emerged over the past decades. Passed unanimously and entered into law in 2009, the Insurance Act No. 10 of 2009 was far more comprehensive than its predecessor. This act reformulated insurance practice through the establishment of an independent regulatory authority—the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA). Since then, Tanzania has seen consistent growth in the insurance sector, yet the vast majority of the population still lacks access to some of the most basic healthcare products. Therefore, multinational companies that provide insurance are now taking new steps toward spreading awareness and making insurance products more attractive to the local populace.
Many of the insurance companies operating in Tanzania are present in several African markets, making them predisposed to local conditions and experienced when it comes to making progress and capturing market share. Yet the sector is far from saturated.
Jubilee Insurance, the largest insurance company in Tanzania, attributes its success to partnerships with international and multinational clients. Strong relationships within Tanzania and the wider African region allow it to underwrite business for bigger employers, many of which choose to offer medical insurance for their employees. “Jubilee Insurance is a one-stop shop. When clients come our company we give them a solution in the region as well as in Asia,” Jubilee Insurance CEO Alande told TBY. The company will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2016.
Britam Group is considered a Pan-African financial services enterprise. It is the second largest insurer in the region, operating in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania. “Tanzania is significant to Britam and is currently the second largest contributor to the premium income of general insurance. We have five branches outside Dar es Salaam and three in the city, including the head office,” Stephen Lokonyo, CEO of Britam Tanzania, told TBY. Britam also recently launched a new branch in Arusha, considered to be the gateway to the northern regions of the country. Zanzibar, Tanga, and Tabora are also on the company’s list in terms of expanding its presence. As part of its efforts, Britam seeks to make its branches much more productive and diversified. “The current distribution channels in the market are the broker channel, agents, and bancassurance. Our focus for now will be to diversify our distribution channels before we embark on further expansion of the physical branch facilities,” Lokonyo continued. With 5% of the market share and plans to grow heavily over the next three years, Britam Tanzania is set to capture 10% of the insurance sector by 2020. Currently, its group assets stand at more than USD700 million, signifying acute financial strength and showcasing the company’s ability to underwrite complex risks.
Aon Tanzania Limited is another multinational company shifting its sights to Tanzania. Already present in 150 countries, Aon Tanzania Limited operates over 500 offices and employs over 65,000 people worldwide. In Tanzania, the company offers services primarily in the brokering business as an intermediary, as well as in human resources. With this diversity comes clients who have a presence in many countries. “We are third in terms of brokerage market share revenue; however, we are number one in terms of professionalism. Our ambition is to be number one in terms of market share… We want to be number one as a professional broker that satisfies clients in terms of pricing, scope of cover, services, claims, and innovation of new products that suit this market,” Khamis Suleiman, General Manager of Aon Tanzania Limited, told TBY. Aon Tanzania Limited is not only keen to attract local clients, but also eager to satisfy the multinational customer base that is already present in its portfolio.
OIL & GAS
All of the largest players in the sector, as well as investors coming into Tanzania, will continue to watch the oil and gas sector with great interest in 2017. As oil and gas projects become increasingly prolific in the country, insurance providers will be necessary as support throughout development. Jubilee Insurance has turned its attention toward oil and gas megaprojects projects as a way to contribute positively to the country’s development, as well as further its business aspirations. “We are in the energy sector; we also have a couple of clients in the mining industry, as well as in oil and gas exploration. We are looking forward to bidding for new clients in a level playing field and taking care of the risks of the megaprojects that are coming into the country,” Jubilee Insurance’s Alande explained.
Meanwhile, Britam Tanzania is developing a framework that will eventually enable the company to take on more oil and gas risks. As an emerging sector in Tanzania, oil and gas is expected to have a significant effect on Britam Tanzania’s business. Ongoing initiative to increase the amount of local participation in every aspect of the economy will also aid insurance. “For a long time, emerging economies like ours have had challenges in retaining oil and gas risks within the country. It is in our interest to retain as much of this risks as possible within the country,” Britam Tanzania CEO Lokonyo concluded.
With a dire need to increase the number of underwriters who can service oil and gas companies, insurance operators are set to open new lines of communication with government, local operations, and legal experts and they take on and survey risks. In the future, Tanzania will be in a position to underwrite offshore and onshore pipelines, as is already being done in South Africa.