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Opportunity for insurers in Africa - SA insurance body

Jul 30 2015 18:27

Johannesburg - Africa represents an opportunity for local and global insurers, according to the Insurance Institute of South Africa’s (IISA) first black woman president.

Delphine Maïdou takes the helm of the organisation at a time when Africa represents a significant growth opportunity for insurers.

Maïdou is the CEO of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Africa and also oversees Allianz’s global lines strategy in Africa, which provides corporate, specialty, credit, reinsurance, travel and assistance risk solutions on the continent.

According to Maïdou the African middle class is flourishing, along with a private sector which is expanding into different countries on the continent, and investors and governments investing in infrastructure development.

“All these developments and growth need [an] African insurance industry that has the capital, capacity and capability to meet the needs of the private and public sector on the continent,” said Maïdou.

Penetration rate

Total premiums in Africa amounted to $71.9bn in 2012, which translates into a penetration rate of 3.65%, well below the global average, which is 6.5%, though it is above the average for emerging markets of 2.65%.

South Africa is the number one insurance market on the continent with a penetration rate of 14.2%, which is among the highest in the world.

Despite its high penetration rate, South Africa’s insurance industry still has scope for further growth, according to IISA. “Its premiums per capita ratio was $1 047 in 2012, still well behind the average for advanced economies of $3 677.

“However, Africa’s insurance density (the ratio of premiums per capita) is the lowest of any region in the world. On average, each African paid $66.4 in insurance premiums in 2012, roughly one-tenth of the global average,” IISA said in a statement.

The announcement of Maïdou’s appointment was made at the 42nd insurance conference at Sun City. Maïdou is the 44th president of the organisation which has been in existence for 117 years, and will be taking over from Peter Todd.

According to Maïdou the IISA plays a fundamental role in educating, developing and enlightening the members of the insurance industry and society at large about the value and importance of insurance.

“We need to continue to work productively with key stakeholders such as business, government, academic institutions and civil society to ensure that we grow the solid foundation and reputation that has been built,” she said.

Originally from Burkina Faso, Maïdou is a chartered property and casualty underwriter with the American Institute For Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. She holds a master of science in insurance management from Boston University in the USA.

CEO of IISA, David Harpur, said Maïdou will offer global, continental and local perspectives and insights to move us closer to our vision of creating world class skills for a world class industry.

“Her passion for transformation, education and skills development within the insurance industry will inspire prospective and current industry members to grow and develop their skills while increasing the levels of commitment from our business, government and civil society partners,” he said.


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