TANZANIA has the fastest growing insurance market, recording a growth of 24 per cent, which is above an average of 15 per cent for most developing nations.
The growth is also three times more than the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which stands at around 6 per cent. This was revealed in Dar es Salaam by the Tanzanian Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Israel Kamuzora in a press briefing ahead of the 8th International Micro insurance Conference which started.
"Despite challenges posed by poverty among low income earners, Tanzania has demonstrated a strong base for the growth of micro-insurance market in Africa, one of the indicators that impressed the Making Finance Work For Africa (MFW4A) and Munich Re Foundation to hold the meeting here," he said.
It is the eighth micro-insurance meeting but the third to be held in Africa that has brought together 500 participants from 62 countries. The country got the opportunity to host the event after meeting the criteria set by insurance experts following a study carried out early this year. Mr Kamuzora said it was not an easy task to carry through the micro-insurance message among the poor.
"It is for example difficult telling a poor person to pay for insurance package instead of buying bread to feed the family", he said, adding: "But the same poor people are the ones owning mobile phones and making the telecom firms transactions high. Thus, it is an opportunity for the insurance industry to penetrate their services among the same individuals".
Another scenario showing positive growth of the sector are the concerted efforts put in place by the regulatory body and other stakeholders in the past three years to ensure that customers' claims are settled on time. "Currently, it is very rare to hear someone complaining over unpaid claims," he observed.
The outcome of the meeting, according to Mr Kamuzora will revolutionalise the insurance industry in the country by bringing in more players into the sector. Speaking at the same occasion, NIKO Insurance Tanzania Limited Chief Executive Officer, Mr Manfred Sibande said the insurance industry has concentrated more in urban areas, leaving the rural communities isolated.
"The meeting will provide milestone for the penetration of micro-insurance into the rural areas to tame poverty among societies," he said. The Micro-insurance Network promotes development and delivery of effective insurance services for low-income people by encouraging shared learning, facilitating knowledge generation and dissemination, as well as providing multi-stakeholder platform.