Investment assets in insurance sector up, report

DESPITE negative impacts brought by Covid-19 pandemic, investment assets in Tanzania’s insurance sector have increased from 872bn/- in 2020 to 940bn/- recorded last year, a latest Insurance Market Performance report shows.

The report which was launched on Friday evening in Dar es Salaam by Zanzibar Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Saada Mkuya Salum, shows the upturn is 7.8 per cent.

Tabling the report at an event attended by insurance stakeholders and company representatives in the country, Tanzania Regulatory Authority (TIRA) Commissioner Dr Baghayo Saqware said in 2019, investments in the sector recorded only 751bn/-.

He said the government’s security has increased significantly by 16.9 per cent from 273bn/- in 2020 to 319bn/- in 2021.

“The Covid-19 pandemic changed the business environment with serious socio-economic disruptions on the economy and industry (insurance). Despite the impact of Covid-19 and economic slowdown, the insurance sector wrote a gross premium amounting to 912bn/- for the year ended 31 December 2021,” the commissioner said.

According to him, the figure represents a nominal increase of 11 per cent from 824bn/- written in 2020.

The report indicated that total assets for the insurance sector industry increased by 8.4 per cent.

Regarding the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Commissioner said there is slight improvement. He said it increased to 1.68 per cent in 2021, compared to the penetration ratio of 1.55 per cent recorded in 2020.

But the regulator is optimistic that the penetration ratio will improve following registration of the bancassurance agents as well as increase in awareness of insurance to the public.

Despite the massive growth of the industry, the Commissioner said retention was still low and tasked the players to ensure the area is improved for the betterment of the sector.

He mentioned companies that had retention ratios above the industry average of 85.8 per cent as NIC (99.2), BUMACO Life (96.7 per cent) and Sanlam Life (89.5 per cent).

Speaking after the presentation, Minister Mkuya challenged TIRA to come up with a communication strategy that will enable the regulator to reach many Tanzanians with simple messages.

She said the insurance stakeholders must seize the opportunities resulting from massive investments in agriculture, infrastructures, health and mining sector.

“Our government which is being led by President Samia Suluhu Hassan is committed to utilise available resources to improve the country and individuals, so let’s ensure that all activities are covered.  I request insurance experts to innovate products which will enable everyone to access insurance services,” she said.

Minister Mkuya assured stakeholders that she will submit to the government the request of having a policy that will facilitate the formulation of National Board of Insurance, enactment of National Insurance Policy and Board of Insurance Professionals.

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