The insurance market pie is big enough – Sanlam

insurance penetration rate
CEO of Sanlam Life, Tawiah Ben-Ahmed

The nation’s insurance penetration rate, which continues to hover around the one percent mark, represents an enormous opportunity to drive financial inclusion, and this will require synergy among relevant stakeholders – domestic and foreign, Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam General Insurance, Mabel Nana Nyarkoa Porbley has stated.

She is of the view that domestic and foreign-held companies can, not only co-exist in the space, but also flourish, adding that such interactions would ultimately grow the market, with all participants, particularly the end consumers being better off.

Sanlam General’s CEO expressed this in an interaction with the B&FT on the sidelines of the formal launch of Sanlam’s Ghana operations, following its acquisition of the Saham Group.

“There is a healthy representation of locally-owned companies in the industry of more than 50 players, and this is a very good thing and the presence of companies originating outside the shores of Ghana, who have the relevant expertise will only be in the interest of the customers and the wider economy,” she explained.

The nation remains largely uninsured, with the current rate being lower than the otherwise low continental average of 2.78 percent. This remains markedly below the global average of 7.23 percent, according to 2019 estimates.

However, South Africa – from where Sanlam originates – had the second highest insurance penetration rate for 2020 at 13.7 percent. The South African market is responsible for more than 70 percent of the continent’s gross insurance premiums with an estimated value of US$48.3billion.

On account of this, Ms. Porbley stated that Sanlam will rely on its 100-plus years of experience in one of the most developed markets in the world, coupled with added lessons from the over 30 countries where it has a footprint to improve the local market.

“We have a clearly visible track record over the years and across the globe in providing some of the best solutions. We have tried and tested products across markets, and have been in this market for quite some time, and I can safely say this will be translated into what we serve the market,” she added.

On a similar tangent, the CEO of Sanlam’s Life Operations, Tawiah Ben-Ahmed, said a key strategy for his outfit will be shifting the perception that insurance is a preserve of the wealthy. “Insurance, unfortunately, has not had the best reputation due to a wide variety of factors, but overturning this perception is key for us,” he remarked.

He added that Sanlam will be introducing products that are relevant to specific segments of the market – simplifying terminologies, drumming home the point that insurance remains a key financial tool, and committing to the timely payment of claims as part of efforts to change perceptions and transform the local industry.

Group Executive, Corporate Affairs and Services at Sanlam Emerging Markets, Thabied Majal, said the rollout is a testament to the confidence Sanlam has in the prospects of the Ghanaian insurance industry.

Leave a Reply