Life assurance sector assets rise to $2,5bn

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wealthbuildingworld.com

Enacy Mapakame

HARARE – Assets in the life insurance industry have grown by 68 percent to $2,52 billion in the past four years to 2017, thanks to a bull run experienced last year.

Figures from the Insurance and Pension Commission show that between 2013 and 2015, total assets for the industry remained flat at an average $1,6 billion. The growth was experienced in 2017 where assets jumped 48 percent to $2,52 billion compared to $1,7 billion recorded in the prior year.

Presenting at the ZimSelector Insurance journalists mentoring programme IPEC pensions manager Nhau Chivingira said despite the growth, the sector still faces a number of challenges with penetration still at 3,5 percent for the life insurance industry.

Low confidence, financial illiteracy and low disposable incomes are some of the challenges affecting the industry.

The inflationary legacy issues prior dollarization added to the woes the sector faces, as consumers lost their investments at transition from Zim dollar to multi-currency system.

“Insurance is not a priority for many households,” he said.

Today, the sector is dominated by funeral policies while uptake of other products remain low.

Also presenting, Zimnat Life’s Elizabeth Rabvukwa highlighted the importance of the insurance industry to economic growth.

She outlined several options for potential investors, emphasizing on individual life products ranging from whole whole life plan to term policies.

The industry currently has 27 players. Of these, 11 are life assurers, 9 funeral assurers, 2 composite insurers and 2 composite reinsurers.  

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