Insurance penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, by country

In South Africa, the insurance penetration rate was 16.99 percent in 2017, which was the highest rate in Sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa was followed by Namibia, Lesotho, Mauritius and Zimbabwe, which had insurance penetration rates ranging between four and seven percent. Over half of the countries in the region had a rate of less than one percent.

What is insurance penetration?

Insurance penetration refers to the ratio between the value of premiums written in a particular year in a particular country to the GDP of the respective country. Most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have lower than average insurance penetration rates, when compared with other parts of the world.

The future of insurance in Africa

This low penetration is due to the fact that the African insurance industry is still in its infancy, premiums are financially out of reach of many people and financial literacy is relatively low. However, African insurers believe that rising education and financial literacy levels, the growth of the black middle class and the increase in the working population will have a large impact in the insurance industry in the region.

Rate of insurance penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, by country

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Release date

September 2018



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*No data available.
Note: insurance penetration was calculated as the total written premiums as a share of a country's GDP.

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Statistics on "Insurance industry in Africa"

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