Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Insurance, Darlington Munhuwani

The CEO of Allianz Insurance, Darlington Munhuwani, has called on African innovators aiming to provide insurance services to focus more digital distribution on the continent to increase penetration and growth.

“You are contributing to the development of insurtech solutions that will not only make a difference to the industry but will bring insurance and other financial products closer to our people across Africa. 

“Whether they reside in villages, farms or in the cities.  Your role is to contribute to the evolution of the insurance and financial services industry.”

He made this known at ‘Bridge Demo Day’, a virtual pitch demo for participants of an innovative programme ‘The Bridge’ organised by Africa InsurTech Rising, under the theme: Insurance-technology evolution in Africa.

According to global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, Africa’s insurance industry is valued at about $68 billion in Gross Written Premium and is the eighth largest in the world.

This he said: “The distribution of insurance in Africa is unequal.”

He further quizzed, “What do I mean by unequal distribution?”.

“Markets are diverse in terms of size, mix, growth prospects, and degree of consolidation; 91 per cent of premiums are concentrated in just ten countries, according to McKinsey & Company.

“South Africa being the largest and most established insurance market,  it accounts for 70 per cent of total premiums (approximately $48 billion.) The rural population does not have access to most insurance products – is this an untapped market?.”

Climate is changing, putting food security at risk – where are our African innovators? he asked. He hoped that through ‘The Bridge’ initiative, the continent will experience new digital innovations from African start-ups to help the insurance industry to drive migration of customers to digitally enable insurance services.

“Operate efficiently and cause insurers to discount premiums, especially in the retail and micro insurance space. Develop solutions that bridge the insurance knowledge gap – consumers need simplified insurance products.

“Improve customers experience by aligning needs with product design and services. Our industry is about trust – it is the glue that keeps it going.  Let technology be the superglue.”

He also told the participants that the insurance industry is changing quickly and is now driven by clients or customer needs and the industry need “people like you to help us innovate and accelerate growth. But, your innovation must cure the challenges we face in the industry.”

He further tasked industry players to have a duty to lead the way, adding that “and this demands a constant focus on innovation in everything we do.

“An innovation-driven insurance industry will help enhance the competitiveness of players and drive sustainable growth. We need all the stakeholders, from regulator, industry, academia and the consumers, to collaborate and co-create to make this happen.”