A Perspective of Microinsurance (MI): The Case of South Africa
Microinsurance (MI), an important economic roleplayer, is investigated in and placed in perspective to the insurance industry in South African. This is achieved by researching the factors that cause serious deprivation in the provision of MI. Typical restrictive factors are financial literacy, out-of-reach of customers, and low commission for brokers. Resultantly, the need for stakeholder analysis presents itself to better understand and address these challenges which should enable an up-and-running MI environment in South Africa. Historically, the insurance industry focussed on financial products and services that for the middle to high income groups. The low-income households have thus been largely excluded from insurance benefits although the consequences of setbacks are extreme for the low income group. As a result, the market most vulnerable to financial shocks are the least protected. This situation has drastically changed during the last few years. The LOASA and the Insurance companies reached consensus with the Financial Sector Charter of South Africa to launch tailor-made products and services for the low-income people. South Africa is still facing an “Insurance Gap”, approximately 61% of the low-income households which are not insured represent a huge opportunity for the industry. Therefore, the introduction of the Zimele products classified as MI products in 2007 was a good launch to target the “niche” of those uninsured market.
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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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