Insurance offerings in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region are vast, with options for consumer and business spanning property, health, life and non-life insurances, as well as a host of other financial services, including pensions and asset management.
The global digital transformation of insurance has seen insurtech grow in importance. Given the diversity of MEA, and its various economic development levels, adoptions and advancements of insurtech varies. Similarly, regions mainly in the GCC and Israel are more advanced than other MEA counterparts.
According to research from data platform MAGNiTT, $26million was ploughed into MENA-based insurtech startups in 2019 – the highest amount in any year in recorded history. The insurance premiums market in MENA stood at $57billion in 2018, providing a large addressable market for insurtech startups, according to Atlas.
From Zawya, most low-income migrant workers were not insured at 79 per cent. The same research by MAGNiTT also highlighted that the top five funded insurtech companies were all based in the UAE. Therefore, in the Middle East, the success of the UAE presents more opportunities for insurance and insurtech to grow. Even within the UAE, where the majority of low-income workers are not insured, potential insurtech solutions could help close those gaps.
Africa is generally less developed than more advanced economies and this is reflected in the insurance industry where penetration is some of the world’s lowest, according to a report from Deloitte. For example, despite activity in fintech in Nigeria, the country’s insurance penetration is a lowly 0.4 per cent. Indeed, for much of Africa generally, a combination of factors – from the low income of customers to the large unbanked sector – has resulted in relatively low insurance levels.
Here are the top 15 insurance companies in the MEA region, ranked by total assets in US dollars, from The Fintech Times’ recently released Fintech: the Middle East and Africa Report 2021. Interestingly, entries are evenly distributed between four countries: Turkey, Israel, South Africa and Morocco, with Turkey’s ERGO Sigorta taking the top spot with $110.9billion total assets and Israel’s Harel Insurance Investments & Finance Services and Migdal Holdings ranking second and third respectively.
1. ERGO Sigorta A.Ş (Turkey) – Total Assets: $110.9bn
Founded in Turkey in 1989, ERGO Sigorta AS was acquired by ERGO, a Munich Re company in 2006. They provide health, property and casualty insurance.
2. Harel Insurance Investments & Finance Services (Israel) – Total Assets: $82.7bn
Harel Insurance Investments & Finance Services has been active for over 80 years in the insurance industry and is one of the largest financial service groups in Israel. They offer a range of services including health insurance, life assurance as well as other non-life branches.
3. Migdal Holdings (Israel) Total Assets – $74.8bn
Incorporated in Israel in 1974, with the insurance arm originally established in 1934, Migdal Holdings provides a wide range of products related to insurance, pensions and financial asset management. The group has over 2 million private and business customers across its activities.
4.Old Mutual (South Africa) Total Assets – $51.8bn
Established in Cape Town in 1845, Old Mutual was South Africa’s first mutual life assurance society. Employing 30,000 people in 14 countries, they provide financial solutions to individuals, SME’s and corporations.
5. Liberty Holdings (South Africa) Total Assets – $41.9bn
Liberty Holdings was founded in 1957 and operates in 18 African countries, providing services to 3.2 million people. As well as insurance they also offer asset management, investment and health products.
6. Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd (Israel) Total Assets – $34.6bn
Clal Insurance is in the business of insurance and long terms savings, including general insurance, health, life and pensions.
7. Momentum Metropolitan Life Assurers (South Africa) Total Assets – $28.6bn
Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Momentum Metropolitan Life Assurers offers long and short term insurance as well as asset management and investments.
8. Insurance Association of Turkey (Turkey) Total Assets – $24.6bn
The Insurance Association of Turkey is a specialist institution that oversees insurance providers in Turkey. They have over 66 member companies in various fields.
9. Menora Mivtachim (Israel) Total Assets – $11.7bn
Menora Mivtachim is one of the largest general insurers in Israel and a market leader in the motor insurance sector. They operate in all the main insurance sectors, with their group also providing pension and other financial services.
10. Discovery Health (South Africa) Total Assets – $11bn
Discovery Health is a shared value insurance company covering over 5.1 million clients. They mainly serve small to large-sized employers, as well as individual clients, also operating in UK, US and Chinese markets.
11. Qatar Insurance Company (Qatar) Total Assets – $10.8bn
Qatar Insurance Company is a publicly listed composite insurer founded in 1964, and the first domestic insurance company in the state of Qatar.
12. RMA (Morocco) Total Assets – $4.8bn
Established in 1949, RMA was the first Moroccan company to operate in the insurance market dominated by foreign companies at the time. Merged in 2005 with Al Wataniya, the insurer is of international renown.
13= Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik (Turkey) Total Assets – $3.7bn
Beginning operations in 1990, Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik was the first public pension and life insurance company. With a wide network of branches and a large range of services, the company is one of the biggest leaders in the Industry
13= Wafa Assurance (Morocco) Total Assets – $3.7bn
Wafa Assurance is the insurance branch of the Moroccan bank Attijariwafa Bank. Founded in 1972 with headquarters in Casablanca, Wafa Assurance offers a wide range of services including car, home and health.
15. Tawuniya (Saudi Arabia) Total Assets – $3.6bn
Tawuniya, also known as The Company for Cooperative Insurance, is a Saudi joint-stock company that was incorporated in 1986. The company practices various industries on insurance all in accordance with Islamic Sharia.