Personal insurance business in Algeria is struggling to take off, judging by the financial performance of the sector last year.
Data from the National Insurance Council (CNA) show that life and health insurance business fell by a marked 10.5% to DZD12.2bn ($102.3m) last year, reported Liberty Algeria. The figure represented 8.6% of total premiums of DZD142.6bn of the overall insurance market in Algeria.
All branches in the sector saw a decline in premium income with the exception of the accident branch. This class of business raked in premiums of DZD1.8bn last year, up 1.6% compared to 2017.
Illness insurance showed marked stagnation, with premium income estimated at DZD95m in 2018, showing an increase of only DZD7,600 over 2017.
The turnover generated by the assistance branch amounted to DZD2.5bn, marking a 13.6% decline, after a decrease in the number of visas granted, on the one hand, and the cessation of the marketing of insurance for "repatriation of bodies" on the other hand.
Premium from individual life insurance branch fell by 18% to DZD4.1bn last year. Group life insurance saw premiums dip by 4% to DZD3.5bn in 2018, compared to 2017.
The weak sales of personal insurance, which depends heavily on cyclical factors, highlight the need for insurers to diversify their offerings.
Market opportunities are considerable and insurance potential has continued to evolve. A new wave of reforms may be needed to make insurers a true vehicle for the collection of savings, through the development of insurance capitalisation.