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The Insurance Industry in Botswana
Unemployment and poverty are cited as the factors that most constrain growth in Botswana’s insurance industry. Short-term insurers in particular report that insurance premiums are becoming unaffordable for consumers as households are highly indebted. Life insurance companies, on the other hand, are launching new products to meet the needs of the large middle- to upper-income market.
The market for insurance in Botswana is relatively small as there are only about 400,000 formally employed adults and there are 23 insurers offering individual and corporate products in life and non-life business. However, insurance penetration is only 2.8%. While this indicates growth potential, growth and competition depend on job creation and the success of the small business sector.
South African Presence
South African insurance companies having a significant presence through shareholdings. Ultimate shareholding of eight of the 23 licensed general, long term and reinsurers are owned by South African companies and only three of the insurers are owned by Botswana companies. Sanlam is the major South African player as the majority shareholder in the dominant player Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) and an indirect shareholder in Continental Reinsurance Company.
This report focuses on life insurance, reinsurance and short-term insurance, including travel insurance, in Botswana. There is comprehensive information on the size and state of the industry, companies operating in the sector, their total assets and gross premiums (2018 figures) and factors that influence the insurance industry. There are profiles of 26 companies including the dominant player BIHL, the only major insurance company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange and Letshego Holdings, a player in the microinsurance sector, which is also listed. Other profiles include Botswana Insurance Company, which notified Botswana’s Competition Authority of the proposed acquisition of BIHL Insurance Company Ltd, trading as Legal Guard, a BIHL subsidiary.