Ethiopia: EIC plans to boost rural insurance penetration

Jan 20, 2015

The insurance company is to collaborate with cooperatives and microfinance institutions.

The Ethiopian Insurance Company (EIC) is planning to launch a new rural insurance policy to insure farmers against loss of their agricultural products due to natural and man-made risks.

It is considering a partnership with rural financial institutions such as cooperatives and microfinance institutions to reach rural communities.

Hailu Reta, representative of A gar Microfinance, told The Reporter that it is possible to change the mindset of the rural communities to boost insurance penetration. But, he advised that such is possible through "aggressive campaigning".

"If the cooperative unions and financial institution like us were allowed
participate, we can go door to door to raise the required awareness," he said.

Insurance penetration remains low in Ethiopia and across Africa. The continent, with the notable exception of South Africa, has an insurance penetration of roughly one per cent.

This under-development is largely because most Africans simply cannot yet afford it, according to a study from accounting firm KPMG. Access to insurance products only starts to increase quickly in the upper middle income groupings; with most Africans still just struggling to meet their basic food and other day-to-day needs, insurance is still a long way off for the majority of Africans, it said.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801770924-ADNFCR