An Overview of the South African Life Insurance Industry

The prospects of the South African life insurance industry are looking bright. In 2014, South African insurance companies held assets worth R2.2 trillion, up from a figure of R2 trillion in 2013. So here we will have a look at an overview of the South African life insurance industry.

Life insurance companies in South Africa are in a financially sound position to honour policyholders or their dependents their payments.

Also in 2014, the life insurance industry paid approximately R345 billion to policyholders and beneficiaries, up from a figure of R317 billion.

In the same year, the life insurance industry contributed R345 billion into the country’s economy.

Overview of The South African Life Insurance IndustryThese figures which indicate growth in the industry gives policyholders and beneficiaries confidence in the industry.

Also, tt is only the trust between customers and service providers that allow growth for a service sector or industry.

South Africa’s life insurance industry is further strengthened by the country’s stable economy. So a stable or slightly stable economy means that inflation will not erode the money paid to policyholders and beneficiaries.

The industry continues to receive more premium payments, indicating further growth and trust by the general public.

Industry players – Overview of the South African life insurance industry

Every industry has its flagship brands or companies that the masses can easily recognise or relate to. So some of the major companies in the life insurance industry are given below:

  • Sanlam Life
  • Momentum
  • Old Mutual
  • Metropolitan
  • Liberty Life
  • Discovery Life
  • Hollard Life Insurance
  • 1 Life
  • All Life
  • Clientele
  • Miway
  • Southern Life
  • 1st for Women
  • Regent
  • Outsurance


Several other companies have not made it on the list above.

Monthly premiums – Overview of the South African life insurance industry

The monthly premiums that policyholder pays monthly vary from person to person. The variation is due to some factors that life insurance companies consider when calculating the premiums that a policyholder will pay.

Women pay lesser than men as they are deemed to be more cautious about life than their male counterparts.

Young people tend to pay less than older people. The rule used here is simple – the older you are, the higher the chances of passing away.

Other factors that to consider when a policyholder’s premiums are being calculated is the kind of lifestyle they lead.

So the more the policyholder lives a risky life, the higher a number of premiums he/she will pay.

Insurance types – Overview of the South African life insurance industry

The South African life insurance industry is highly dominated by two main types of insurance policies – term life insurance and whole life insurance.

Term life insurance covers a policyholder for an agreed period while the whole life insurance covers a policyholder for the rest of his/her life.

So apart from these two types of insurance policies, other life insurance policies are event specific. The policy types are below,

  • Funeral plan insurance
  • HIV life insurance
  • Disability cover
  • Salary protection cover



So the South African life insurance industry is highly competitive. Also, there are several big and reputable companies in the industry that are competing for the lion’s share of the industry’ customers.

Many life insurance companies have invested heavily in marketing and advertising.


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All info was correct at time of publishing