Market Research on Africa Insurance Opportunities

Step played an instrumental role in assisting Standard Bank Insurance to assess opportunities in insurance across 18 African economies.

Standard Bank Insurance was seeking to gain a renewed understanding of these various markets and, ultimately, the growth opportunities they presented. This would enable their team to focus their attention on the right Pan African innovative solutions over the next several years.



3 months


Financial Services

Step worked closely with Standard Bank Insurance’s internal team to carry out an extensive analysis of insurance in specific regions in Africa. Desktop research was undertaken in several areas and informed understanding of:

  • The economic fundamentals in each country investigated (including an understanding of sector prominence and growth, key statistics around the country’s population, the performance of certain key indicators such as GDP)
  • The performance of insurance in each market (including understanding insurance premium growth over time, insurance penetration and the market product mix for both the short and life insurance markets)
  • The competitor landscape in both the short and life insurance markets
  • The insurance regulatory environment
  • The receptiveness of the country to innovation as well as gaining an appreciation of how government activity was contributing to this
  • Any country-specific relevant information

The critical analysis of all inputs obtained enabled qualitative insights to be gained consequently leading to the identification and articulation of areas that present opportunities for growth for Standard Bank Insurance, and in each country.

Step’s output took the form of a detailed view of each country displayed as a “country-on-three-slides”. The approach and purpose of each slide was as follows:

Slide 1:


Purpose: Stipulate facts to create context of the country

Slide 2:


Purpose: Assess various aspects of the market and the degree to which the company is currently positioned to grow in the market

Slide 3:


Purpose: Collate and justify all potential opportunities on-a-page

In addition, Step produced a consolidated view of insurance product opportunities which was necessary to highlight the five major product themes that emerged from the body of research performed. As a result of our work, Standard Bank Insurance’s strategic focus areas were substantiated and two new workstreams, mandated to further investigate the feasibility and attractiveness of launching additional product opportunities, were initiated.

The Step team added a lot of value to our organisation through their great work ethic, willingness to collaborate with various stakeholders and high quality research. They really went ‘all in’ to ensure we collectively delivered strategic documents that were valid, credible, and most importantly, useful decision support. We have already engaged Step on our next project.”

Leon Vermaak, Head of Insurance Innovation, Standard Bank