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South Africa is top insurance destination this summer

South Africa is one of the hottest emerging insurance markets, according to a recent poll carried out by RISKbitz. The 28th annual "Emerging Markets" survey of insurance executives, found that South Africa is the most attractive market in the world for insurance at the moment. The country's insurance market has been the subject of many potential acquisitions, the potential setting up of branch offices, and tie-ups with local insurers and brokers - all of which require extensive fact-finding missions by Europe based executives this summer.

Here we go, here we go, here we go

South African risk managers have been inundated with requests from brokers and insurers for meetings, while executives from Lloyd's and the London Market have been stressing the value of face-to-face meetings.

"We've been explaining to potential clients that the great thing about the London Market and Lloyd's is the importance we place on face-to-face business," said Ian Luddite, chief executive of Luddite Managing Agents. "None of this IT rubbish, remote access, technology blah blah blah! What really matters is sitting down with clients in person at a soccer match and discussing their needs and the chances of Algeria in the group stages".

Supabroka is so determined to break into the South Africa market that it is sending its entire board and C-level executives to Johannesburg for the whole of June. "It's important for them to be on the ground for such vital discussions such as the possible potential of perhaps having a new office at some point in South Africa," said Supabroka's PR man, "as well as discussing the merits of the 4-3-3 over the 4-4-2 formation*. And it is even more vital that Supabroka takes its top PR man to ensure great headlines during the stay."

The RISKbitz "Emerging Markets" survey found that the second most popular emerging insurance market was Wales, but it was clear that many executives were putting Wales very much second to South Africa. Sir Cuthbert "Cutty" Sark, chairman and CEO of Hapless Insurance, said, "Of course Wales is an exciting prospect, but we must put South Africa first. Once the summer is out of the way, then we can look at Wales and I foresee a lot activity there in the first week of October, when the weather is so much better for international golf tournaments."

The RISKbitz survey has tracked the most popular insurance markets over the years, based on executives'comments and travel destinations for C-Level Executives, cross- referenced with their Air Miles. In 2008, China was the most important market, while in 2006 it was Germany, and back in 2002 it was South Korea.

Whilst the focus is very much on emerging markets, the insurance sector is careful to ensure that existing relationships do not suffer - and so, for example, UK and US insurance executives make extensive visits to each other's territories, usually alternating every two years.

*To our North American readers, this is a actuarial algorithm for working out loss ratios. To our South American readers, Argentina has no chance, even with the fabulous Messi

Other news from May 2010
Travelating the Wave of Insurability
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