Micro insurance in Tanzania: Demand Perspectives

Saqware, Abdallah Naniyo (2012) Micro insurance in Tanzania: Demand Perspectives. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

[thumbnail of Thesis document]
PDF (Thesis document) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.



This study addresses three distinct but interrelated areas in the micro insurance sector in Tanzania a) demand perspectives of micro insurance in the informal sector b) examining strengths and weakness of current risk coping strategies in the informal sector c) examining household’s characteristics that influence demand for micro insurance. The study analyses data from a primary survey and focus group discussion derived from informal sector households’ members of the VIBINDO society in three districts of Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke in Dar es Salaam. The analysis involves three steps; first, household’s major risk exposures were analysed, secondly risk coping strategies which were in place were examined and thirdly, a probit regression analysis was conducted to establish the relationship between households’ characteristics and demand for micro insurance in the informal sector.

There are three major findings from this study: Firstly, the results indicate that employment, marital status, use of financial services, education, risk exposure and insurance knowledge are significant determinants of micro-insurance demand. Insurance knowledge and trust of insurers were found to have a positive and significant impact on the demand for micro insurance. Contrary to expectations, the empirical analysis shows that income is a significant determinant with a negative impact on micro insurance demand.

Secondly, the findings suggest that demand for micro insurance in the informal sector depends on the competitive advantage between formal insurance services and available informal techniques. Informal techniques have important informational advantages due to their close physical proximity and frequent, repeated interactions. This implies that some inferences can be drawn from the design and development of micro insurance. The analysis highlights different approaches to be taken by insurers in designing micro insurance products.

Thirdly, there is evidence to suggest that pre-existing informal sharing networks affect demand for micro insurance. The low demand for micro insurance can be explained by available informal arrangements which are characterized by closely knit social networks and groups that provide security in exchange for loyalty to the group. Also, uncertainty avoidance culture is low within the households in Tanzania, hence households seem to be more tolerate to different situations. The findings recommend strategies for micro insurance expansion in the informal sector, which is therefore useful for the expansion of financial services.

Repository Staff Only: item control page