Microinsurance Committee

National Treasury released a policy document in July 2011 entitled “The South African Microinsurance Regulatory Framework”.  Microinsurance, as described by the policy document, refers to risk-management products designed to meet the needs of lower income households. A microinsurer will form part of the broader insurance market, distinguished by its particular focus on the low-income market, which translates into distinct means of product design and distribution.

These products include both long-term (e.g. funeral policies) and short-term (e.g. asset based) insurance products, and will be provided under a new microinsurance licence.  The aim of the legislation is to lower the barriers of entry to encourage broader participation in this market, introduce formalised insurance requirements for the currently informal providers as well as to enhance consumer confidence and protection within this market segment.  Draft legislation is due to be released for public comment in 2013.

Microinsurance Actuarial Technician (MIAT)

It is believed that the existing prudential requirements are overly complex relative to the types of products considered.  The policy document therefore proposed a significantly simplified regulatory framework, which includes lower capital requirements and simpler capital reserving, reporting and corporate governance.

In particular, reserving will be done on using a simplified formula approach.  Actuarial sign-off on capital will not be required (although the FSB reserve the right to request sign-off if necessary).   However, the proposed reserving formula is a function of the price of the products, and the policy document requires sign-off on the total premium by a Microinsurance Actuarial Technician.

The Actuarial Society is responsible for setting the minimum requirements for a MIAT.  For more information on the MIAT and the minimum requirements to fulfil the MIAT role, see relevant documents below.

Input into regulatory developments

The Microinsurance Committee also present the Actuarial Society’s views on the developing microinsurance legislation. The committee closely follows regulatory developments and will interact with the FSB and National Treasury during the regulatory development process.


The Microinsurance committee has established the following subcommittees:  

  • Education
  • Events and research
  • Guidance and professional matters

The education subcommittee, chaired by Richard Montgomery, is designed to work on educational issues arising from microinsurance. They aim to broadly improve skills of the microinsurers and the Microinsurance Actuarial Technicians. They also plan to draft a Practice Module for Microinsurance and to maintain a relationship with the Education Board of ASSA in order to stay on top of any changes made with regards to Practice Modules.

Events and research
The events and research subcommittee, chaired by Junaid Khan, is in charge of events to be held by the microinsurance committee as well as research surrounding this topic. They have also been tasked with maintaining a list of research topics to be used. One of their goals is to host a Sessional meeting where ASSA members will be provided with more information on the regulatory requirements to date and the roles that actuaries are envisaged to play in the new regulatory regime.

Guidance and professional matters

The guidance and professional matters subcommittee, chaired by Stephen Burgess, is currently busy drafting a guidance note that will be used by the Microinsurance Actuarial Technician when signing off on premium rates.  Ultimately, the committee will also design and manage the approval process for the MIAT.

International resources

Relevant documents

Minutes of meetings held

  • 01 March 2013
  • 03 June 2013


Useful links

Literature Review on Health Microinsurance


Focus Note

Nigel Bowman

Contact information
You can contact David Kirk for more information on microinsurance committee matters.