Atlas Magazine April 2008

The Algerian insurance market, between myths and reality

Some signs are unmistakable. The Algerian insurance attracts potential investors who rush in from everywhere.

Prospecting missions are multiplying. Coming from Europe, the Middle East or from neighbouring countries, delegations are heading to Algiers to meet the business representatives and to diagnose a market that is still lagging behind.

Will Algeria be the new Eldorado?

The question paves the way for finely shaded answers, for reality is otherwise more complex.

We are interested in going to Algeria because the country is rich. It is endowed with a great economic potential along with high oil revenues.

We also want to go there because, paradoxically, insurance is hardly developed. The per-capita premium is poor, the insurance penetration rate in GDP is below that of Tunisia or Morocco, life insurance is almost inexistent and the means of industrial production is underinsured. To cut a story short, we need to start it all over.

But between the slogan “Algeria, a country where we can do business” and reality, the road is undoubtedly longer and harder than it looks.

For there exists another Algeria, away from legends and clichés, a more complex Algeria that is likely to discourage more than a pretender.

The foreign insurers desirous to get established there have to be resolved, endowed with considerable resources. Algeria is no country of half measures.

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