top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa

Top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa 

Searching for the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa? Then you are on the right page. The necessity for life insurance has existed since the start of the twenty-first century. You need to have life insurance or business insurance these days to qualify for many loans.

This highlights the value of life insurance and getting one only serves to underscore your accountability. In this article, we’ll examine the companies we think provide South Africa’s finest life insurance.

A life insurance policy is an agreement between a person and an insurance company where the person pays regular premiums in return for the insurer providing a death benefit to the policy’s beneficiaries in the event the person who is insured passes away.

The best life insurance providers in South Africa can help you get the right amount of coverage to replace your income, pay off debts, or take care of future obligations for your family, including paying for your kids’ education or taking care of aging parents.

While on the lookout for the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa, before making your choice, you should think about why you require life insurance in the first place.

Numerous insurance organizations offer flexible life insurance policies because there are numerous justifications for buying life insurance.

As a result, these companies are able to satisfy the majority of standard life insurance requirements as well as policy applicants’ preferences.

It’s crucial to know exactly what kind of coverage type you want before looking for life insurance.

Most people opt for a form of policy that will protect them in the case of their untimely death. Term and whole life insurance policies are the two primary categories, and both offer services that are relatively similar to one another.

Those who anticipate that, in the event of their early death, they would not have enough money to cover charges like debts and burial fees, as well as provide money for their dependents, obtain term life insurance policies.

A whole life policy is often bought by people who will want to be receiving a monthly income from the policy and want to ensure that the insurance company will still be able to pay benefits to their beneficiaries in the event that income declines.

Here is our list of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa in no particular order the pick is based on certain considerations such as affordability, inclusions exclusions, payouts, and many more.

From this list, you should find the perfect fit for your need for a life insurance company in South Africa.

The List of Top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa 

Here is the list of life insurance companies in South Africa:

  • Hollard Group
  • MiWay Insurance
  • ABSA Group Limited
  • Standard Bank Group Limited
  • Metropolitan life insurance
  • First National Bank
  • 1Life Insurance
  • Liberty Life Insurance

Now, let’s look at more details on these top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa.

Hollard Group

Hollard is one of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa that was established in 1980 by Robert Enthoven and his son Patrick Enthoven. In 1985, Patrick proceeded to California to work in the insurance business.

Previously known as Etana Insurance, Hollard was the only insurer to focus exclusively on insuring businesses. It was launched in April 2008 (14 years ago). 

It was co-owned by Hollard (49.9%) and Etana Holdings (50.1%). 

More than 40% of Etana’s management team was black in keeping with the company’s commitment to racial equality.

It was re-acquired by Hollard in 2013 and created a company known as Hollard Broker Markets.

Hollard Group is a privately owned insurance group based in South Africa that operates under two insurance licenses – short-term and life insurance.

The company was founded in 1980 by Robert Enthoven, and the Enthoven family possesses the majority share, locally through The Enthoven Family Trust (EFT) and internationally through Capricorn Ventures International (CVI).

Hollard is a Social Impact Insurance entity. Social Impact Insurance can be in the form of insurance including Credit, Marine, Property Damage, Engineering and Construction, Liability, and Life Insurance.

  • Type: Privately owned
  • Industry: Insurance
  • Founded: 1980; 42 years ago
  • Headquarters: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Key people, CEO: Saks Ntombela
  • Owner: Dick Enthoven
  • Number of employees: 2,350 as of January 2019
  • Website:

MiWay Insurance

MiWay Insurance is the first South African-based explicit insurance company to provide the purchase and administration of short-term insurance policies online.

MiWay is one of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa that was started in 2008 as an enterprise between Santam, Sanlam, and PSG.

And later it was launched in February 2008 as a joint venture between Sanlam, Santam and PSG, MiWay was obtained by Santam in 2010 and it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Santam.

In 2014, MiWay received the Mail & Guardian “Top Companies Reputation Index” Award. MiWay was the youngest company to win the “Ask Afrika Orange Index Service”  awards in 2011.

In 2019, MiWay Insurance was appointed South Africa’s Best Provider of Auto/Car Insurance in Ask Afrika’s Icon Brands Survey Awards.

As of 2014, MiWay began a new program. It was called the loyalty programme. One can directly gain rewards for purchasing a policy online solely for those transacting via online channels and, for those referring friends and family to MiWay.

This is over and above the current loyalty rewards that one receives through MiWay.

These new services put the MiRewards program a cut above most insurance companies’ loyalty programs.

“We continue to explore new and meaningful ways to enrich our MiRewards program to deliver even more value to our clients,” says Rory Judd, MiWay’s Head of Online Marketing.

Many insurers promise ‘cash-back bonuses’, but their clients only qualify for these benefits if they haven’t claimed for some time – usually three years.

“With MiWay, you will get a premium back after three months of cover when you buy a policy online and up to R500 extra every year for exclusively transacting online. These are real cash rewards with no gimmicks, paid into your bank account,” says Judd.

  • Type: Privately owned
  • Industry: Financial services
  • Founded: 2008
  • Founder: René Otto
  • Headquarters: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Key people: Burton Naicker, CEO
  • Website:

ABSA Group Limited

Absa, one of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa, provides affordable coverage for critical sickness, disability, and death.

With absa life, you can get convenient life cover at affordable premiums and choose the cover you need at a premium you can afford. 

You can quickly obtain a life insurance policy from Absa as Absa provides quick options for life insurance.

You won’t need to undergo any health exams to start receiving coverage if you purchase the Absa Ultimate Protector insurance, you can add critical illness and disability insurance.

Absa is one of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa that was established in 1991 through the combination of monetary service providers United Bank( South Africa), the Allied Bank( Souths of the Sage Group.

The next year, Absa acquired the whole shareholding of the Bankorp Group which included Trustbank, Senbank and Blankfein.

In the early years of this union, each bank operated under its name. In 1998, they were unified into one single brand.

A year after, Absa took on a new commercial identity and the name was revised to Absa Group Limited. 

In May 2005, Barclays Bank of the United Kingdom bought56.4 stake in Absa. In early 2007, the Barclays Bank obtainment of Absa was criticized by the governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni who said he” had yet to see the advantages of Barclays’ administration of Absa”.

In 2013, the group acquired the entire issued share capital of Barclays Africa Limited and issued Consideration Shares to Barclays Africa Group Holdings Limited( a wholly possessed subsidiary of Barclays) therefore adding the shareholding of Barclays plc too,3.

The Consideration Shares were listed on the JSE from day one of trading on 31 July 2013. The name change from “ ABSA Group Limited ” to “ Barclays Africa Group Limited ” was publicized on 22 July 2013 and turned effective on 2 August 2013.

In 2017, the South African Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, set up that the bailout of R1.125 billion that Absa’s predecessor Bankorp Group had entered between 1985 and 1992 from the Reserve Bank was illegal, and recommended that Absa be forced to pay back R2.25 billion, the current coequal of the amount.

The report was set away by the Pretoria High Court, chancing that” The public protection didn’t conduct herself in a manner which would be anticipated from a person engaging the office of the public protection.”

The court assessed some costs of the case tête-à-tête against Mkhwebane due to her conduct, an order upheld by the indigenous Court of South Africa in July 2019.

In March 2018, Barclays Africa declared the group’s name would return to Absa Group Limited, effective 30 May 2018. The company passed a rebranding in 2018, inclusive of a new trademark and slogans.

  • Formerly Known As Barclays Africa Group Limited
  • Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (ABSA)
  • Type: Public
  • Traded as JSE: ABG
  • Industry: Banking, Financial Services, Investment Services, Insurance services
  • Founded: April 1991(31 years ago)
  • Headquarters: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Office: 7th Floor, Absa Towers West, 15 Troye Street, Johannesburg
  • Countries served: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
  • Key people: Sello Moloko, Group Chairman
  • Arrie Rautenbach, Group CEO
  • Products: Commercial Banking, Financial Services, Retail Banking, Credit cards, Private equity, Investment management, Investment banking
  • Revenue: R80.12 billion as at 2019
  • Operating income: R21.75 billion as at 2019
  • Net income: R14.53 billion as at 2019
  • Total assets:  R1.399 trillion as at 2019
  • Total equity:  R128.7 billion as at 2019
  • Number of employees: 60,000+ (permanent) as at 2020

Website: www. Absa.Africa/Absa Africa/

Standard Bank Group Limited

Standard Bank Group Limited is an important South African bank and financial services, group. It is Africa’s biggest lender by assets.

The company’s corporate headquarters, Standard Bank Centre, is situated in Simmonds Street, Johannesburg.

The bank currently known as Standard Bank was formed in 1862 as a South African subsidiary of the British overseas bank Standard Bank, under the name The Standard Bank of South Africa.

It was popular in the sponsorship and development of the diamond fields of Kimberley in 1867. The word” British” was stopped from the title in 1883.

When gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand, the bank expanded northwards, and on 11 October 1886, the bank started doing business in a tent at Ferreira’s Camp( subsequently to be called Johannesburg), therefore getting the first bank to open a branch on the Witwatersrand gold fields.

On 1 November 1901, a second branch was opened in Eloff Street of Johannesburg.

En julio de 2021, Standard Bank anunció que aumentaría Su participación en Liberty Holdings, una compañía de Seguros sudafricana, del 54% al 100%, or $594 million. 

Type: Public

Traded as JSE: SBK, LSE: SBK

Industry: Banking

Founded: 15 October 1862 (159 years ago)

Headquarters: Standard Bank Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Countries served: Africa, Asia Europe, North America, South America

Key people: Thulani Gxabashe, Chairman

Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive Officer

Products: Commercial Banking, Foreign Currency Exchange, Insurance, Investment Banking, Investment Management, Private Banking, Consumer Banking, Wealth Management.

Revenue: US$ 8.61 Billion as at 2016

Net income: US$ 1.54 Billion as at 2016

Total assets: US$ 142.9 Billion as at 2016

Number of employees: 54,767 as at 2016



Sanlam is a South African monetary services group with its headquarters positioned in Bellville, Western Cape, South Africa.

Sanlam is not just one of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa but also the largest insurance company in Africa.

It’s established on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Namibian Stock Exchange, and the A2X.

It was formed in 1918 as a life insurance company, Sanlam Group has evolved into a varied fiscal services business.

Its five business groups comprise, Sanlam Personal Finance, Sanlam Emerging Markets, Sanlam Investments, Sanlam Corporate, and Santam.

  • Type: Public
  • Traded as JSE: SLM
  • Industry: Insurance, asset management, wealth management, investments
  • Founded: 1918 (104 years ago)
  • Headquarters: Bellville, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Key people: Paul Hanratty, CEO
  • Abigail Mukhuba, CFO
  • Elias Masilela, Chairman
  • Website: www. Sanlam

New Era Life Insurance Company

The affordable insurance options provided by New Era Life Insurance Company enable you to take charge of your financial and medical destiny.

Their dedication to keeping your insurance premiums constant and as low as possible is backed by their quality goods. Exceptional customer service is another area of focus for them.

You will speak to a live person when you phone them someone who cares about supporting you and your family.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, New Era received no life insurance customer complaints over the previous three years (NAIC).

Poor claim handling, insufficient claim payouts, and refusal to insure are a few examples of complaints.

An insurer’s complaint volume in relation to its size is measured each year by the NAIC using a complaint index.

An index of 1.00 indicates insurers with more complaints than would be expected given their size. An index below 1.00 indicates insurance with fewer complaints than anticipated, whereas an index above 1.00 indicates an insurer with more complaints than anticipated.

The three-year complaint index for New Era was 0.01

This indicates that for its size, New Era receives much fewer complaints.

Lastly, only one sort of senior-specific life insurance coverage is available from New Era Life Insurance, and policies are issued with very little coverage and without a medical exam.


Metropolitan life insurance

Metropolitan Life Insurance South Africa is one of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa that provides coverage for life insurance that is affordable.

In South Africa, Metropolitan Life Insurance is one of the most affordable options, and it offers low-cost coverage.

There aren’t many life insurers that offer coverage for those with low incomes, but Metropolitan does it so well that you may receive a cover of R100,000 for affordable premiums.

The wealthy who wish to spend millions on their lives are catered to by Metropolitan as well.

Along with your life insurance, you can also add critical sickness and/or disability coverage. Therefore, Metropolitan will be able to meet your needs if you require a combination of life products.


First National Bank

According to SA-CSI, FNB Life Insurance is the life insurance company with the highest level of client satisfaction in the life insurance market.

By accomplishing this milestone, FNB Life has proven that it is acting in a unique way from the other insurers.

An R30,000 funeral benefit is included in the FNB Life Insurance policy at no additional cost.

If you use private banking through FNB Banking, the advantages are even greater because you can get your rates lowered.

1Life Insurance

With its innovative, customer-focused strategy and its direct supply of affordable, straightforward, and convenient insurance products to South Africans, 1life revolutionized the insurance sector when it first debuted in 2006.

That remains the same. They continue to innovate, seeking for new methods to better serve the changing requirements of South Africans.

Everything they do is intended to make it easier for you to make wise decisions and to safeguard and increase your wealth.

Here are a few of their “firsts” in the industry: The first life insurance firm to introduce a USSD policy management service (*120*101#) for life policyholders, they were also the first to sell life insurance directly to the general public online and through their mobile site.

They were the first to offer HIV testing using saliva rather than blood.

At the core of what they do is digital innovation. It is one of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa where 75 percent of 1Life’s eligible funeral cover claims are handled, authorized, and settled in within three minutes thanks to automated claims processing.

They put in a lot of effort to provide South Africans with cutting-edge new products. Customers can purchase 1Life Prepaid Funeral Cover even if they do not have a bank account since the company believes that everyone should have access to insurance protection.

Additionally, policyholders of 1Life Pulse Life Cover can boost their coverage by up to R500 000 over the course of 24 months only by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Website: #

Liberty Life Insurance

As a member of The Standard Bank Group, Liberty is one of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa that has benefited from synergies and advantages that apply not only to South Africa but to the entire African continent, making Liberty an essential component of a global financial services company that focuses on providing exceptional customer experiences and superior value.

In addition to typical cover plans, Liberty Life insurance is one of the top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa that gives you a life cover plan that you can easily enroll in over the phone.

A lump amount will be paid to your dependents when you pass away thanks to the Life Cover over the Phone, which you may get without filling out any paperwork or undergoing any medical exams.

Website :


Choosing the best life insurance in South Africa cover requires diligence and taking into account a number of things.

The benefits or add-ons on your life cover will need to suit the lifestyle of the cover beneficiaries so it is important to jot down what the beneficiaries need and what you desire for them.

In some situations, you can also benefit from your life insurance cover. You can get up to 100 percent cashback of all your premiums at a certain stage of your policy.

Before making drastic decisions make sure you know what you truly need for life insurance.

What are your thoughts about these top 10 life insurance companies in South Africa? Please share your thoughts with us.

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