Insurance was introduced in Tunisia at the end of the 19th century by the French regime and up to the time of independence, the Tunisian insurance market was dominated by foreign companies. However, at independence, Tunisia made a legislative effort by laying down the regulatory framework to better integrate insurance into the economic and social life. Thus, Société tunisienne d’assurance et de réassurance (STAR) was set up in 1958 with the direct participation of the State as part of the plan to revitalize the sector. Subsequently, several private Tunisian companies were established in the 1960s and 1970s which took over the portfolios of foreign companies. On 25 March 1981, the first national professional reinsurer in Tunisia - Tunis Re – saw the light of day.
At present, the Tunisian insurance market has 23 domestic companies and 4 off-shore companies. Twenty of the domestic companies are limited liability companies and three are mutual companies. The written premium in 2014 stood at 1,527.4 million Tunisian dirham, representing an 8% growth, compared to 2013. When compared with the other countries of the MENA region, Tunisia is 4th and 2nd in the Maghreb, after Morocco (3%) and ahead of Algeria which has a penetration of 0.8%. Premium per capita increased from 98.3 dinars in 2009 to 139.1 dinars in 2014 (US$73.2), representing an average annual increase of 7.2% over the period (2009-2014).