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‘Uganda’s market lags behind neighbours’

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UGANDA’S insurance sector has failed to penetrate due to mistrust and lack of information, compared to its East African Community (EAC) counterparts.

According to reports, Uganda has penetrated on 0.8 per cent of the population, Tanzania 2.3 per cent Rwanda 1 per cent while Kenya has the biggest penetration at 3.8 per cebt.

According to Insurance Regulatory Authority, (IRA) communications officer, Mariam Nalunkuuma, the failure by companies is due to the mistrust held by the general public concerning the sincerity of the insurance companies.

“There is very limited information concerning insurance companies in Uganda, the limited information that is out there is actually not favorable to the sector. The public still questions the genuineness of the insurance companies claiming that in most cases, one never gets to be paid even after the loss of the property insured. This is because the insurance companies have not done enough in educating the public about insurance policies and terms and this is costing them a lot of clients” Nalunkuuma said recently.

She was speaking during a press conference to announce the 7th annual Banking Finance Insurance expo due on 26th march 2015 intended to help insurance companies and financial institutions interact with their customers and showcase the different products and services they have.

Nalunkuuma said the fears held by most Ugandans are baseless since IRA, which is a government body independent from the insurance companies is open to the public for any complaints concerning failure by an insurer to compensate a genuinely lost property.

“As the regulatory body, we were responsible to make sure that insurance companies do not cheat their customers and that’s why they normally bring in independent assessors to make sure that the companies that have fulfilled all requirements for insurance payment is paid without delay. There are a lot of insurance packages that Ugandans can take advantage of to avoid any risks. For example the newly introduced agriculture insurance that helps farmers in case of a bad season due to climate change. There are very few farmers who are taking up this insurance package and yet it’s helpful for the economy like Uganda’s” Nalunkuuma said

Dodo Singh, the marketing manager, UAP insurance disputed claims by the public that insurance companies are not trustworthy saying that although they are face insurance companies that cheat the public by offering empty insurance packages, the registered insurance companies like UAP work with IRA to regulator and ascertain that compensations are paid.

“In most cases when customer losses property and fills he form to be compensated, we send a group of assessors from IRA to assess the situation and confirm if the accidents wasn’t intentionally or human negligence and depending on the terms of the insurance offered, if the assesses say you are supposed to be paid, then you get your full payment.,”

IRA was established under section 14 of the Insurance Statute 1996 now The Insurance Act,(Chap213) Laws of Uganda, 2000(Insurance Act)which came into effect on 4th April 1996 and commenced operations in April 1997. The main object of the Authority is to ensure the effective administration, supervision, regulation and control of the business.


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