Future of insurance industry in Uganda is promising

Wednesday February 26 2020



Ibrahim Kaddunabbi Lubega

Ibrahim Kaddunabbi Lubega  

By Ibrahim Kaddunabbi Lubega

Last year witnessed the insurance sector transform with numerous regulatory changes greatly contributing to the positive growth of the sector.

The sector recorded a 13.6 per cent increase in the gross written premiums to Shs748b according to figures obtained in the last nine months of 2019. The industry’s non-life insurance premiums increased from Shs452.6b to Shs 490b while life written premiums increased from Shs150b to Shs199.57b.

Our desire at the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) of Uganda is to ensure that the insurance sector is financially sound, vibrant and trusted. The supervisory role has in the year 2019 been greatly based on three pillars - regulatory discipline, market conduct, and encouraging self-discipline among the regulated insurance players.

After the commencement of the Insurance Act 2017, which created supervision of insurance business on a risk sensitive basis, we have been in position to develop 10 regulations, which are soon going to be gazetted.

Special attention has been given to developing regulations for the Mobile Insurance, Micro Insurance, Licensing, Governance and Market Conduct, Payment of Premiums, Reinsurance, Capital Adequacy and Other Prudential requirements, among others. The regulations are all focusing on a broad range of enforcement tools, but most importantly, with an aim of further protecting and safeguarding the interests of policyholders and stakeholders.

The new regulatory regime continuing in 2020, will require highly flexible data models, with Actuarial professionals ready to create a convergence process, which will demand technological solutions and enable business investors to forecast their financials.
Technological disruption is an all-embracing agenda, which we will continue in 2020.

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It has played an increasingly prominent role in almost every phase of the insurance company operations, changing from how insurers have been marketing their products, managing their customers, how they plan to execute their business strategies. Therefore, for insurers to survive and thrive in the digital age, they will need to be more responsive, factoring in the shift in distribution channels and becoming more collaborative with their customers.

Whereas there is going to be more competition from new market entrants, especially the Insurtechs/Fintechs, combined with new rules on capital and solvency, this will make it more crucial than ever before for the insurers to identify any opportunities and allocate capital to generate the highest returns.

In this context, the Authority has undertaken several initiatives and programmes during 2019 to maximise the efficiency of the insurance sector and provide the best insurance service to policyholders, beneficiaries and the entire public to enhance competitiveness in the region.

The IRA in collaboration with Uganda Revenue Authority and the Uganda Insurers Association, have instituted a technical working group to implement the local marine cargo goods strategy. An e-portal system for the local marine cargo /goods in transit insurance has been developed.

Effective March 1, there will be voluntary marine insurance provided locally by insurance companies licensed by IRA and compulsory local purchase shall take effect on June 1. The importers using the system will benefit with more favorable tax compensation by URA.

We believe that your expectations are in part to provide greater confidence in the insurance sector, so we encourage you to openly engage us. We look forward to working with all stakeholders, pertinent sectors and all other interested parties as we embark upon the next phase of insurance supervision.

Mr Lubega is the chief executive officer,
Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda. ira@ira.go.ug

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