Insurance gross written premiums hit Shs1 trillion

A fireman puts out a fire in Kampala recently. Even as insurable risks increase Uganda’s insurance sector continues to register slow growth.

What you need to know:

  • Insurance uptake has been boosted by innovations and the advent of Covid-19 that has acted as an eye opener. 

The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) has said Covid-19 has boosted sector written premiums, which now stand at Shs1 trillion.

While presiding over the insurance agent of the year awards in Kampala, Mr Ibrahim Kaddunabi, the IRA chief executive officer, said during the year ended December 2021, life insurance, contributed 30 percent of sector written premiums, which signals improved affinity to a segment that had largely been ignored by a section of society.

“People have started recognising that they have to secure their future and one sure way is by buying insurance. Last year, none life insurance contributed Shs700b while life insurance contributed Shs316b,” he said, noting that it is also important for insurance firms to be relevant by building products that are functional to society. 

For instance, he said, insurance firms should build products that allow people to contribute during their working lives so that when they retire they have a fall back to support them through old age. 

Asked what caused a spike in written insurance premiums last year, Mr Jason Kisakye, the Uganda Insurers Association chief executive officer, said Covid-19 had affected a number of clients, whose bills were paid by insurance companies thus acting as a catalyst, especially for insurance uptake in the life category. 

“When many customers fell sick, the only fallback position was insurance. Many people died and their claims were settled. Covid-19 acted as a catalyst, pushing a message, especially for medical and life. For the first time we crossed Shs1 trillion” he said.

Insurance penetration has for a long time stagnated below 1 percent.

However, there has been noticeable growth, especially in written premiums due to a number of innovations such as Bancassurance, which now contributes above 15 percent of gross written premiums.  

Insurance uptake  has been boosted by innovations and the advent of Covid-19 that has acted as an eye opener.