Marine insurance underwrites Shs200m a month after launch  

Marine insurance is a win for the general insurance sector, local firms and government. Photo / File  

What you need to know:

  • Marine insurance requires importers to insure their goods with local insurance companies 

The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) has said that marine insurance policies have registered impressive uptake, less than two months since it was implemented on October 1. 

The policy requires that importers insure their goods with local insurance companies contrary to the earlier practice where goods would be insured with foreign insurers. 

Mr Protazio Sande, the IRA director for planning, research and market development, said the uptake is encouraging and will yield good benefits for not only IRA but government and the insurance sector. 

The policy is being implemented in collaboration with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) through the marine portal that offers supervising agencies an opportunity to review performance in real time. 

“By last week [November 28] about 65 policies had been underwritten with a premium of close to Shs200m. With the online system it is easy. One can even use their mobile phone to get the policy anytime,” he said.

Mr Sande was speaking during the launch of the fourth edition of the Annual Insurance Innovation Awards 2023 in Kampala. 

He further said that local importers will have an opportunity to easily claim compensation in the event of loss or an accident.

“With marine insurance, we are bringing in new businesses that have never been underwritten elsewhere; the insurers benefit, government gets revenue and most importantly traders benefit in the event of loss or an accident,” he said, noting that innovation in the insurance sector continues to build confidence as well as help insurers reach  wider audiences. 

For many years, despite the significant amount of business involved in international trade, Uganda’s insurers have not profited from marine cargo insurance until IRA enforced it in October. 

Speaking at the same event, Mr Ibrahim Kaddunabbi Lubega, the IRA executive director, said the Annual Insurance Innovation Awards seek to recognise and promote innovations that respond to challenges faced by Ugandans and the insurance sector. 

“The awards were introduced in 2020, just as Covid-19 was starting, which accelerated the digital revolution. Based on industry data that is currently available, insurance penetration was little over 0.7 percent back then and has since increased to over 0.88 percent,” he said, noting that this was the fourth consecutive year IRA will be holding the awards.  

IRA hopes to attract players licensed to provide insurance, among which include insurers, health membership organizations, brokers, bancassurance agents, individual agents and loss assessors. They will be held on March 15, 2024.