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Life insurance catching up with the non-life insurance segment

UIA CEO Jonan Kisakye

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Insurers Association has unveiled a campaign dubbed Wewanile to rally the population to purchase life insurance services. The Independent caught up with UIA CEO Jonan Kisakye to highlight the significance of the campaign and life insurance growth prospects.

What is your assessment of the uptake of life insurance products in Uganda?

More and more people are now embracing life insurance products compared to many years ago a demonstration that people are now appreciating the role and significance of life insurance products. For instance, recent statics indicates that life insurance products grew by 31% to Shs 506 billion in 2021 compared to the previous year. Life insurance contribution to the industry’s gross written premiums stood at 37%, an improvement from 34 in the previous year; indicating that life insurance is slowly eating into the non-life insurance segment in terms of growth. Claims payment to the insured stood at Shs 236billlion and this shows that indeed insurers are meeting their obligation.

What is the Wewanile campaign and what is it all about?

Wewanile is a Luganda word meaning to support yourself. This campaign is all about rallying the public to appreciate the role of life insurance and that it has the potential to support them. We as insurers believe that it is important to come up with a campaign to encourage more and more people to embrace the life insurance segment to help them navigate certain shocks. We want people to understand that indeed, life insurance works.

Why this campaign at this point in time?

We would like to give more information to the public about life insurance products so that they make informed choices anytime they are ready to purchase insurance.

Why are you motivating the public to purchase life insurance products and not any other?

The main purpose of life insurance plans is to cushion dependents or families in the event that the principal owner or the insured passes on. Most life plans cover the risk of death. This means in the event that a policyholder passes on, the dependents named in the policy, will be paid a certain amount of the sum assured. However, people also have options to choose from. For instance, one can choose a pure risk product that covers one against death and will have no other component and the best example is a funeral cover.

The other option is a term assurance product that works within a specific timeframe and has a specific task. For example, if one takes a loan, he or she can take a term policy that covers that person in the event of death. This will help in the payment of the outstanding balance on the loan on behalf of the dependents in case the insured passes on.

Besides this, there’s also a combination of the two in which one can have a pure risk product that has a component of savings. This means that should the insured remain alive during the period of insurance and the policy comes to the maturity period, he or she stands to be paid a certain amount of money with bonuses.

We also have a pure savings product whose purpose is to save. This means that a customer pays some money purposely to save with a specific target and comes with bonuses. The difference with this product is that should one pass on before the maturity period, then whatever saving has been accumulated at that period is what will be paid to the dependants. It, therefore, is important for the public to first talk to their insurers and have a common understanding of the purpose of a particular insurance policy, its purpose and terms and conditions prior to signing the documents. The insurer is always in a position to assist a customer and be able to get a product that is appropriate to his or her need.

Why should people consider saving through insurance and not any other option?

Insurance is a highly regulated industry because there are set parameters to safeguard contracts that an individual has with an insurer. We have an independent regulatory who licenses these insurers on an annual basis, and the process of licensing is a sign to the public that the company will compensate the insured in the event of a loss. The beauty of insurance is that it has the potential to enable one to realise his or her dream.

What advice can you give to prospective customers?

The fact is that insurance works. Payment of claims has been streamlined through the regulator, IRA. We have made efforts to share information with the public regarding policies, premium payments and claims process. We have widened the distribution network through partnerships with commercial banks and we shall soon be engaging banks again so that their agents are also involved in insurance distribution. We are also partnering with the private sector and micro-small and medium enterprises, savings and credit cooperative societies as well as schools among others to create insurance access and solutions.

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