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MMI Holdings enters Uganda’s insurance market

The South African company is projected to boost the country’s insurance penetration that now standing at 0.86%, the lowest in the region

Low income earners, who often forgo insurance due to the expense, now have an affordable option that they could consider.

South Africa-based insurance company, Metropolitan & Momentum International (MMI Holdings Limited) has entered the Ugandan insurance market with its subsidiary Metropolitan Life Uganda Ltd, targeting low income earners with micro-insurance products.

Peter Semakula, the company’s representative in Kampala told The Independent that the micro-insurer is already operational in the country.

While he remained cagey on the products being offered, sources familiar with the company, said it  is rolling out aYo Send with Care health insurance product in partnership with MTN Uganda, allowing mobile money users to purchase insurance cover every time they send money to their beneficiaries.  It is also known for offering funeral and retirement insurance products.

MMI Holdings partnered with MTN Group last year to increase market access of both companies and provide a strong basis to compete in a changing mobile financial services industry.

Ibrahim Kaddunabi Lubega, the chief executive officer at the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda confirmed to The Independent  that the South Africa insurance company, which also has operations in 13 other countries around the globe including Kenya, Tanzania,  Ghana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, UK, and South Africa was given a nod to open operations  in Kampala effective this year.

“The Insurance Act 2011 provides for the regulation of micro insurance companies. From the time the Act was amended, we had not got a company licensed specifically to provide micro insurance products,” Kaddunabi said. “ Metropolitan Life Uganda, is coming in to provide specialized life micro insurance products.”

He said the demand for micro-insurance products has been growing over the time and hence the need for an insurance company that specifically provides such products.

The entry of MMI in Uganda’s insurance industry brings the number of companies offering life insurance products to nine, giving customers a wide range of insurance companies to choose from in their purchase of various insurance products.

Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the South African underwriter, set aside R500million (US$ 36.95million) in 2015 to fund for acquisition and expansions in newer African markets. In 2015, the company acquired a 75 % stake in Kenya’s Cannon Assurance at R300 million (US$22.2million) converting it into a subsidiary in the region as it seeks for further expansion on the continent.

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