Micro-insurance: Lifting up the poorAccording to Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) statistics, Uganda’s insurance industry consists of 30 insurance companies, 12 health membership organisations and 27 brokers. Yet the non-business insurance is still extremely underdeveloped.

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At 0.85 per cent, Uganda has the poorest insurance market penetration as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in East Africa compared to Rwanda’s 1 per cent, Tanzania’s 2.3 per cent and Kenya’s 3.8 per cent according to IRA.
Critics, however, believe the low levels of trust in financial services, high costs and critically the lack of suitable distribution and payment channels have also caused scarcity and low penetration of insurance products.

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Only 4.8 per cent of Uganda’s work force is employed in the formal sector implying that only a small slice of the population has access to worker’s compensation insurance. On the other hand, motor vehicle insurance is typically obtained by those who own cars- another select segment.

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Insurance industry to grow by 8.2%Uganda’s insurance industry is expected to grow by 8.2 per cent in the next two years according to a report by financial services firm Ernst and Young (EY).
This is mainly due to a favourable investment climate that has encouraged several foreign players to join the market mainly through mergers and acquisitions.

Last year, a number of foreign insurance companies entered Uganda mainly through mergers and acquisitions. Liberty Insurance, a South African-based company, bought 51 shares from East African Underwriters; Old Mutual and UAP merged while Prudential bought Goldstar Life Insurance.

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