The Insurance Institute of Uganda (IIU) will this year start several new courses, aimed at embracing regional market needs.
According to IIU chief executive officer, Elvis Khisa, the courses aimed at embracing a wider public coverage for the insurance industry, especially for those with less disposable income.
“You cannot ask a person who earns, say, Shs 3m for a monthly premium of, say, Shs 500,000. Yet if you told them that it is perhaps Shs 20,000 or Shs 50,000, many would take it up,” Khisa said. “So, instead of only relying on the large premiums that mainly attract companies, developing micro insurance products may be a good way to increase the penetration of the sector in the economy.”
Uganda has the lowest insurance penetration figures in the region estimated at about 0.8 per cent (about 400,000 people according to latest census) compared to Kenya (3.2 per cent), Tanzania (2.1 per cent), and Rwanda (2.0 per cent). South African has been ranked highest in Africa with 11.8 per cent commitment.
Students joining the IIU later this year can expect to study micro insurance and agricultural insurance as some of the news courses. Speaking ahead of the IIU’s annual international conference, slated for April 22 at Serena hotel in Kampala, Khisa said unless Ugandan firms penetrate the grass-root communities like their regional counterparts, the sector will continue to struggle.
Meanwhile, Uganda has a population of 35million, however, according to Khisa less than one million people are insured. He adds that such a big mass cannot be ignored.
He recommends optimal utilisation of the growing ICT platform especially the mobile phones , have penetrated deeper beyond the urban areas. He said: “I believe the ICT allows flexibility in effecting premium payments,” adding: “One can easily send mobile money to a given account and that’s it, no time wastage. As the institution, we have not yet even scratched the surface in regard to what ICT can do in terms of easing insurance penetration.”
He added the conference would look at improving insurance standards in the sector.
Source : The Observer