Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Insurers Association unveiled a campaign called Wewanile to rally people to buy life insurance services. The Independent caught up with UIA CEO Jonan Kisakye to highlight the importance of the campaign and the growth prospects for life insurance.
What is your assessment of the adoption of life insurance products in Uganda?
More people are now adopting life insurance products compared to many years ago, demonstrating that people now appreciate the role and importance of life insurance products. For example, recent statistics indicate that life insurance proceeds increased by 31% to reach 506 billion shillings in 2021 compared to the previous year. The contribution of life insurance to the industry’s gross written premiums was 37%, an improvement compared to 34% the previous year; indicating that life insurance is slowly eating away at the non-life insurance segment in terms of growth. The payment of claims to policyholders amounted to 236 billion shillings, which shows that insurers are indeed meeting their obligation.
What is the Wewanile campaign and what is it about?
Wewanile is a Luganda word meaning to support yourself. This campaign aims to rally the public to appreciate the role of life insurance and the potential to support it. As insurers, we believe it is important to come up with a campaign to encourage more and more people to adopt the life insurance segment in order to help them overcome certain shocks. We want people to understand that life insurance does work.
Why this campaign at this precise moment?
We would like to give the public more information about life insurance products so that they can make informed choices whenever they are ready to purchase insurance.
Why do you motivate the public to buy life insurance products and not another?
The main purpose of life insurance plans is to protect dependents or families in the event of the death of the primary owner or the insured. Most life insurance plans cover the risk of death. This means that in the event of the death of an insured person, the dependents named in the policy will receive a certain amount of the sum insured. However, people also have several options to choose from. For example, one can choose a pure risk product which covers a person against death and will have no other component and the best example is funeral cover.
The other option is a term insurance product that works within a specific time frame and has a specific task. For example, if someone takes out a loan, he or she can take out a term insurance policy that covers that person in the event of their death. This will assist in the payment of the outstanding loan balance on behalf of dependents in the event the insured dies.
Besides that, there is also a combination of the two in which one can have a pure risk product that has a savings component. This means that if the insured remains alive during the insurance period and the policy expires, he must be paid a certain amount of money with premiums.
We also have a pure savings product whose purpose is to save. It means that a customer purposely contributes money to save with a specific goal and comes with bonuses. The difference with this product is that if one transmits before the maturity period, then any savings accumulated at this period is what will be paid to the dependents. It is therefore important that the public speaks with its insurers first and has a common understanding of the purpose of a particular insurance policy, its purpose and its conditions before signing the documents. The insurer is always able to help a customer and be able to get a product that suits their needs.
Why should people consider saving through insurance and not some other option?
Insurance is a highly regulated industry as there are set parameters to protect the contracts an individual has with an insurer. We have an independent regulator that licenses these insurers on an annual basis, and the licensing process is a signal to the public that the company will compensate the insured in the event of a claim. The beauty of insurance is that it has the potential to make a person’s dream come true.
What advice can you give to potential customers?
The fact is that insurance works. Payment of claims has been streamlined by the regulator, the IRA. We have made every effort to share information with the public regarding policies, premium payments and the claims process. We have expanded the distribution network through partnerships with commercial banks and will soon be calling on banks to have their agents involved in insurance distribution as well. We also work in partnership with the private sector and micro-small and medium enterprises, savings and credit cooperatives as well as schools, among others, to create access and insurance solutions.