10 July 2012

Uganda: Are You Insured Against Terrorism?


Terrorism, terrorists, terror attacks are just some of the variations on a theme that has unfortunately become synonymous with life as we know it. The explosions in downtown Nairobi at the end of May and last week, were a reminder of the constant threat that exists.

When it was reported that a major suspected terrorist had crossed into Uganda, we were again reminded by the authorities of the need to be vigilant. How does one erase the horrific memories of the Ethiopian restaurant and Kyadondo Rugby club?

Property owners have had to live with the constant fear of potential and devastating loss. With the threat being more real than perceived, measures to mitigate loss from a potential terrorist attack is certainly money well spent.

The terrorism risk insurance cover can be purchased from most insurance companies present in the country. Unfortunately, most standard insurance policies like fire or motor comprehensive cover have exclusions for wars, civil wars, riots, strikes, civil commotion and even acts of terrorism.

This means that you may not be protected if you lose a windscreen resulting from a riot. You should, therefore, establish the nature of cover your current insurance policy offers, and the need to purchase a separate terrorism risk insurance policy.

While exercising a high degree of caution is a must, it is vital to consider protection beyond metal detectors. Insurance does not prevent terrorist attacks but will reduce the financial burden if they occur. Let's be safe out there, and make safe choices too.

The author works for the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda.

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