12 December 2012

Uganda: Lion Assurance New Managing Director Speaks Out

Newton Jazire, the new managing director for Lion Assurance Limited has said they expect the year 2013 to be a good year for their business as the East Africa's third largest economy's economic indicators continue to improve.

The country's year-on-year inflation has dropped to 4.9% as of November 2012 compared to 30.4% recorded in October last year. Analysts say once inflationary pressures abate, there are chances of a particular economy to grow. The central bank is expecting the economy to grow at over 5% for the financial year 2012/2013 compared to 3.2% recorded, a year earlier.

Jazire has been the Operations Manager of the Company since May 2010 and he is expected to contribute positively to the growth of the company and the sector in particular.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting in Kampala on Dec. 11, Jazire said the company plans to roll out different products next year as the economy improves. He said the roll out will see the company reach out to a bigger number of uninsured public so they benefit from a slow growing sector.

He said the company recorded Sh14.9million in terms of GWP-a measure of revenues for insurance businesses and the company plans to grow the figure to a higher level. He added that Lion Assurance has been growing at an average rate of 30% since it launched business in 2003 and has been ranked the 5th in general business and 6th overall in a market that has 22 players.

The director said the company is spearheading unique products and are the leading insurer for Credit insurance (Loan Protection) and agriculture insurance because of being innovative.

"Lion Assurance has reinvested over Sh300 million in the research and development of a relevant and affordable agriculture insurance product for both crop and livestock production risks," Jazire said.

"I am honored to lead my team to the next level," he said, adding I am therefore confident that our best years lie ahead of us.

Uganda has 22 insurance companies but the sector's penetration has remained low at about 0.6% compared to its neighbors Kenya standing at 2.7%, Rwanda at 2.3% and Tanzania at about 2.2%. Analysts have urged the players and the governments to conduct public educative programs about the sector and to come up with affordable products if the sector is to grow.

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