5 June 2018

Uganda: Insurance in Uganda Grows 16% in 2017

Uganda's insurance sector, long dogged by low penetration, recorded a 16 per cent growth in revenue buoyed by increased uptake of medical and agricultural insurance in 2017.

The sector made some Ush737.2 billion ($195 million) up from Ush634.8 billion ($168 million) in 2016, thanks to the rise of non-life insurance, which had been in decline following an increase in taxes in 2013 and 2014.

Non-life insurance contributes more than 70 per cent of insurance premiums.

The rise in non-life insurance was put down to the government's investment in an agricultural subsidy that has been running for two financial years now, and private sector uptake of medical insurance for staff.

Insurance Regulatory Authority chief executive Ibrahim Kaddunabi Lubega, said non-life premiums grew by 14.7 per cent in 2017.

This is the first time non-life insurance has grown at more than 10 per cent over the past three years. Non-life premiums grew 14.7 per cent from Ush450 billion ($119.4 million) in 2016 to Ush516 billion ($136.9 million) in 2017. In 2016, non-life premiums declined by 3.1 per cent.

Mr Kaddunabi says improved performance of the insurance sector is due to more people taking up agriculture and medical insurance.

Agriculture insurance was boosted by the Ush5 billion ($1.3 million) offered by government to provide a 50 per cent subsidy for commercial farmers and 70 per cent for small scale farmers. As a result of this subsidy, premiums from agriculture insurance stood at Ush10.1 billion ($2.7 million).

Mr Kaddunabi said more companies have taken out medical insurance for their employees.

Medical insurance premiums, which bring in the most money in the sector in Uganda - a position previously occupied by motor vehicles - grew 33.2 per cent, from Ush121 billion ($32.1 billion) in 2016 to Ush161 billion ($42.7 million) last year.

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