Insurance in Uganda is probably one of those topics that is rarely written about and yet touches almost everyone's life in Uganda ... and honestly speaking, my attitude about insurance has not been any different from lots of you out there; that of mistrust and never really appreciating why we have to pay for insurance.
This perception is even worse when it tries to find its way into the Ugandan society that has almost 25% of the population still living below the poverty line. What is 'the poverty line' - certainly that is for another day ... but we are talking about the 'poor' here - a section of the population that infrequently lives off less than a dollar a day.
I am glad someone asked me about motor third party in Uganda - which surely caught me off guard and took me thinking about insurance in Uganda! ... but here we are;
Insurance is broad - and certainly even bigger in Uganda where we are predisposed to various kinds of risks. Looking through the different insurance products, you will realise how much insurance in Uganda has to offer - Unfortunately I think not much has been done by the insurance companies to educate the public; to understand and appreciate the benefits of these products.
... And by the way, insurance in Uganda has been here since 1962 (incidentally, it's as old as the country itself) ... but of course with no exception, it was hit by the ugly bit of our history marred with political instability of the '70s and '80s, losing a lot of time and money.
That said, there is a positive feeling in the air about insurance in Uganda. To-date, there are over 20 insurance companies in Uganda offering different products and services. There has been quite a lot of publicity in recent times on radio, television and billboards to introduce the various products, to educate and let the public appreciate the benefits of insurance.
... And yes! the perception is gradually changing - perhaps it's also because of the few wake-up calls we have had along the way. Notable were; the blaze that gutted Owino Market - lots of people lost property and businesses in the fire and then fires that have burnt down different schools across that country in recent times.
Not forgetting the fire that burnt the Kasubi tombs - one of the UNESCO Heritage sites in Uganda, to ashes.
Money insurance - most of the banks are now involved with this in different ways and especially if you need a bank loan. The banks will ask you to take out a policy to protect against non payment if it is the unsecured type of loan.
Goods in transit insurance - protection against accidents and damages to the goods, Marine Cargo insurance, Electronic equipment insurance, fire and Peril insurance, Burglary insurance and more ...
Travel insurance is gradually finding its way into the industry - quite a few insurance companies now offer this for protection against loss of baggage, medical cover, loss of money and personal accidents during travel. It's worth finding out what the benefits are before taking out the policy just to make sure you are fully covered before you travel.
Health insurance - hmmm! this is quite an interesting product but ... how many Ugandans can afford to take out such a policy. If there is any product I appreciate, then this is the one. Quite often, you will get to use it unless of course you are made of steel and never fall sick. A few insurance companies and medical centres are now offering this service.
... And what about Motor insurance? it certainly takes up the biggest share of insurance in Uganda - which seems the same the world over. It is the most popular of all insurance products probably because the benefits of taking out such a policy are quite easily seen. The risk for accidents can be high especially on our narrow and congested Ugandan roads.
Such motor insurance will provide coverage for your vehicle for loss and damage from accidents, fire, theft, floods, storms, riots and more....which could extend to the replacement of the windscreen. Please note; that the coverage could be different with each insurance company - therefore take caution, shop around before you take out the policy.
You will get different bundles of the policy cover - depending on what you wish to take out or many times what you can afford against the value of your car. It could be comprehensive cover, against fire and safety or just motor third party.
The thing about insurance is that many times these bundles are offered at different competitive prices across the various insurance companies - therefore, take your chance to grab the best bargain, carefully putting the product-bundles together for the price you can afford.
... And talking about Motor third party insurance - It is mandatory in Uganda for any car to be on the road. You would be in momentous danger of breaking the law if you drove a car with no third party insurance sticker - don't even think about that!
This policy will protect against third party liability for injuries to the public and or damage to property. And the beauty is; third party motor insurance is widely accessible in Uganda - it's sold at majority of the fuel stations or directly from the insurer.
... And then before I sign off, here are some interesting facts and figures especially if you are looking at starting a business in Uganda. Generally speaking, the penetration level of insurance in Uganda to the public is still as low as 0.6% (probably the lowest in the region). Kenya stands at 2.25%.
Health insurance is still very wide open - in fact one would say it is basically untapped and there are quite a lot of other products that are not even here yet - things like product replacement insurance (best example are the mobile phones) - you will be amazed at how many people have mobile phones in Uganda. Take the opportunity that insurance in Uganda offers - it's here!
Finally, while in Uganda, take insurance - it's a good idea and a necessity, it takes a load of pressure from you.
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