By Michael Kanaabi Dollar
An industry known more for its rigidity and conservative principles is finally embracing innovation as the need to adapt to changing times becomes more urgent.
On the 18th of December 2020 the first ever Insurance Innovation Awards were held at the Kampala Serena hotel with the cream of the industry taking home well deserved accolades.
The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) which is the Industry’s watch dog partnered up with Global Consulting Services, accounting firm MAMM and Associates aided by a distinguished panel of judges to pull off this feat.
The inaugural awards had 32 firms in the insurance sector participating with a short list of 13 picked out to compete for the 6 gazetted awards on the day.
Ibrahim Kaddunabi Lubega CEO of IRA which was the host of the awards and also government’s arm charged with regulating the Insurance sector emphasized the need for insurance companies to innovate going forward if they are to stay afloat and thrive in these challenging times.
“ The Insurance Innovation Awards 2020 are a demonstration of IRA’s commitment towards promoting innovation in the sector. These awards will provide a platform for knowledge exchange and foster innovation in the sector in turn improving the value customers get and enabling growth of the industry as a result” he said.
Kaddunabbi emphasized that innovation with in the sector will help industry players embrace the digital shift in delivering their services increasing the reach of insurance to previously underserved market segments.
Who were the winners?
The big winners on the day were Prudential Assurance Uganda Limited for the life insurance category, ICEA General Insurance Uganda for the non life most innovative award, Minet Uganda Limited for the brokers category, Housing Finance Bank Uganda for the bancassurance category and Turaco Uganda Limited for the most innovative agent.
The runners up were ICEA life Assurance company limited in the life category, Alliance Africa General Insurance for Non Life, Legacy Insurance Services for the brokers category and Diamond Trust Bank for the bancassurance category.
IRA CEO Kadunabi Lubega expects the industry to remain strong having collected a whopping 987 billion shillings in premiums during 2019 as Innovation drives it forward.
However Uganda Insurers Association Chairman Latimar Mukasa paints a less rosy picture of the future.
“Insurance companies showed resilience through out the Covid 19 pandemic this year because many clients had already gotten into contracts sealing their annual cover policies. There is likely to be a drop in premiums during the first quarter of 2021 when these policies are up for renew as organisations will take into account the effect of Covid 19 on their balance sheets and future prospects during this time.”
Mukasa expects the industry to bounce back in the later parts of the year though.
UIA promised full support for the awards next year as the industry regulator IRA promised to hold the awards annually with its partners going forward.
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