IRA banks on technology to ensure insurance sector penetration


The Chief Executive Officer of the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda, Alhaj Ibrahim Lubega Kaddunabbi has urged sector players to get involved in developing tech-driven products to cater for the growing needs of customers and this will in return help in insurance penetration.

On Thursday, CEOs in the insurance sector were hosted to a breakfast meeting to discuss the IRA sandbox under the theme;Technology for last mile penetration; a road map for the IRA sandbox”.

“We are tackling the very critical issue of innovation that will help drive insurance penetration in the country. We issued the sandbox guidelines and regulations and therefore want to see products coming up,”Kaddunabbi said.

The IRA sandbox is a space where new innovations are tested before being approved.

Matters on how to encourage new innovations in the insurance space and how the insurance regulator is promoting innovations shall be discussed.

According to the Insurance Regulatory Authority boss, innovation will help solve the problems of the insurance industry and the country at large.

“Definitely it will help a great deal on penetration and distribution of insurance. If we use technology we can address challenges of the day. Challenges of IT can resolve many issues because it is done at a very low cost, reaches many people, at a high speed and touches the needs of the dotcom era.”

Kaddunabbi noted that whereas the uptake of technology by insurance companies is good, there is need to do better.

“The uptake is good but it can be made better. What we are seeing is responsiveness of insurance companies but they can do much better and this interaction was meant to improve on what they are doing by coming up with more products through the sandbox.”

According to Japheth Kawanguzi from the Innovation Village, they have partnered with the Insurance Regulatory Authority to help promote and support ideas and innovations in the insurance sector.

“We want to explore how partnerships can be set up between the industry and community of innovators across the country with an objective of ensuring that a lot of the projects that innovators are working on can help address the various needs in the insurance sector,” Kawanguzi said.

“The insurance industry is missing something because innovation is being seen as something that should only come from the Insurance Regulatory Authority but with the trends and speeds as well as penetration, there is need to embrace the different sources of innovation. In this we are saying there are so many entrepreneurs innovating in the sector and need to work with us to bring these innovations to life.”


The current insurance penetration in Uganda is not above 1% and this  low level of formal insurance uptake is attributable to public mistrust, low public awareness and a narrow insurance product range, especially for low income earners.



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