Bodaboda operators in Uganda have faulted the insurance industry for not taking care of their challenges to the extent that they see insurance as a money-making venture for the companies.
They specifically question why they are forced to pay for third-party insurance yet when they are involved in accidents, the insurance companies do not come to their rescue.
The cyclists admit that their industry accounts for a big percentage of road accidents, as well as being one of the most affected in terms of deaths and injuries.
That notwithstanding, the Kampala Bodaboda security coordinator, Hoss Kakooza says he does not remember any of his members, saying that they have been paid by an insurance company after an accident.
Speaking at the first public interaction between the insurance industry leaders and the general public at the Uganda Insurance Week in Kampala, Kakooza, who was representing the “Kampala community” also accused the insurance operators of keeping a distance between themselves and the ordinary person.
This, according to him, leads to either the public ignoring the insurance or taking policies without fully understanding what they mean. Kakooza accused them of being complicated and using a language that the ordinary person cannot understand.
The Annual Insurance Week which opened Monday at the Railway Grounds is aimed at helping the general public appreciate the industry and in the end, increase the market penetration.
The industry’s growth in terms of premiums underwritten has steadily grown over the years, and crossed the one trillion-shilling mark in the third quarter of 2022/23, compared to 912 billion collected in the same period a year before.
Similarly, gross claims paid amounted to 476.52 billion during the period, compared to 363.15 billion which was paid in quarter three of 2021.
Meanwhile, gross claims paid amounted to Shs476.52 billion during the period, accounting for 44.1% of the industry’s total premium compared to Shs363.15 billion which was paid in quarter three of 2021.
However, the market coverage of the industry remains just around 0.8 percent while in countries like Kenya, it is more than 2.0 percent. The IRA Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Kaddunabbi Lubega says lack of information is the main hindrance to the growth of the industry, the reason they have started public sensitization campaigns throughout the country.
In response to the claims by the Boda boda cyclists, Haji Lubega said most motorists know and care about the Motor Third Party policy because it is compulsory. He, however, said that many cyclists do not know that the ordinary Third Party policy caters to the passenger and not the rider. He advised them to go for other insurance policies including advanced third-party or comprehensive products, among others.
Insurance is not a popular service mainly because of how difficult it is to be paid a claim in case of a loss, according to the Insurance Regulatory Authority. However, insurers blame this on ignorance and carelessness on the part of the clients who do not take time to understand the products.
Timothy Enock Ssali, the Manager of Business Development at Pax Insurance says it is important for a client to read and understand or consult an advisor before signing any insurance contract. This according to him, will ensure that the claims are in respect of what they paid for, and make payment easier.
The Insurance Week events at the Railways Grounds have attracted all the insurance companies in Uganda and other sectors providing related services like the Deposit Protection Fund, the Insurance Training Institute, and Blood Transfusion Services.
It also features a health camp.
The Chief Executive of Prudential Insurance Uganda, Tetteh Ayitevie urged Ugandans to take insurance not as a matter of the law but as a driver of the nation’s economic development.