Lion Assurance recently stood on the podium of winners of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) Financial Reporting (FiRe) awards in the category of Insurance Companies in Uganda. Oyet Okwera spoke to Richard Mwebesa, the marketing officer of Lion Assurance and below are the excerpts of the interview.
Question: Briefly, what’s the background of Lion Assurance?
Answer: Lion Assurance is part of a Pan African group with footprints in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Uganda. In Uganda the company also has notable local shareholders as partners.
The company draws from the strong interaction of the business units in the various countries to ensure the insurance solutions it offers are world-class. The company has a capitalisation base of over sh9b making it one of the strongest insurance players in the Ugandan market.
Question: How did Lion Assurance win the FiRe Awards?
Answer: We came first in the Insurance category and also first in the Sustainability Reporting among all participants. We take these accolades with great pride as they signify our high level of professionalism and standards.
As part of a Pan African Group, Lion Assurance follows set standards from underwriting, claims, finance, human resources and marketing that ensure that our delivery is consistent and second to none in the markets we operate in. This philosophy is reinforced by engagement of professional staff whose quality, dedication and hard work enabled us become the overall winner on proper financial reporting in the insurance sector.
Question: Compare the insurance sector now and then.
Answer: There has been significant growth which has seen premiums for the market over the period growing by 20% every year. There has also been significant entrance of new players creating a very competitive environment. In the same period we have witnessed an improvement in the general uptake of insurance over the period though it is still relatively lower compared to other East African markets.
There has been more self-regulation where players in the market have been involved in the development or evolution of the Insurance Act which culminated in the establishment of the Insurance Regulatory Authority in 2011. We are excited to be part of this development over the years and we cannot over-emphasise the economic significance of a stable insurance sector in the development of the Ugandan economy.
Question: Since inception, what are the main achievements Lion Assurance boasts of?
Answer: Having started at the bottom in the market with 20 players in 2004, Lion Assurance now boasts of consistency over the market average growth in Gross Premium Income over the years and is currently the sixth largest insurance company in the market.
During the same period, the shareholders recapitalised the business to over sh9b displaying the confidence we have of the long term sustainability of the business. We have invested in a robust information technology underwriting and finance system that ensures quality and timely service to our esteemed customers.
Question: Any future prospects
Answer: We are working on very exciting market-driven new products that we shall be launching soon. We are also in the process of expanding to various districts so as to take our services closer to our customers.
This article is adapted from New Vision at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/article/fullstory.aspx?story_id=314987&catid=413&mid=53