Placing Trust in Local Reinsurance
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Stuart Parker
Uganda Reinsurance Company Limited (Uganda Re) is a proudly local Company, providing both Life and Non-Life services after starting operations in June, 2013, with a full staff compliment of local workers.
Based in Kampala, Uganda Re holds the title of the country’s first and only reinsurance outfit, providing a wide range of services which include engineering, marine, general, accident, motor, agriculture, political, violence, sabotage and terrorism.
“With a wide client base including the entirety of insurance companies located in Uganda, we also underwrite risks that spread across the African Continent and Indian Ocean Islands,” explains Ronald Musoke, Chief Executive Officer at Uganda Re. “Presently we are particularly committed to positioning ourselves as a regional capacity and risk solutions provider, working from a platform of our already excellent strategic partnerships with reputable regional and international reinsurers.”
The Company has a wide variety of underwriting insurance classes in its portfolio and with that the capacity to meet the high standards required for the industry, while also staying within the boundaries of Uganda Re’s firm values.
“We have very strong values in this Company which revolve centrally around reliability and quality, as well as the ability to meet customer’s needs and expectations,” adds Musoke. “It is also important for us to build long-term relationships with stakeholders, particularly due to our predominantly local work and behaving as a responsible and corporate citizen.”
The Company has employed a particularly experienced and dynamic team to take it forward, a factor that has massively influenced the success of Uganda Re over the past four years since inception.
“Our objective is to serve our clients with excellence and the professionalism that would be expected in a top-class reinsurance company anywhere in the world,” adds Musoke. “We have developed the expertise to skilfully identify and respond quickly to emerging opportunities that we are able to tap into, continuously reviewing and upgrading when required.”
Uganda Re has honed in on its ability to supply value added services to its business partners, a key aspect of this ability is providing partners with these services in a timely and efficient manner.
“Our Reinsurance services support our proud business partners, with a view to aiding them in achieving their corporate goals,” affirms Musoke. “We support on almost all classes of business while also offering both treaty and facultative capacities, supported by our internationally rated retrocession partners and compounded by our specialist knowledge of the risks.”
Ugandan insurance industry
The original practices undertaken by reinsurance companies were in place to reduce the likelihood for clients to have to pay out a large insurance claim, the practices reduce the risks associated with underwritten policies by way of spreading the risk. In an ideal world, reinsurance companies such as Uganda Re will then receive part of the money generated from this shared risk - a factor that Ugandan companies have smartly taken into account in the past.
However, when Uganda Re was formed in 2013, companies were required to plunge 15 percent of their reinsurance business into the Company.
“The move the Company took to becoming a national reinsurer has played an incredibly effective role in balancing fluctuations for insurance companies’ financial results,” the Company explains. “It had taken a very long time for Uganda to set up a national reinsurance company, 17 years to be exact, and it has been a collective effort over that time on the part of insurance companies to get to this point.”
A vision for the future
Since inception, Uganda Re has always aimed to be the re-insurer of choice for its Uganda insurance companies and in the region.
The Company adds: “It is our vision to provide consistently excellent and reliable service to our clients - the insurers themselves - particularly when it comes to levels of expertise, quick and efficient responses and excellent claim payment turn around and the sustainability of long-term relationships.”
Although in the past there has been a slight issue when it came to capacity, the Company has had stringent plans in place to strengthen the Company’s capital base.
“Our premiums have grown from US$ 177,000 in our first year, to US$ 7,039,000 as of 31 December, 2016, making a massive growth for the Company and proving our ability as a the reinsurer of choice in the industry,” affirms Musoke. “To achieve this we have always hired staff who are perfectly suited for specific roles, while continuously training them to ensure they are qualified to fulfil the insurer’s needs.”
A big part of the Company’s growth over the past four years has come from local support.
Musoke concludes: “We are very excited to watch the development of Uganda Re over the next four years and we hope to witness growth in our written premiums to approximately US$ 15,000,000, as well as acquiring a global rating to take us to the next step in reinsurance companies in a larger market.”