Fri, 28/09/2018 - 07:05
Current Issue 70
Peace of Mind
Liberty Life Assurance Uganda has been providing affordable health and life cover since 2007, diversifying into corporate offerings in recent years
Writer: Tom Wadlow
Project Manager: Josh Mann
Uganda’s insurance industry is growing at a steady pace. According to the latest figures from the country’s Insurers Association, the sector was worth UGX675 billion (US$180 million) last year, up 16 percent on 2016.
In the life insurance subcategory, 2017 saw even greater growth, up 28 percent to UGX169 billion (US$44 million).
With more Ugandans choosing to be insured with life and health cover, it is the work of companies such as Liberty Life Assurance Uganda that is making such peace of mind more accessible to both the public and corporations.
Set up in 2007 specialising in life cover, the Company has diversified into the health space and now insures more than half a million lives across the two strands.
“Today we mainly serve corporates, multinationals and financial institutions,” says Agatha Namara, Head of Marketing and Retail Business Development. “However, in 2015 we launched into the retail space and are growing there steadily.”
From local and international health insurance for businesses to individual and family funeral cover, Liberty Life has been able to greatly expand its remit thanks to building up a reputation over the past 10 years.
“This is a big milestone for us,” Namara comments. “We see ourselves now as a trusted brand in our market and we are looking forward to growing and providing financial freedom to our clients by continually being innovative and improving our service offerings.
“We must also ensure we continue to remain relevant and cater to the ever-changing needs of the market.”
Crucial to Liberty Life’s longevity, and what for Namara sets the firm apart from others, is an unwavering pride in professionalism, efficiency and solid financial performance. These three ingredients have enabled the business to enjoy the market leading position it does today.
Liberty Life’s products are underpinned by services which reflect Namara’s drive for professionalism and efficiency.
Web-based platforms for retail customers help them to set up a policy within in a day, with those taking out health cover able to access a portal with utilisation reports and accessible hospitals or clinics.
“We shall be rolling out our financial literacy programme to both our clients and the market at large in order to spread understanding on insurance and its benefits,” Namara adds. “As well as this, we provide wellness services for clients to help them gain knowledge on how to stay healthy.
“We are also looking at ways to serve our clients better and are working on a system for claims processing and payments – this will enable us to improve the turnaround time for claims settlement.”
Responding to demand
Namara also cited the need to remain relevant, and its newest offerings are testament to the energy dedicated to market research.
All factors, from mortality rates and retirement ages to economic growth and average earnings, are considered when rolling out a new product, the latest being the Soma Plan.
“The Soma Plan is an education savings plan starting as low as UGX50,000,” Namara says. “We recognised that the majority in the market need a flexible savings product, since many people face a challenge in raising school fees for their children
“We are also aware that people go through all kinds of financial challenges and may need to stop their instalments for a few months and continue later, flexibility which Soma provides.”
In the health insurance space, Liberty Life has recently launched Essential and Essential Plus, designed to provide corporates with lower benefits but competitive premiums, a direct response to customer feedback.
As well as listening to local consumers, the Company also backs its local communities when it comes to hiring staff and supporting educational institutions and health awareness programmes.
“As a company we prefer to hire locally as we believe we do have qualified people in country,” Namara explains. “Training is key to developing talent and we do leverage from our regional offices in terms of knowledge exchange.
“We have a very low employee turnover because we value all our employees and ensure an open-door policy with management, good and free communication both horizontally and vertically. We also reward good performance.”
A motivated, loyal team of workers will no doubt prove crucial in realising Namara’s short and medium-term ambitions for Liberty Life.
Top of the list is to continue growth in retail and bancassurance segments, while the opening up of Uganda’s oil & gas industry represents another avenue for corporate cover exploration.
Namara concludes: “I want us to have achieved a bigger brand visibility in a larger part of the country over the next few years. We expect to be the market leader in our space for both retail and corporate life business.”