Companies that have been offering their employees medical insurance have cut down on the benefits due to the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Ian Clarke, the Chairman Clarke Group and Uganda Healthcare Federation told the annual conference of the Insurance Brokers Association of Uganda that for instance, he had to review and trim on the number of employees that can still benefit from the corporate insurance package.
While it is unclear which other companies cut their employee’s health insurance packages, Clarke expects a drop in premiums arising from health insurance this year.
His thoughts seem to concur with data recently released by the Insurance Regulatory Authority predicting a 50% decline in premiums this year. The sector recorded a total of 495.9 Billion Shillings in gross written premiums in 2019.
Already, the National Insurance Company has announced that COVID-19 interruptions had them experience a drop in written premiums by 40 Million Shillings from 9.37 Billion Shillings in the same period last year to 9.33 Billion Shillings.
Ephraim Kizza Bichetero, the Director Africa Reinsurance Corporation Kenya, said the pandemic gave insurance brokers a lesson to rethink the kinds of contracts they make with clients and being able to do proper risk management.
He said many medical insurance companies shy away from doing medicals for clients before enrolling them on policies.
He also noted that the industry was cast in a bad light for the protection gap that they don’t cover crises like COVID-19.
According to Bichetero, medical insurance companies don’t cover pandemics because these emergencies affect a big number of people and crisis management is usually a responsibility of government.
Even as COVID-19 has hit them hard, Bichetero says there is still potential for growth with Uganda’s insurance penetration rate standing at 1% against the global 7.2%.
Originally posted on www.independent.co.ug