The Insurance Brokers Association of Uganda (IBAU) has launched a campaign dubbed “Beat the Risk” aimed at sensitising and educating the public to implore them to make insurance part of their lives.

Insurance penetration in Uganda is the lowest in East Africa, estimated at 0.77% in 2020, largely due to lack of appreciation of insurance.

With emerging risks, however, insurance experts say that it is high time Ugandans started appreciating insurance and make it part of their day-to-day lives.

Speaking during the launch at Lugogo on Friday, the IBAU chairman Solomon Rubondo said that as the economy resurges following the recent easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, it has become more imperative than ever for the public to buy insurance and treat it as a necessity.

“Just like the COVID-19 pandemic, many risks present themselves without any warning. This underscores the need for one to institute some sort of safety net to avoid drowning in financial loss caused by the unfortunate events,” Rubondo said.

He added: “People need to treat insurance as a necessity and not just an option.”

That pandemic notwithstanding, Uganda’s insurance industry posted a 9% growth in gross underwritten premiums to sh1.03 trillion in 2020, owing to enhanced distribution and sustainable growth in the uptake of medical and life insurance policies.

It is thus hoped that the campaign will further boost uptake of the various insurance products and thus support industry growth.

The campaign has key health spin-offs where it blends seamlessly with Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer awareness, given that October is recognised as the Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer awareness month.

It is thus run-in partnership with Alexandra Medical Center, Cambridge Health Medical Center and SAS Clinic, which will during October offer free breast cancer examinations and discounted cervical cancer screening as part of the campaign.

“The campaign message is clear. You can beat the risk of Breast cancer and cervical cancer through regular testing which facilitates early diagnosis that in turn steeply increases the chances of successful treatment,” Dr Robert Lubega of Alexandra Medical Centre said.

According to the Uganda Cancer Institute, there is an increasing burden of cancer in the country and it is estimated that for every 100 new cases diagnosed, 80 of them die mainly because they get to the health facilities late.

It is estimated that the Uganda Cancer Institute registers over 7,000 cases annually, with the commonest being breast and cervical cancers among women, leukaemia and lymphomas among children, prostate among men and Kaposi’s sarcoma among men and women combined.