The Insurance industry has launched an integrated marine insurance platform which will enable importers, especially shippers, to pay marine insurance through locally licensed insurance companies.
The new development follows numerous challenges encountered by importers who have been paying marine insurance to foreign firms mostly in countries where they buy goods.
According to Jjemba Kanakulya, an executive at Kampala City Traders Association, (KACITA), a number of traders would pay for marine insurance to insurance companies which they have no idea about their existence. This on top of receiving policies which are written in languages not understood by the policyholder.
The Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) had also noted that the process of lodging claims to such foreign companies was very inconveniencing and costly.
“One of the things that came out prominently was the inconvenience that traders have to go through if they are to make a claim from foreign insurers let alone the uncertainties that surround the legitimacy and adequacy of such covers. Issues of premium flight and revenue loss were also highlighted”, said Alhaj Kaddunabbi Ibrahim Lubega while speaking at the launch organized by IRA.
The new platform will, going forward, address such challenges and as Abel Kagumire, the Uganda Revenue Authority’s Commissioner Customs puts it, the integration of systems will bring about benefits such as expedited verification of Tax Payer Identification Numbers during application process for marine insurance, quick facilitation of stamp duty remittances on policies issued through the marine insurance platform, Data Integrity and Promotion of information exchange between URA systems and the marine insurance platform among others.
The State Minister for Finance in charge of planning Hon Amos Lugoloobi confirms that after this launch, the two months (November and December) will be for voluntary use of the system but starting 1st January 2022, all traders required to pay marine insurance will have to use the system thereby remitting their premiums to locally licensed insurance companies.
The success of this platform was as a result of combined efforts by the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA), The Uganda Insurers Association (UIA), the Uganda Revenue Authority in consultation with other partners like Kampala City Traders’ Association (KACITA), the Uganda Shippers’ Council, Uganda Manufacturers’ Association, Uganda Clearing Industry and forwarding Association and Private Sector Foundation Uganda.