The importance of life insurance to the social and economic welfare of a country cannot be overemphasized. Life insurance does not only boost a nation’s financial investment sector, but it also ultimately creates a safety net for families. Despite the significant growth of the insurance industry in Africa over the years, the growth of the sector in Uganda continues to lag behind with a measly penetration rate of 0.8 percent. This low use of life insurance across Uganda raises questions about what determines life insurance consumption. This thesis addresses this concern through the application of a mixed methods approach—combining both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The qualitative approach focused on capturing macro-level determinants of life insurance consumption through in-depth interviews conducted with life insurance experts and focus group discussions with educated and working-class youth in Kampala city. The quantitative approach on the other hand, focused on micro-level determinants such as marital status, income level, education level, number of dependents, level of insurance awareness and the perception of insurance as an important financial tool. Results of the analyses showed that macro level factors such as inflation, political climate, financial sector development, consumer education, presence of other financial options have a strong influence on the demand for life insurance in Uganda. At the micro level, results of a logistic regression using a sample of 393 respondents, showed that all other things being equal, one’s marital status, income level, level of insurance awareness and the perception of insurance as an important financial tool significantly influence life insurance consumption in Uganda. Based on these findings, the study recommended that the inclusion of insurance in the school curriculum; reassessing the current tax system; creation of wealth accumulation products as well as affordable insurance policies.


School of Global Affairs and Public Policy


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Public Policy

Graduation Date

Winter 1-9-2020

Submission Date


First Advisor

Kaye-Essien, Charles Wharton

Committee Member 1

Bhuiyan, Shahjahan

Committee Member 2

Hadi, Ali


86 leaves

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item