Insurable Interest in the Lives of Minor Children in Uganda

Article Authors: Okurut, Emmanuel, Atim, Grace Okeny


Insurable interest is an essential requirement that distinguishes legitimate life assurance policies from wagers. This paper analyses the statutory insurable interest of parents and guardians of minors, in the lives of those children under Section 133(2)(a) of the Insurance Act of Uganda. This provision implies that parents and guardians of minor children in Uganda are conferred with a statutory insurable interest in the lives of their minor children. Therefore, they may insure the lives of their minor children and become the beneficiaries of such policies. The major problem is that the prospective benefits of such policies taken on the lives of minors may become an incentive for harming or even killing the child. To interpret and determine the appropriateness of Section 133(2)(a) of the Insurance Act, this paper compares the Ugandan legal position with the Common Law. This comparison is essential because Insurance Law in Uganda was heavily influenced by the principles of the Common Law. Insurance regulation was initially written in Uganda by subsidiaries of foreign corporations, mostly those with British,
American, and Indian roots, until the late 19th century. The first insurance decree was enacted in 1978, and since then Ugandan insurance legislation has steadily expanded to include all relevant parts of the sector, including life assurance. This paper finds that parents’ and guardians’ presumed insurable interest in the lives of their minor children is not supported under the Common Law. This is because natural affection relationships are not capable of conferring a presumed insurable interest in life assurance. As a result, Section 133(2)(a) of the Insurance Act is largely inappropriate and it is no wonder that life insurers in Uganda do not offer this kind of product. This paper recommends that the provision should be urgently amended to do away with the statutory insurable interest conferred upon parents and guardians in the lives of their minor children.

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Volume 2
ISSN 2957-8647
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