Bahrain to Launch First Islamic Life Insurance Policy Next Month
Bahrain will launch the first Islamic life insurance next month, reported the Gulf Daily News.
Bahrain-based Islamic insurance firm, Takaful International, will launch a life insurance policy when the firm opens its first branch in the Bahrain Mall during October.
This will be the first time that a life policy, based on Islamic principles, will be available in Bahrain, said Takaful International chief executive Mohammed Ajmal Bhatty.
"We intend to sell personal lines of insurance from our new branch," he said.
These will include motor insurance policies and family insurance, a new line of business for the company.
Family insurance cover includes a number of policies such as basic protection, education and savings plans as well as life insurance.
The firm's existing motor product, will also be re-launched, he told the paper.
The firm currently provides motor insurance, personal accidents, home insurance and all commercial lines of business, such as marine, property, fire and bankers blanket bonds.
"Family insurance is a new line of business for us which we will launch next month with the opening of our new branch office," said Bhatty.
This would be the first time that a life insurance policy, conforming to Sharia principles, would be offered in Bahrain, he said.
"In fact, this is the first policy of its kind in the GCC because it has been developed in Bahrain," said Bhatty.
"Although Islamic life insurance is available in Qatar, what is sold there is a Malaysian life insurance product.
"Our policy has been developed by us in Bahrain."
The firm is very optimistic about the prospects for its life policy and is anticipating a growth rate of 10 percent per annum in Bahrain.
"We are also working on marketing the policy elsewhere in the GCC later this year," said Bhatty.
The countries being targeted are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.
"We are in discussion with an Islamic bank to enable us to sell the policy through the bank," said Bhatty.
Islamic insurance has a tremendous potential for growth as the Arab world is extremely under-insured, due to religious misconceptions and lack of awareness about insurance, he said.
The per capita expenditure on life insurance, in particular, is as low as $1 in Saudi Arabia, $16 in Kuwait, $37 in Bahrain and $68 in the UAE.
In comparison, the world average life premium per capita is $235, with Britain at $2,503, the US at $2,447 and Switzerland being the highest at $2,914, he told the paper -- Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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