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Thursday, 25 September 2014

‘Takaful insurance not for Muslims alone’

The fast growing Islamic insurance package, Takaful, is not exclusively meant for Muslims, as it has been designed to cater for the needs of non-Muslims as well. 
This clarification was made by the founder of Takaful Insurance of Africa, Mr Hassan Bashir, who disclosed that the Kenya-based company’s products could bring fruitful possibilities to the doorsteps of non-Muslims as well as, not just for people of the Muslim faith.
Bashir made this known at a recent chat with the media where he also revealed that non-Muslims currently constituted about 15 per cent of the company’s customer base, adding that the figure was expected to increase as time passed.
“Our products are not exclusively for people of the Muslim faith. We can serve anyone, and we do. Initially, people thought it was only for Muslims, but now around 15% of our client base is non-Muslim and we are growing,” he stated.
Meanwhile, when giving an insight into what brought about the idea of Takaful insurance in the East African nation, and which has since spread to other countries including Nigeria, Bashir said the dream of Takaful was born because of the need to give insurance service to all categories of people.
“There was a need for the service. I have been involved in the insurance industry since 1997, and it was something that I had become aware of. For my MBA
I researched customer behaviour across the Kenyan insurance industry, and what came out was evidence of dissatisfaction and a need for honesty and ethics in the insurance products and services. I came across a lot of people who did not have insurance, or if they did they only had the basic statutory amount.
“They said that they did not feel comfortable with some aspects of insurance – that it did not accommodate their religious beliefs – and some people said they felt conventional insurance was a bit like gambling.
Takaful is a Sharia-based micro insurance package which primarily seeks to serve low-class people, especially those in the grassroots. They will be expected to enjoy insurance with small amounts of money. 
By virtue of the Takaful insurance contract, insurers and reinsurers are bound to share their underwriting profit and/or loss with the subscriber (the insured).  When a profit is made, a dividend is distributed among the policyholders. But when loss is reported, insurers and reinsurers are held to grant the policyholders, an interest free loan, and which they will recover from policyholders when underwriting returns back to profitability and the policyholder account is back in green.
(Nigerian Tribune / 22 September 2014)
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