By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
THE Jaiz Takaful Insurance Plc has commenced operations in Nigeria with the promise that all policy holders would be paid at the end of every fiscal year either through claims or profit sharing.
Mr. Momodou Musa Joof, Managing Director, Jaiz Takaful Insurance Plc, stated this while speaking at a press briefing in Abuja. He said that Takaful, a Sharia-compliant insurance practice is open to both Muslims and Christians, and it guarantees mutual benefits for all policy holders.
He stated: “Some shy away from conventional insurance practice for religious reasons; some say it resembles gambling and the game of chance is not allowed in the religion of Christianity and Islam.
“When you walk into any conventional insurance company to insure a house, the first question you are asked is what is the value of the building and if you say about N100 million, they do their calculation and charge you N20,000 a year; with that N20,000 you have paid, they are giving you a piece of paper called insurance.
“In the eyes of Islam so long as it remains buying and selling, you pay N20,000 in exchange for a piece of paper called insurance it is not equal. What have I really bought if you ask yourself, a promise, that if I suffer any loss I would be paid but what if I do not suffer a loss, that question is not answered. So people will say that insurance company takes your money and you get nothing back.
“Now you insure that house and it is on fire in a particular year and you go back to them and if they pay you that N100 million, they would have been paying you far more than you gave them, so that it becomes a question of you may or may not suffer a loss, very close to gambling. You may suffer a loss, they lose by paying you money, you may not suffer a loss, you lose your money by not benefiting.
“And I can assure you that by the time you insure that house and you go to the church or mosque and pray, ‘oh God, help me so that this house is not razed down by fire, I love my house.’ By the time you made that prayer and your prayer is answered, it means that you are not ready to appreciate the benefits of your insurance policy.
“But with the Takaful concept, we are saying that it is not fair that way. The money that the insurance company collected from five million people belongs to them forever. But because we have to pay to collect, invest it; settle claims for them, then the service we are rendering to them must be paid for.
“So it is in that application that we said that whatever comes in we are taking 30 per cent. So if we now underwrite vigorously and generate N500 billion, 30 per cent of that becomes far more than the salary that we need and the other part of 70 per cent is for participants. The regulator makes sure that we have two separate accounts, the account of management which belongs to us and the account of participants.
So that participants account we only use it to pay claims, to pay reinsurance or pay commissions to intermediaries such as brokers and agents, whatever remains of that account must be distributed out to participants who have not suffered losses.”
According to Joof, Takaful has expanded to many parts of the world, including countries with Christian majority, such as Zambia, with the United Kingdom now hosting annual meetings on it. He disclosed that claims settlement takes only seven working days, once all the necessary documents are filed.
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