Monday, June 8, 2009

Islamic insurance, takaful

In modern business, one of the ways to reduce the risk of loss due to misfortunes is through insurance. The concept of insurance where resources are pooled to help the needy does not contradict Shariah.
The concept is in line with the principles of compensation and shared responsibilities among the community. It is not a new concept, in fact it had been practised by the Muhajrin of Mecca and the Ansar of Medina following the hijra of the Prophet over 1400 years ago. It is generally accepted by Muslim Jurists
that the operation of conventional insurance does not conform to the rules and requirements of Shariah.
Conventional insurance involves the elements of uncertainity (Al-gharar) in the contract of insurance, gambling (Al-maisir) as the consequences of the presence of uncertainty and interest (Al-riba) in the investment activities of the conventional insurance companies which contravene the rules of Shariah. Takaful is an alternative form of cover which a Muslim can avail himself against the risk of loss due to misfortunes.
The Institute receives numerous requests for information about the permissibility, concept and practice of Takaful (Islamic Insurance) and about organisations engaged in Takaful business.

These requests underline important two facts. Firstly, that there is a rapidly increasing interest in it and secondly, there is an acute shortage of information on various aspects of Takaful. Moved by these factors, the Institute decided to include a section on Takaful to fill this important information gap.
The Institute has already published an International Directory of Islamic Insurance (Takaful) Organisations, listing not only the companies in this field and their particulars, but also a number of articles on various aspects of this system.
"I think that you are doing a great service to Islamic banking and insurance and I second your judgment about the importance of Takaful in modern economic life and hope that your Institute will make many contributions to this open area," said Dr. Omar Zubair HafizDeputy Director, Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah. ( - -

Monday, May 18, 2009

Insurance premium

What is an Insurance Premium? An insurance premium is the actual amount of money charged by insurance companies for active coverage. An insurance premium for the same service can vary widely among insurance providers, which is why experts strongly recommend getting several quotes before committing to an insurance policy. Insurance agents or brokers will take your basic information and calculate an insurance premium estimate based on your answers and other factors. The lowest quoted price on an insurance premium may be the better bargain, but the level of coverage may also be lower.
The cost of an insurance premium is largely based on statistics, not necessarily on individual habits or history. A 22 year old male seeking car insurance for a sports car can often anticipate a higher insurance premium than a 45 year old woman driving a mid-size sedan. Both may have excellent driving records, but the insurance company considers a younger driver in a faster car to be more at risk for accidents. Therefore, the insurance premium quotes will be noticeably different. In general, a more expensive or faster car will cost more to insure, simply because owners of those vehicles TEND to drive faster.
The same philosophy holds true for medical insurance premium costs. Non-smokers statistically live healthier lives than smokers, for example. Construction workers may have more serious on-the-job accidents than accountants. A 55 year old lumberjack who smokes may be charged a higher health insurance premium than a 30 year old non-smoker working in an office. Conversely, an insurance premium may be reduced if the policy holder changes his or her habits and lifestyle.
An insurance premium is generally collected in monthly or semi-yearly payments. If the policy holder fails to make a scheduled payment, the insurance company can choose to cancel the policy entirely. This is often referred to as a 'lapsed policy'. Either the customer will pay the balance of the insurance premium and become reinstated or the policy will become null and void. Because the billing cycle can be lengthy, it is not unusual for policy holders to forget to make a payment before the policy lapses.
An insurance premium is always in a state of flux. Rates can go up or remain stable between billing cycles. An accident claim can dramatically change the insurance premium rate of the claimant, especially if the accident report shows the policy holder was at fault. Because most states now have a mandatory minimal insurance coverage law for drivers, there may be no other choice but to pay the increased insurance premium or find another company willing to insure a high-risk driver. Insurance agencies are for-profit businesses, so they will make every effort to recoup their losses after a pay-out. Paying an insurance premium may seem like a waste of money, but knowing your expenses will be met after an accident can bring peace of mind. (

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Definite Loss

Definite Loss. The event that gives rise to the loss that is subject to the insured, at least in principle, take place at a known time, in a known place, and from a known cause. The classic example is death of an insured person on a life insurance policy. Fire, automobile accidents, and worker injuries may all easily meet this criterion. Other types of losses may only be definite in theory. Occupational disease, for instance, may involve prolonged exposure to injurious conditions where no specific time, place or cause is identifiable. Ideally, the time, place and cause of a loss should be clear enough that a reasonable person, with sufficient information, could objectively verify all three elements.
wikipedia -