From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Managing Director of Jaiz Takaful Insurance, Momodou Musa Joof, has said that there is no religious agenda behind the insurance product which the company introduced into the Nigerian market in January.
He said that though Takaful might be new in Nigeria, it is practiced in Zambia, which is 95 per cent Christian and studied as a course by Chartered Institute of London, the highest professional body for insurance in the world.
He also said that Islam is not imposed on the Christian minority group in the Gambian, where Takaful insurance began though Muslims constitute about 95 percent of the population of the land-locked West African country. “It is not about religion, but a fair way to do insurance. It is a product open to all. I took Takaful insurance to Zambia, a Christian dominated country and it is practiced in the Gambian, majorly a Muslim state where people of other faith are living in peace. It is in Malaysia and also found in China, composed mainly of people that neither believe in Islam nor Christianity.
“The essence of Takaful Insurance is in its transparency in profit sharing. It is an avenue where your risk is covered and you get a return when you don’t suffer a loss,’’ Joof said. He said Takaful is an Arabic word that means “solidarity” and the coming together of people for mutual benefits.
Joof said that the product is an alternative concept to assuage the public reservation about conventional insurance as a practice that takes people’s money in form of premium, but at the end of the year, few claims are paid, while the company declares huge profits.
“In Islam, what you pay for must be equivalent to what you get when you are into buying and selling. Conventional insurance takes money from millions and indemnifies only a few thousands for loss suffered. Every religion promotes fairness, but Islam says it is good to be insured when you suffer a loss you go and get settled. It also says it is unacceptable when you do not suffer a loss and you end up losing money,” he added.
Joof stressed in Takaful Insurance the company collects money from all to create a pool that belongs to the participants forever.
He said the company will collect only 30 per cent as management expenses from the client while the 70 per cent will be left in the participant’s account and used to indemnify all claims in the course of the year as reinsurance fees.
He added that at the end of the year, after the account is audited, whatever is left as profits or surpluses will be distributed to the participants who have not incurred losses.
‘’Those who suffer losses are paid from that account. There is no reason to delay their claim. Part of the profits that goes for redistribution is given out to the less privileged of the society, who are uninsured and poor,’’ Joof said.