Halal Takaful Nigeria, HTN, the Islamic insurance window of Cornerstone Insurance Plc, last week gave out cheques to some of its customers at the public distribution of its 2015 surplus bonus in Lagos. Group Head of HTN, Hajia Taibat Adeniran spoke with Vanguard on the benefits of the Takaful insurance scheme.
By Rosemary Onuoha
HOW does Takaful insurance work?
We are the first Takaful operator window in Nigeria approved by the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM. We have done a lot since we started in 2010 and God has been supporting us. Takaful insurance is based on two principles which are the principle of Islamic investment which give opportunity for surplus, and also the general business which is based on welfare or give away. We have various products under the scheme. We have the family products either for individual or group.
The family product is a savings scheme towards the welfare of one’s family and equally in the case of any eventualities, something will be paid as benefit to the dependants. But if one is alive to the end of the tenure, one can earn what was saved plus profit that might have generated. In Nigeria, people believe that when you take up insurance you just have to die to benefit and if nobody dies then you can’t benefit anything. But if you take up Takaful, whether you are alive, you gain and if one is no more, the beneficiaries will have something to sustain them. We also have educational plan that one can use to build fund for the future education of a child. Equally it helps the parents whenever they want to pay school fees. If the parents are no more the plan will sustain the child till he or she is out of tertiary institution based on what the parents had planned towards.
Then under the general business, we have motor insurance comprising of third party and comprehensive. We also have property insurance that people can get to cover their property in the case of any eventuality. It is good for individuals to have property or fire cover if they own a business. If you own a house, you should get your house and the content which is your asset in the house covered. If you are a landlord and you rent out the house, let it be covered and also encourage your tenants to equally cover their assets.
We also offer marine insurance for those that import and export goods into or outside the country. We deal with individuals, corporate organisations, tertiary institutions and so on. We deal with everybody, both Muslims and non-Muslims. So our Takaful products are for everybody and there is no discrepancy between Muslim and non-Muslim. It benefits Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
What is the Key difference between Takaful and conventional insurance?
Under the conventional insurance, you can invest anywhere. However, under Takaful, you can invest only in halal products, that is, products that do not have any bearing with interest. Such investment must not be interest based because there is difference between interest and profit. If it is a profit based product you can invest the fund.
Secondly, a proportion of the Takaful fund will be taken out as Tabaru or Sadaka, which is just like tithe paying in Christianity. Also, you equally have trust that no matter what happens, the fund will not be invested in interest based ventures but only on halal.
How is HTN penetrating the grassroots all over the country?
We have about two or three ways that we organize our marketing. We do close canvassing, that is, meeting individuals one on one, talking with them on the benefits of Takaful insurance and how they can partake. We equally penetrate through groups. For instance, Muslims pray five times daily, maybe in any of the periods, we go and give people lecture. If there is a programme, we can go and give lecture. Some Sundays also, we do a lot of talk to people. So these are some of the ways in which we penetrate and sell our products.