Risk Specialists Companies, Inc. (RSC), a subsidiary of AIG Commercial Insurance, is introducing what it says is a first in the U.S.: a homeowners insurance product that is compliant with key Islamic finance tenets and based on the concept of mutual insurance.
The Takaful Homeowners Policy is underwritten through RSC member company A.I. Risk Specialists Insurance, Inc., in conjunction with Lexington Insurance Co. and in association with AIG Takaful Enaya. Headquartered in Bahrain, AIG Takaful Enaya was established in 2006 to provide Takaful products, including accident and health, auto, energy, property and casualty products.
The Takaful home policy is the first installment in Lexington Takaful Solutions, a series of Shari’ah-compliant (Takaful) product offerings in the U.S.
According to Ernst & Young’s 2008 World Takaful Report, Takaful was estimated to be a $5.7 billion market globally with over 130 providers in 2006. The Takaful market is estimated to be in excess of $10 billion by 2010.
Takaful is similar to mutual insurance and cooperative risk sharing but there are key differences including a clear segregation of funds owned by participants and those owned by the insurance operations entity. Investments of funds are also restricted to avoid companies involved in entertainment, alcohol, pork and other elements prohibited by Islamic law.
Muslim countries only account for 5 percent of the global insurance market although they represent 25 percent of the world’s population, according to AIG, which launched its Takaful operation in October 2006.
The Takaful Homeowners Policy builds on LexElite, the homeowners policy from Lexington that is sold throughout the U.S. The Takaful Homeowners Policy is available in all 50 states.
According to Jim Crain, associate vice president and personal lines underwriting director for Risk Specialists, the coverage, terms, commissions and sales proceduers are the same for this new products as they are for LexElite.
“The introduction of Takaful products in the U.S. represents an important and emerging growth opportunity for AIG Commercial Insurance. We are pleased to offer socially responsible solutions to this segment of the domestic market,” said Matthew F. Power, president, Risk Specialists Companies, Inc.
AIG Takaful Enaya is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain and its Shari’ah Supervisory Board is composed of Shari’ah scholars Sheikh Nizam Yaquby, Dr. Mohammed Ali Elgari and Dr. Muhammad Imran Usmani.
Risk Specialists Companies, Inc. is a U.S. surplus lines broker providing access to specialty casualty, property and personal lines insurance from Lexington and other AIG companies.
Source: AIG Commercial Insurance