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Iran to launch takaful insurance for Sunni population

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A major Iranian insurer plans to enter the takaful insurance market for Sunni population.

A major Iranian insurer will launch limited takful insurance services for the country’s Sunni population after finance minister Ehsan Khandouzi said that there is a demand for the product in Iranian market.

Dana Insurance chief Ebrrahim Kardgar said on Monday that the company will introduce takaful for a first time in Iran.

“The (Iranian) Insurance industry has lagged behind in this field and based on talks have had with the finance ministry it has been agreed that we launch Islamic takaful insurance,” said Kardgar, according to remarks covered by ILNA news agency.

Unlike conventional insurance, takaful policyholders can benefit from a pool of fund claims they have contributed to if it is left in surplus.

The system has not been used in Iran mainly over deficit concerns and also because religious authorities in the Shia-dominated country have not fully endorsed the system.

Takaful is currently the dominant system of insurance in Malaysia while it has been introduced in limited forms in some Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

Kardgar said that Dana’s takaful services would specifically target Iran’s Sunni population of less than 10 million.

He said that Sunni clerics in the country had approved the use of the insurance service by members of the community.

“Fortunately, a Sunni community fatwa was issued over the past few days endorsing the implantation of Islamic takaful insurance,” he said without elaborating who had issued the edict.

The announcement comes two days after Khandouzi said that insurers in Iran should respond to a demand for takaful in the country’s domestic market.

“A group of the customers of the insurance industry have an inclination to use takaful insurance. We are lagging behind some Muslim countries in this regard,” said Khandouzi.

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