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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Takaful IKHLAS - bridging the gap for Islamic insurance in the Halal industry

"Speak of us not just because we are progressive. Think of us not just because of our innovations. Look at us simply because above all else...we are IKHLAS." - excerpt from Takaful Ikhlas' print ad.

Islam does not object to insurance per se. Nevertheless, conventional insurance contracts involve the elements of Gharar (uncertainty), Maisir (gambling) and Riba (interest) which contravene Shariah principles. Takaful seeks to bridge the areas deemed objectionable by the Shariah for the benefit of society.

Takaful is an insurance concept grounded on Islamic Muamalat, observing the rules and regulations of Shariah. It is based on mutual cooperation, responsibility, assurance, protection and assistance between groups of participants. In other words, it is the provision of shared contributions to assist people in need of help. The Takaful system stresses the spirit of co-operation and joint responsibility among participants (policyholders).

Takaful also allows participants the opportunity to obtain two forms of profit. First, with monetary benefits from the Takaful plan and the profit-sharing arrangement. Second, the spiritual benefit whereby participants can fulfil their religious and social responsibilities through Tabarru’. The added value benefits not just the Muslims, but all participants, irrespective of their religious belief.

Takaful IKHLAS Sdn Bhd (Takaful IKHLAS), the country’s fourth Takaful provider, operates in accordance with the Shariah principles. Fully committed to ensuring equity and fairness in all its dealings, a Shariah Advisory Committee oversees all operational matters, investment dealings, management and marketing.

In line with international and local developments in the practice of Islamic financial protection services, Takaful IKHLAS adopts the Wakalah (agency) system. It allows the use of intermediaries as a medium to better serve customer needs, payment of surpluses and profits where applicable to participants and calculation of investment profits on a monthly basis. Takaful IKHLAS’ Family protection plans focus on savings or investment-linked plans and mortgage protection plans. Its General protection offerings feature innovative plans to cover properties such as vehicles, buildings and other assets.

“We aim to provide comprehensive Family and General Takaful protection and place strong emphasis on product innovation, coupled with differentiating features to ensure market acceptance,” said Syed Moheeb Syed Kamarulzaman, Managing Director of Takaful IKHLAS. Its services are supported by state-of-art technology, designed to ensure accuracy and timeliness of information.

“We believe this will help enhance our efficiency and professionalism when dealing with customers, as well as adding value to our stakeholders,” Syed Moheeb added.

Takaful IKHLAS had performed remarkably fast and agilely right from the beginning. For instance, the insurer took only 90 days to commence its business operation upon being granted license. This is no mean feat as its ability to fast track its operation reflected its readiness to conduct business. Merely 3 years into operations, Takaful IKHLAS has established an extensive agency network. It is now present in all the major centres as well as a number of smaller towns through Malaysia. These include Kuala Lumpur, Kota Bharu, Sungai Petani, Johor Bharu.

Insha’llah, Takaful IKHLAS will expand its wings to East Malaysia by 2007. The high ethical standards set for its staff and business partners underscores its responsiveness to the customers and reputation for fair and fast claims. Takaful IKHLAS has no “back log” in claim payments as most cases are approved within 24 hours. Its efficiency in claim management spells out its belief in providing “ease of doing business” to its participants. To date, more than 350,000 individuals and corporations have placed their trust in Takaful IKHLAS and have become participants in the company’s Takaful schemes.In line with the company’s aspiration to be the preferred Takaful provider, Takaful IKHLAS intends to continue playing a significant role with its contribution towards the Halal industry, in general, and the Takaful industry, in particular.

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