Takaful is a co-operative method of insurance. It is organized under the Sharia law, or Islamic convention. The first such company was established in 1979 in Sudan as the Islamic Insurance Company of Sudan. In addition, today, there are over 14 companies operating in the market. Sudan is a low risk zone, having low crime rate and moderate accident rate. However, Sudanese people believe in insuring their life and property. However, the insurance allowed there is different. In Sudan, there is a law that all insurance firms have to comply with Sharia prescribed co-operative insurance, or the Takaful insurance. This is one of the reasons why there is so little private investment in the Sudanese insurance market, although Al Baraka Bank has a growing insurance business in Sudan.
According to the market research report “Market Attractiveness and Future Prospects of the Sudanese Takaful Insurance Industry 2020“, overall, there are four life insurance and seven non-life insurance companies operating in Sudan. Non-life insurance holds the larger chunk of gross premium. Shiekan Insurance and Reinsurance Company, which is a government owned firm, dominates the market with over 60% market share. Investment is easy and market is very lucrative. There are very few investment restrictions on the insurance companies in Sudan, apart from one, following the Sharia specified regulations. Therefore, as of now, Sudanese Takaful insurance industry is seeing a double digit growth rate. The one problem for new entrants in the market is the huge initial capital required, which is somewhere around USD 1 billion. Collecting such a huge amount in the initial phase can repel away the new entrants. Takaful insurance can be taken for death, injuries, disability, fatal diseases like cancer, kidney and/or liver failure, etc. In October 2016, the International Federation of Takaful and Islamic Insurance Companies (IFTI) presented four recommendations to the global takaful and retakaful operators, including those operating in Sudan. In June 2016, the Sudanese government began working on a new law requiring every Sudanese person to have access to healthcare services. In March 2016, a new amendment was passed in Sudan that raised the value of blood money by a minimum of 800.0%, and is applicable in the event of accidental death.
Sudanese insurance market is lucrative, reliable and with lot of opportunity. With certain modifications in the law for insurance companies, this market can be made more profitable. Sudanese government has already started working on improving the laws in 2016 which is expected to help the market grow more efficiently and at a faster pace. As of now, Sudanese banks are the biggest winners of the Takaful market, but with new improved laws, other private companies are expected to invest and earn hefty returns.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications