Although there are now over 13 insurance companies in Yemen that offer life and health insurance service, Yemenis remain indifferent.
The percentage of Yemenis with life or health insurance is low compared to other kinds of insurance.
“Life and medical insurance is still extremely limited in Yemen due to the lack of knowledge and the high cost of medical insurance," said Tarek A.Hayel Saeed, general manager of the United Insurance Company.
“In our company, we started to offer individual life insurance service but now it is not activated, because no customers to partake in this kind of insurance,” said Sultan Al-Muntaser, head of the non-marine insurance department at Aman Insurance Company.
“The reasons behind that are lack of awareness and the low income of citizens,” added Al-Muntaser.
Some Yemenis are also suspicious of having life insurance, thinking that it is against their Islamic belief in fate and destiny.
"For me, I do not think to have a life insurance, because it is against my belief in fate,” said Yousuf Torais, who is not insured.
But, he doesn’t mind to having health insurance in condition that the premium is paid back entirely to the insured person.
That is not only Torais’s view of life and health insurance there are also many non-insured persons who spoke to the Yemen Times expressing their suspiciousness in having such insurance believing that lives are at the hands of God and insuring a person’s life could defy the destiny Allah has laid out for them.
Islamic view of life and health insurance
About Islamic view of life and health insurance, the scholar Abdullah Al-Ashwal said that there are two kinds of insurance. The first kind is called commercial insurance and this type of insurance is haram (prohibited).
He said that life insurance is considered of this type. He explained that this type of insurance is prohibited in Islam because in this type of insurance there is gambling.
It is gambling because the insured person pays specific premium either annually or monthly, but the lump sums that the insurance company pays to the insured is vague.
Al-Ashwal said that there are two forms of health insurance. One form is legal in Islam and the other is illegal. It is legal when the premium is taken from the employees' salaries and saved for the employee if he or she has no health problems.
The illegal one is like that one which is done by insurance companies.
Al-Ashwal concluded that there is Islamic insurance or cooperative insurance. He said that this type of insurance is good and increases the investment in the country.
However, Dr. Mohammed Sinan, legal consultant at the Islamic Insurance Company disagreed with that life insurance is banned in Islam.
“Life insurance in Islam is not haram if it is based on donation not on compensation,” said Sinan.
“People here in Yemen really misunderstand the concept of life insurance, thinking that if someone has insured his life at an insurance company he or she insured himself or herself from death, and that is wrong,” explained Sinan.
Source: Yemen Times