Ajai Kumar Panicker, senior vice president - technical, Dar Al Takaful Ajai Kumar Panicker, senior vice president - technical, Dar Al Takaful

Dubai-based Islamic insurance company Dar Al Takaful has launched its new travel insurance packages for UAE residents, which include special deals for Hajj and Umra.

The ‘Terhal’ packages will include four levels of general policies – platinum, gold, family and schengen, each with different benefits, ranging from a US $1 million personal liability coverage in its platinum package through to loss of passport and travel delays.

All standard packages are available from a seven-day period, through to annual coverage, including a 180-day option. The Hajj and Umrah packages are designed for group travel, and are available in either basic and extra versions, in 15-, 25- or 45-day options.

Ajai Kumar Panicker, senior vice president – technical, Dar Al Takaful, said: “There is a big market for Hajj and Umra – a lot of people do travel for this and these policies are much cheaper. You can take a normal standard policy for Hajj and Umra, but these are specific – customers are only going to KSA, and it’s a pilgrimage – you don’t have things like baggage going missing while you’re out swimming or things like that. This is much more economical.”

Travel agencies selling the policies will receive a commission of 20%, and currently, at the launch, it has agreements with around 40 travel agencies to sell the packages, but “hopefully by the end of the year we’ll have 200-300 selling it,” said Panicker.

The packages are based on takaful – a form of insurance which is fully sharia-compliant, where money from policies is put into a ‘collective fund’ and then surplus funds reimbursed to policy holders each year.

Panicker said the only reason anyone would chose a competitor such as Chartis or Axa – which Dar Al Takaful claim to be cheaper than in most circumstances for similar packages – is that they “don’t really know about the takaful concept. From a pure financial and security point of view, taking away branding, then they should definitely choose us”.


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