Call Us +852 3113 1331

New Insurance Products Launched for Non-Resident Indians in Emirates

Posted on May 18, 2011 by Sergio Ulloa ()

Last week, the Dubai Islamic Insurance & Reinsurance Co. (also known as AMAN) announced the launch of two new medical coverage products in the UAE market through a partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance, the largest private sector general insurance company in India, and additional input from insurance and reinsurance broker J.B.Boda & Co. The partnership will see further collaborative insurance products developed for the Gulf market. The deal was formalized by Hussein Al Meeza, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Aman, and Hitesh Kotak, the Vice President of ICICI's Strategic Planning Group. The two new insurance products introduced were Rishtey (which means 'relationships' in Hindi) and Health on Return. These products were designed to better provide suitable coverage options for the substantial non-resident Indian (NRI) population now living and working in the UAE and across the MENA region. Hitesh Kotak explained: "The products are aimed at Non-Resident Indians in the UAE and the region, in order to better cater to their health needs, and needs of their families back home." The Indian Diaspora makes up a considerable proportion of the working class in the Middle East. Many have moved, in particular, to the rich Gulf States since the oil boom to work as laborers, in clerical roles, and as well as in more specialized fields. The MENA region has presented an attractive opportunity for South Asian migrant labor due to the higher incomes available as well as the relative geographical proximity to India. In 2005, almost 40 percent of the population in the United Arab Emirates was estimated to be of Indian descent. As citizenship and permanent residency are not often granted to immigrants in these countries however, maintaining affordable access to necessary services like healthcare remains an issue for many non-resident immigrants. These developments follow renewed efforts by India's insurance regulator (IRDA) to liberalize the domestic insurance market and enable the rising middle-class Indian consumer to make more proactive choices with regard to health coverage options. From July 1st 2011, health insurance policy holders in India will be able to change insurance providers without fear of losing their benefits from their previous policy. ICICI Lombard have been proactive in expanding their services to meet this upcoming regulatory shift, including a recent partnership with Air India Express, which will provide exclusive travel insurance solutions towards international, domestic and student travelers. According to ICICI Lombard, the new Rishtey policy will offer foreign workers in the Emirates comprehensive health insurance for their families back in India. The plan features an assortment of supplementary benefit options, such as medical travel and emergency evacuation compensation, all made available through a straightforward service structure with uncomplicated documentation for customers. The Heath on Return insurance service meanwhile will cover NRI health needs when they go back on leave to India. The product will also serve as a retirement health insurance package for when foreign workers ultimately decide to move home permanently. Hussein Al Meeza confirmed that non-resident Indians in the Gulf would prove to be an important market to capitalize on in the Gulf: "The NRI segment of the market is increasing in volume. At the same time, there is greater awareness of the benefits of health insurance and the importance of planning ahead. We foresee these products doing exceptionally well in regional markets," he said. The collaboration between Aman and ICICI Lombard comes on the back of a successful year for the UAE insurer, one which has seen them improve market share and generate consistent earnings. Aman's most recent company filings reveal a 32 percent increase in profits in the fourth quarter of 2010, with revenues topping AED157.9 million (US$43 million). The insurer was also the recipient of the World Finance award for the Best Takaful Provider for 2011. Takaful, or Shariah-compliant, insurance products are one of the fastest growing insurance sectors in the world, particularly in the rising middle eastern and Indian subcontinent economies. Aman Chief Executive Al Meeza concluded the event, restating the company's intentions to continue developing its insurance services to meet the plurality of different clients in the region. "Aman is consistently looking for ways to improve its presence across various sectors, and diversifying its product portfolio. We are constantly revamping our products and offerings to ensure we can predict and cater to customer needs. Our partnership with ICICI Lombard will help ensure that we continue to offer innovative products that benefit our clients," Al Meeza finished. Insurance Companies Mentioned AMAN AMAN Dubai Islamic Insurance & Reinsurance Company (AMAN) was founded in 2002 as a national public shareholders company focused on Islamic insurance in the UAE. Aman's founding members included the Dubai Islamic Bank and The Dubai Group among other shareholders. The Company offers general insurance products, including engineering, general accident, fire, marine, and motor insurance products. Aman can also provide life and health takaful insurance products for individuals, groups, and corporate clients, as well as healthcare insurance products, investment securities and property services. ICICI Lombard ICICI Lombard Founded in 2001, ICICI Lombard is a 74:26 joint venture between ICICI Bank Limited, India's second largest bank, and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, a Canada based financial services company. ICICI Lombard is a general insurance company offering a wide range of insurance policies including, business, liability, motor, travel, rural and health insurance products.
Be Sociable, Share!