Zitouna Takaful, Tunisia's first Islamic insurance company, has said that it captured 1 percent of the insurance market in the country last year and expects its market share to increase to 2.5 percent this year.
Mr Makrem Ben Sassi, CEO of Zitouna Takaful, said that the company has to capture business in the savings market. He said in an interview with the Leaders news website that in the developed countries, savings products account for 60 percent of an insurer's business while the remaining 40 percent comprises risk products. In Tunisia, however, 20 percent of an insurance company's business is generated from savings products with 80 percent from risk products. He noted that in Tunisia, there is also potential in the pension savings market.
Speaking of the insurance market potential in Tunisia, he pointed out that the insurance penetration rate in the country is 1.9 percent compared to a global average of 8.5 percent. “There is considerable margin for expansion,” he said.
Mr Sassi said that Zitouna Takaful is able to respond to the market demand of a clientele with a special conviction – many Tunisians are unwilling to purchase conventional insurance.
Zitouna Takaful has succeeded despite the odds. It was established in January 2011 and immediately faced difficult times because of the Arab Spring protests. The political situation then was volatile. ”In February 2011, we could barely see beyond a few days,” he said. The company also had to cope with the resultant economic and financial difficulties as well as the challenge of being a pioneer of takaful in the country.
source: Asia Insurance Review