Dubai Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance Company (Aman) recently introduced two medical policies for Indian expatriates. Rishtey, which means relationships, offers workers an insurance plan for their family back home. Health on Return covers workers during temporary stays in India. It can also serve as a retirement health policy. Hussein Al Meeza, the chief executive and managing director of Aman, explains why the company introduced the policies.
Why has Aman designed the policies for Indian expatriates?
If you check the structure of the population in the UAE and what relation it has with Emiratis, they are our partners; they are our brothers. They are also the people who (are) behind all the work that has been done here. The relationship that we have with the Indian population was not (built) today or yesterday. Also, we have (an agreement) with ICICI Lombard, which is one of the top names in the Indian market.
The Indian expatriate population makes up 40 per cent of the total population in the UAE and half of the workforce. Was that also a factor?
The Indian (expatriate population) is a big market and there are a lot of opportunities. Also, we got the right partner for the products.
Is this the first tie-up you have had with ICICI Lombard?
Yes, this is the first. We have a good relationship with them in the reinsurance but for practical purposes this is the first relationship.
What has the take-up been like so far?
We just launched it recently. The reaction has been very good. But people may be on vacation. We are expecting a lot according to our study.
Are the policies aimed at different types of workers?
We are targeting all people, not only high labourers and mid labourers. It's achievable for everybody. It's flexible. If you have more things you will pay more, but if you limit it, [you will pay less].
There are many nationalities working in the Emirates. Are you planning on offering policies for any others?
Europeans already have the culture of insurance. They have very advanced products. We are looking to see where the opportunities are to provide services. We are looking at the Arab world, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Filipinos. It needs a background from the countries, because India has a platform for service providers.
When will these policies be introduced?
We are planning and studying. (The information is) with the technical department. They are looking into how and when they could have a joint venture with providers, which could give a platform to launch it.
Will the policies be similar to Rishtey and Health on Return?
It depends. We will see because everywhere has rules and regulations. I can't ensure it will be the same formula. As a concept it will be under the same umbrella but it depends on the reaction of the market and our partners in the countries where we are looking to structure the product.