Tuesday 14, March 2017 by Georgina Enzer

World Takaful Conference to highlight significance for Takaful to stay true to its underlying princi

12th edition of conference to focus on the need for Takaful to fully embrace its underlying principles of Shari'ah and mutuality that offer a lucid manifesto for the niche industry going ahead

The 12th annual World Takaful Conference (WTC), convened by leading financial intelligence platform, Middle East Global Advisors, and held in strategic partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will gravitate around the theme of “Stability, Authenticity & Technological Transformation”.

Perceived theoretically as “Cooperative Insurance”, the true essence of Takaful lies in the principle of risk-sharing amongst policyholders and essentially upholding the principle of bearing one another’s burden.

However, Shari'ah divergences prevalent in the industry include partly investing in non-Shari'ah compliant instruments, insuring risk with Re-insurers instead of Re-Takaful operators, having products that are mere imitation of conventional insurance with questionable authenticity and not maintaining separation of risk between shareholders and policyholders.

One of the prime reasons why Takaful faces stiff competition from conventional insurance is a lack of consistency in following the very underlying principles of mutuality and Shari'ah that offer a clearer value proposition. The issue lies in a severe lack of differentiation between Takaful and conventional insurers. Ever-increasing deficits in policyholders’ funds due to a combination of poor underwriting performance and excessively high Wakalah fees, lack of surplus distribution and no discounts offered to policyholders have contributed majorly in Takaful being at the risk of losing its distinct features in the eyes of customers, in turn forcing itself to compete with conventional insurance solely on the basis of price.

Focusing on the pressing issue at hand, WTC will witness an immersive panel discussion with a strong focus on the need to uphold the authenticity of Takaful. Leading experts comprising Wan Ahmad Najib Wan Ahmad Lotfi, Head, Strategic Management and Shari'ah, Great Eastern Takaful; Ajmal Bhatty, General Manager, Qatar General Insurance UAE and Board Member at UKIFC; Fareed Lutfi, Secretary General, Emirates Insurance Association and Gulf Insurance Federation; Mahomed Akoob, Managing Director, Hannover ReTakaful B.S.C & Peter Hodgins, Partner at Clyde & Co, will delve deep into the issue at hand with the aim of generating breakthrough insights that will aid in charting the way ahead for the niche industry.

WTC 2017 will build on its decade-long reputation for nurturing the development of the Takaful industry by facilitating thought-provoking discussions, producing quality research and generating actionable insights.

In 2016, WTC convened high profile guests and dignitaries from Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Dubai International Financial Centre, Islamic Insurance Association of London, Insurance Authority UAE, PwC, Moody’s, EY, Swiss Re, Munich Re, Noor Takaful, Emirates RE and many more organisations.

WTC will take place on the 11th and 12th of April at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai. The second day of the conference will take shape in the form of a dedicated stream called InsurTech Integrated that will focus on the impact of disruptive technologies on the insurance industry. The stream aims to highlight the importance of developing digital proficiency amongst insurance operators in the light of stiff competition by spearheading a series of insight-generating discussions.

To find out more about WTC, visit www.wtc17.com.

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