SLIC may introduce health insurance coverage in UAE

DUBAI - Pakistan’s State Life Insurance Corporation, or SLIC, will introduce health insurance coverage in the UAE and Gulf by the end of this year, Chairman Shahid Aziz Siddiqi, disclosed on Saturday.

By (A Correspondent)

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Published: Tue 17 Apr 2012, 10:09 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:17 AM

He said the move comes after SLIC was enabled by the government of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan to offer health insurance policies in Pakistan and was permitted to sell them commercially. He said that SLIC licence in the UAE covers health insurance.

“In the coming six months, we will set up the health insurance sector in our Gulf Zone office in Dubai to market our policies,” he told Khaleej Times after distributing awards and Prados among contest winners at a ceremony also attended by Tariq Iqbal Soomro, Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai.

Siddiqi said that in Pakistan, SLIC has already started health insurance programme with 45,000 families. It is expanding to Badin in Sindh, Nowshera in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Quetta in Balochistan. “In the first phase we aim to cover 15 to 20 districts,” he said.

Siddiqi said that SLIC has restructured its investments in the Gulf after major fluctuations in the share market moving gradually from shares to bond market.

The Gulf Zone office has five sectors, one each in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Jeddah and Riyadh. Now two new branches have been opened in Sharjah and Al Ain. He said that the SLIC board of governors has approved a new branch for Bahrain and the process of opening is in progress while SLIC is also looking at a branch in Doha, Qatar.

Siddiqi said hat SLIC was in talks with NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) to link life insurance with the NADRA card internally in Pakistan. For overseas Pakistanis, it is in talks with the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment for the renewal of the insurance policy extended to Pakistanis while travelling abroad for employment. The policy is not renewed due to ignorance and lack of information about its renewal.

He said that SLIC had made major penetration in life insurance in Pakistan. In 2011, four million people were insured under Benazir Income Support Programme with policies of Rs100,000 sum insured. By June 2012, the number of the policyholders will increase to 6 million and to 10 million by the end of 2012, he said. The premium for the policies is paid by the government of Pakistan. Established in 1972, SLIC is the largest life insurer of Pakistan having a Life Fund of Rs280 billion at the end of 2011.

Khalid Mahmood Shahid, Zonal Chief Gulf countries, said that SLIC overseas operations began in 1978 and the number of Inforce policies is more than 15,000 in the Gulf Zone having Life Fund of Dh200 million at end 2011.

“In 2011, we procured $4.32 million in terms of first year premium by providing Life Insurance coverage to 2,293 families of Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis, Emiratis, Filipinos, and Sri Lankans, $2.51 million in Second Year Premium, and $9.2 million in Renewal Premium. Life Fund increased to $66.53 million from $59.81 million in 2010, and investment income increased to $3.89 million from $3.46 million in 2010,” Shahid said.

These results were possible with a new well educated sales team of 90 people who are the real asset of the Gulf Zone and would play a vital role in the coming years, he said, adding that the main objective of SLIC is to provide life insurance coverage to millions of expatriates living in Gulf countries.

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