Pakistan’s State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC) is planning to launch a health insurance scheme for residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and elsewhere in the Gulf region, said SLIC Chairman Shahid Aziz Siddiqui.
“We are finalising a plan to roll out a new health insurance scheme to cover medical needs of hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis and other expatriates in the UAE and the Gulf countries following high demand from expatriate community,” Siddiqi said at an annual award function in Dubai.
Since, medical insurance has become obligatory in Abu Dhabi for all employees and plans are underway to make it mandatory for all companies to cover medical expenses of their employees, SLIC considers it a great business opportunity to launch an affordable health insurance policy especially for the low income group.
SLIC Gulf Zonal Chief Khalid Mahmoud Shahid said that the company was growing rapidly in the UAE as SLIC has opened new offices in Sharjah and Al Ain and will establish their presence in Bahrain and Qatar this year.
He said that the Sharjah office had so far generated $0.6 million in premiums, and expects the revenue to jump up to $1.2 million in its first year of operations. “We will soon set up more offices in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to boost our life insurance business in the Emirates,” Shahid added.
The insurance giant has over 15,000 policyholders in the UAE and another 4,000 are expected to be added this year. “We have added about 7,000 policyholders in the past three years, but a 15,000 figure is not enough considering the huge potential in the country,” he said.
“We have evolved an aggressive strategy to double our policy holders in the next two years by targeting all communities. Our life fund in the Gulf region registered robust growth in past three years as premiums rose to $66.5 million this year compared to $38 million in 2008,” he added.
He said that SLIC is expected to raise $20 million gross premium in the Gulf zone this year compared to $16 million in 2011. SLIC announced a, first of its kind in the region, terminal bonus along with the reversionary bonus for its policy holders.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2012.
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