Insurance In Sudan
SUDAN IS A LOW RISK ZONE, HAVING A LOW CRIME RATE, RARE FIRES,
AND MODERATE accident rate, all facilitating relatively low premium rates
compared to other major African insurance markets. However, Sudanese are
insurance conscious and most businesses budget or comprehensive insurance
Third party automobile insurance is compulsory and must be acquired
in tandem with a driver’s license, even if one does not own a motor vehicle. Vehicle
owners usually prefer comprehensive coverage and of the various types of insurance,
auto enjoys the highest volume of policy sales.
Insurance was first introduced in Sudan during the first decade of the 20th century
and today, there are fourteen companies operating in the market. Significantly, there
has been limited new private investment in insurance companies since the introduction
of the law requiring all insurance firms to conform to the Sharia prescribed cooperative
insurance, which considers surplus earnings the good fortune of policy holders with
no returns, apart from a share in profits on the insurance company’s investments
to shareholders. Al Baraka Bank, an international pioneer in Sharia compliant financial
services, however, owns a thriving insurance subsidiary, Al Baraka Insurance Co.
Under this dispensation, shareholders have become trustees. The major portion of
annual surplus, as determined by the Controller of Insurance, is retained in the premium
reserve account, while the balance is distributed to policy holders. However, industry
executives point out that, in Malaysia Sharia guided insurance regulations give both
company owners and policy holders a percentage of the surplus.
Around 1980, Sudan became the first country to offer Cooperative Islamic Insurance,
which was introduced by the pioneering Sudanese Islamic Insurance Company, but it
was after General Al Bashir’s National Salvation Revolution in 1989 that non-Sharia
compliant insurance was banned.