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Jun 2021

Product Bites

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | May 2021

Bahrain: Takaful International partners with Hannover ReTakaful to launch health product   
Takaful International Company has collaborated with Hannover ReTakaful to launch a new healthcare takaful cover, under the brand name AFYA, for individuals up to the age of 75 years.
 
In a statement, Takaful International said AFYA comes in different packages covering a range of services including a diverse network of hospitals, healthcare facilities, and specialised clinics all over the world.
 
“AFYA is designed to offer options for those who prefer to receive healthcare services within specific standards or those whose employers do not provide the desired healthcare insurance cover. The healthcare takaful cover for individuals will be offered in a variety of health packages appropriate for different levels of income. The wide network of hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities will cover diverse options for the various health aspects,” said Takaful International CEO Essam Mohammad Al-Ansari.
 
“Hannover ReTakaful has, in cooperation with Takaful International Company, designed this insurance cover to meet the needs of the market after carrying out multiple actuarial and technical studies. We hope that it will have a good impact on the Bahraini insurance market,” said Hannover ReTakaful managing director Adham El-Muezzin.
 
Separately, Takaful International has also launched ‘Enaya’, a new programme to provide health insurance for domestic helpers. The coverage includes health services specifically designed to suit the primary needs of domestic category workers and costs BHD48 ($128) annually, covering treatment costs of up to BHD5,000 depending on other optional benefits.
 
BHD1 = $2.66 
 
Bahrain: Telecom operator collaborates with Solidarity to offer motor insurance
Leading telecom services operator stc Bahrain has partnered with Solidarity Bahrain to offer motor insurance products under its digital insurance platform, stc protect. The strategic collaboration marks stc Bahrain’s foray into the motor insurance sector, making it the first telecom operator in Bahrain with a strong motor and travel insurance portfolio.
 
Under the partnership with Solidarity, stc protect will be offering new payment channels for the comprehensive range of motor insurance products, in addition to the traditional debit/credit card payments. Its subscribers will now have the flexibility to pay insurance premiums through monthly instalments charged to their post-paid line. stc protect will also enhance customers’ digital experiences to manage their policies online and submit claims.
 
With this, stc protect continues to empower existing insurance customers and previously untapped segment by the insurance sector to provide a wide range of insurance products and services that are secure, affordable and fully digital. Subscribers can avail stc protect motor and travel insurance online without visiting an office, appointments, etc. “It’s the most convenient way to stay protected with comprehensive coverage, digital experience, ease of payment, simplified claims, exclusive benefits, and instant support,” said stc Bahrain in a press statement.
 
Oman: National carrier extends complimentary COVID-19 coverage until 31 December 2021
Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman, has extended its complimentary COVID-19 coverage until 31 December 2021.  The complimentary coverage is for expenses incurred by medical treatment or quarantine related to the pandemic, and applies to tickets issued for travel after 1 October 2020 until 31 December 2021.
 
The coverage is provided to guests who purchase tickets on the airline’s website, through the company’s call centre, at its offices or through travel agents after 1 October 2020, and is part of the airline’s expansive efforts to ensure that guests are safe at all times so they can fly confidently. Further details are available on the airline’s website.
 
The coverage now includes Oman resident cardholders (expats) who are required to present medical coverage for their destination and return to Oman, if travel is completed within 31 days. Omani and GCC nationals do not require COVID-19 insurance, as per the directive issued by Oman’s Supreme Committee for COVID-19 safety.
 
UAE: Al Ain Ahlia and Aetna International team up to enhance healthcare benefits
Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company has announced the addition of several new benefits, as standard, to its health plan, ‘Focus’, for the UAE SME sector, offered in partnership with Aetna International — that include coverage for mental health, emergency treatment outside the area of cover, and organ transplant.
 
The latest round of enhancements is offered as part of Al Ain Ahlia and Aetna International’s wider commitments to addressing the growing physical and mental health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The additions to Focus follow recent upgrades made to Al Ain Ahlia and Aetna’s Pioneer and Summit plans that were announced in January this year.
 
Focus was launched in early 2020 based on an in-depth survey of UAE-based SMEs. Responses revealed that a tighter fit to business needs, together with support services, availability of wellness and healthy-living programmes and favourable cost-benefit ratio, were important criteria when selecting health insurance plans.
 
The plan is targeted at organisations employing less than 100 people and offers four variants of cover — Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze — and a host of benefits, including full payment for cancer care, and free access to Aetna International’s virtual-healthcare service, vHealth. All these options are offered with rapid quote-turnaround times, a single point of contact, and transparent reporting. Only in the first six months of service, Focus met more than two-thirds of the premium target and since its launch, it has also seen healthy renewal rates — a strong indicator of the high value seen in the health plan by employers in the SME market.
 
Now included in the enhancements to Focus are inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment and psychotherapy for patients with medical conditions that are not emergencies. Extended inpatient, outpatient, and daycare treatment, for emergency medical conditions, in areas outside of cover, is also included, as is full coverage for organ transplant (kidney, pancreas, liver, heart or lung, and any related treatment) as standard across all four plan variants.
 
Al Ain Ahlia general manager Mohammed Mazhar Hamadeh said the company is delighted with the uptake and renewal rates seen with the Focus plan. “Al Ain Ahlia and Aetna International both recognise that SMEs have significantly different health-and-wellness needs from those of larger enterprises. We have worked together diligently to understand those needs, and our efforts have yielded a great response from the market. We are committed to continuing the work of providing flexible, comprehensive and financially viable health insurance plans to our UAE customers,” he said.
 
Aetna International CEO EMEA David Healy said COVID-19 has served to highlight many of the gaps in healthcare that exist around the world. “Flexibility in coverage is the one thing insurance companies can do to support the paradigm shifts created by the pandemic. Such provisions must, of course, cover the coronavirus itself — testing, treatment, and vaccination — but they must also take account of the knock-on effects of this unprecedented public-health crisis. The mental and physical health of remote and field employees must be preserved. Our Focus health solution is based on an empirical study — we listened to the market, and we responded.” M 
 
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