News Middle East15 Dec 2019

Saudi Arabia:Tawuniya to insure foreign pilgrims for next 4 years

15 Dec 2019

Tawuniya and the Hajj and Umrah Ministry have signed an agreement for the former to provide insurance for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia.

As part of the agreement signed last week, the ministry will provide healthcare and other services to pilgrims from the time they arrive in the Kingdom until they leave, reported Arab News.

Tawuniya is tapped by the ministry following consultation with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and the Health Insurance Council, said Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten.

A pilgrim automatically gets insurance once his visa for travel to the Kingdom is issued. There will be a hotline, and pilgrims will be served by teams who speak multiple languages.

Mr Ayman Al-Arfaj, general supervisor of the Ministry's media centre, said the insurance will cost SAR189 ($50.40) per person, which will be paid to Tawuniya and be valid for 30 days, the total stay of the pilgrim in Saudi Arabia. The insurance coverage is up to SAR100,000 per person.

He said that insurance will be uniform for all pilgrims and will cover delay and cancellation of trips, emergency cases, accidents and repatriation of the remains of pilgrims who die in Saudi Arabia.

Pilgrims in need of medical assistance can avail themselves of the insurance benefits by presenting their passports at any hospital or clinic under the Saudi Ministry of Health or any private hospital and clinic accredited by the Health Insurance Council, Mr Al-Arfaj said.

Mr Abdulaziz bin Hadsan Al-Bouq, CEO of Tawuniya, said the Kingdom is developing innovative methods to provide health services and reduce accidents at holy sites.

Tawuniya said in a filing with the Saudi stock exchange the agreement, on a “co-insurance” basis with the insurance sector, will be for four years.

“The contract revenues are expected to be greater than 5% of the 2018 annual gross written premium of The Company for Cooperative Insurance (Tawuniya),” said the insurer. Tawuniya’s GWP for 2018 reached SAR7.64bn.


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