Saudi insurance firm offers coverage to Haj pilgrims

February 18th, 2008 - 7:16 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, Feb 18 (IANS) Saudi insurance firm Tawuniya has offered health coverage to the millions of foreign nationals who visit Saudi Arabia every year for Haj pilgrimage. The new service, called Manasik, will target 1.5 million Haj pilgrims and around five million Umrah pilgrims annually, according to media reports.

“The Manasik programme offers practical solutions to the healthcare problems of foreign pilgrims during their stay in the kingdom,” Tawuniya executive vice-president Fahd Al-Hasani told the Arab News newspaper.

The programme, with a validity of one month from the time of the pilgrim’s arrival in the kingdom, has a premium of Saudi Riyals 100 ($27) and will cover the pilgrim’s medical expenses up to SR.25,000 ($6,666).

“The premium of SR.100 is affordable for all groups of pilgrims,” Al-Hasani told the newspaper.

In case of deaths due to injury, the programme will offer compensation of up to SR.50,000 ($13,333) as compensation. Apart from this, it will offer SR.10,000 ($2,600) to transport the pilgrim’s body to his or her country.

Al-Hasani said Tawuniya has already signed agreements with Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company in Manama and Al-Ain Ahlia Insurance Company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to market the product there.

Plans are on to hold talks with companies in other Arab and Islamic countries to market Manasik as part of the company’s efforts to provide the service to all foreign pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry had announced plans four years ago to provide health insurance coverage to pilgrims.

Till now, the government provided medical services to the millions of pilgrims free of cost.

Set up in 1986, Tawuniya is Saudi Arabia’s first insurance company.

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