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Why is conventional insurance not permissible in Islam?

Conventional insurance contains elements contradictory to Islamic Shari’ah.

Gharar: “Uncertainty”
The insurance contract contains uncertainty due to:

Uncertainty whether the payment will be accepted as promised

The amount to be paid is not known

The time it will occur is not known

Any form of contract which is lopsided in favour of one party at the expense and unjust loss to
the other is classified as Gharar.
When a claim is not made the insurance company may acquire all the profits whilst the
participant may not obtain any profit whatsoever. The loss of premiums on cancellation of a life
insurance policy by the policyholder, or the "double standard" condition of charging a customary
short period in general insurance, whilst only a proportional refund is made if the insurance
company terminates the cover is also considered as unjust.

Maisir: Gambling

The participant contributes a small amount of premium in hope to gain a large sum

The participant loses the money paid for the premium when the insured event does not
occur

The company will be in deficit if claims are higher than contributions

When a life insurance policyholder dies after only paying part of the premium his dependants
receive a certain some of money which the policyholder has not been informed of and has no
knowledge as to how and from where it has been derived.

Riba: Interests

An element of interest exists in conventional life insurance products - as the insured, on
his death, is entitled to get much more than he has paid

Insurance funds invested in financial instruments such as bonds and stocks contain and
element of Riba