The Jubilee Life Insurance Company Limited (JLIC)’s gross written premium increased by 37 per cent in 2015, said Javed Ahmed, managing director and CEO of the company.
Jubilee Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).
“The company is continuing with its thrust for further expansion by launching Window Family Takaful Operations which includes Individual Family Takaful, Group Life and Group Health Family Takaful products and Accident and Health Family Takaful products,” said Javed Ahmed, in an exclusive interview with Pakistan Today.
Javed has been associated with the Jubilee Life Insurance Company for the last 19 years. Under his leadership, Jubilee Life has emerged as one of the leading private sector insurers in Pakistan.
“Our key aim is to enable our customers to overcome uncertainty,” he said. “Accordingly, we provide solutions that protect the future of our clients.”
The company has performed really well since its acquisition by AKFED in 2003, growing at an average rate of 36 per cent per annum.
Jubilee Life also became the first life insurance company in the private sector to be assigned an Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Rating of AA+, with a ‘stable’ outlook, by JCR-VIS.
“We realise that our core clientele hails from a diverse array of backgrounds,” he said, and added, “We are catering to people ranging from the highly affluent to the lesser-privileged segments. Our customers not only vary on the socio-economic spectrum but have widely differing mindsets on the usage of insurance as well. It is important to us as an insurance provider to be able to cater to all their needs. Jubilee Life offers a diverse range of unit-linked products to individuals that we have fine-tuned over the years to include savings and life insurance, retirement planning, financial planning for education and marriage expenses and safeguarding against the burden of health and illness expenses. We also provide group term life and health insurance to our corporate clients.”
Javed said that the aim of their insurance policies has always been to contribute to the betterment of the society.
“Welfare of our customers is a cardinal concern. The recent launch of Window Family Takaful has further expanded our product palette to better meet the needs of our customers.”
He said that Pakistan’s insurance sector has been particularly steady but the recent years have seen an increase in competition which has helped the spread of insurance in the country.
Pakistan’s conventional insurers were barred from offering Shariah compliant products since the first ‘Takaful’ rules were introduced in 2005, but the regulators have been keen to increase overall insurance coverage in the country.
Pakistan’s insurance penetration, measured as ratio of total premiums to GDP, is one of the lowest in the world as well as in South Asia. Shariah compliant products could help the industry in improving insurance penetration as these products may have greater appeal for consumers. Furthermore, conventional insurers are bigger in size and have operated for longer, whereas Takaful companies are on average five to six years old.
Accordingly, SECP allowed conventional insurers to offer Window Takaful products to their consumers. All of this has set the stage quite well for all the insurance providers, old and new, to rise to the challenge.
“The government has successfully galvanised the industry and we are looking forward to a very positive outcome,” he added.
“Our approach towards conducting business is simple. We have a focused strategy of concentrating on areas that benefit the customers thus leading us to growth. For instance, we have been working hard to develop multiple distribution channels. Bancassurance has been one success story which we initiated in Pakistan and have mastered it.”
Jubilee Life also collaborated with one of the leading cellular companies in 2013 to provide life insurance coverage to their mobile pre-paid subscribers.
“Apart from this, we are also developing the micro-insurance segment in Pakistan. We currently insure more than 2 million people under various micro insurance programmes.
Recently, a joint venture of Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan Health Service, Jubilee Life and Aga Khan Rural Support Programme has been selected by the government of Gilgit-Baltistan to provide micro health insurance to the residents of Gilgit.
“Customer service has also been one of the key areas where we have focused and worked hard to offer better services than others. We try to do things a little differently to facilitate our customers and that has helped us in developing an image which is helping us grow. We believe that the world is becoming a digital space where everything is easily accessible and so we should pace our growth with the ongoing trends. Therefore, to facilitate our customers, we have revamped our website so our clients can easily access the online policy portal where they can check details of their policies online at any time at their convenience.”
He further said that for life insurance companies, consistency is one of the most important areas to monitor. It not only reflects the quality of sales but also indicates the standard of customer service provided by the company.
“Jubilee Life is proud to have maintained consistency levels that are not only better than the industry average but are at par with the international standards.”
He said that apart from consistency, prudent investment of policyholders’ money is crucial for the long term success of a life insurance company. Poor investment decisions can cause irreparable damage to the reputation of a company.
“We at Jubilee Life take pride in maintaining an excellent track record in managing the investments of our policyholders.”
He said that Jubilee Life intends to consolidate its leading position in the insurance market. This requires a lot of work.
“To be on the winning side, we must increase the distribution reach and partake in awareness creation along with fine-tuning our products and supporting them with the best possible service standards,” Javed said, and added, “Our marketing team has worked hard in creating the knowledge and awareness, and the process is ongoing. Our campaigns revolve around the need of insurance for a family or an individual rather than just selling our products.”
“In the coming few years,” he said, “We will be aggressively working on development of business through various distribution channels. New avenues are not only good for the company’s growth but also create employment opportunities for the young.”
“We continue to enhance the service that our customers expect of us,” the CEO said, and added,”We are also working on how to keep our customers connected with us digitally in order to provide them with hassle-free services online, where they can easily buy or pay for their selected products.”
“One of the things we do differently and proudly is the amount of investment that we put in each and every employee of ours. You will probably notice an extensive roster at other companies but with us it is simply about four core values that we inculcate in our employees – Integrity, Excellence, Passion and Teamwork. We believe in sifting the masses to get great people on our team. And they in turn are the ones who are getting us more sales than the average and providing better service than the industry.”