Whitney Terrill: Aligning private insurance coverage with collective good

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In america, private insurance coverage is a trillion-dollar trade by which customers pay premiums that cut back the monetary dangers that may come up from sudden occasions arising on account of something from dwelling possession to well being points, driving a automobile to proudly owning a pet. 

However for the over 3 million Individuals who’re Muslim, buying conventional insurance coverage poses an ethical quandary, stated Whitney Terrill, a graduate pupil at Brown incomes her grasp’s diploma in well being care management.

“Once we buy insurance coverage, we’re basically asking a big firm to tackle danger for us in order that we have now some peace of thoughts — in the event you get in a automobile accident, or in the event you get sick, they may cowl the prices related to it,” she stated. “However many people might not get sick or get in a automobile accident. In these instances, we don’t essentially know the place our cash goes, or how it’s invested.”

This uncertainty about how the insured particular person’s cash is being invested raises considerations from the attitude of Islamic finance, which is how monetary transactions and banking are carried out in accordance with the broader authorized, financial and moral concerns of Islam, Terrill stated.

“In Islamic finance, investments should mutually profit the higher good,” she stated. “However once we select a conventional insurance coverage dealer, we have no idea whether or not or not they’re placing our cash into investments that align with our values.”

Terrill is looking for to resolve this dilemma with the Reem Firm, enterprise that may direct surplus insurance coverage premiums into investments that align with collective values shared inside Islam. As a member of the Muslim neighborhood, Terrill is aware of firsthand the optimistic affect that the Reem Firm may have.

“It could be actually fantastic to have the ability to purchase insurance coverage that’s aligned with my religion via and thru — from the premiums that I pay all the way in which to how that cash is invested,” she stated. “I hope that the Muslim neighborhood and Muslim customers discover a number of profit in having the choice to purchase insurance coverage merchandise which might be aligned with their values.”

This summer time, as a participant in Breakthrough Lab (B-Lab for brief) — an eight-week accelerator program for pupil entrepreneurial ventures based mostly at Brown’s Nelson Middle for Entrepreneurship — Terrill has had the chance to obtain mentorship, survey potential customers, and study from consultants working in insurance coverage and parallel industries world wide. These interviews will enable her to create a roadmap for the Reem Firm, she stated.

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