On December 1, 2008, Risk Specialties Companies, Inc., a subsidiary of AIG Commercial Insurance announced its plan to offer Takaful homeowners insurance in the United States, the first installment in a series of insurance products compliant with Islamic Shar’iah law. In a press release, AIG stated “we’re pleased to offer socially responsible solutions to this segment of the domestic market [U.S.].” Click here to view the entire press release.

Takaful is a model of insurance based on cooperative risk and designed with a clear segregation of operator and policyholder funds. The funds’ investment and management strategies conform to Islamic Shar’iah religious values, which include prohibitions on investing in entertainment, pork, or alcohol companies. The rapidly growing international market for Takaful insurance, valued at $5.7 billion in 2006, is estimated to be at $10 billion by 2010.