Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
Translated by Wajihah Gregor
I have started my own business and to be successful, I am going to require to have ”public liability insurance”. This would mean that should I make a mistake in my work or damage someone’s property while doing my work, then the third party would receive money to repair or replace the damaged I caused. I would not receive any money. This is required of me by law if I am to run my own business. Is this halal?
If the questioner had mentioned the manner of the insurance contract he seeks an answer concerning, it would have been better.
However, generally speaking, most insurance contracts that are undertaken in our times are legally invalid because of the uncertainty (gharar) that they comprise. The prohibition of such uncertainty is established from the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. If the insurance contract comprises uncertainty that is forbidden, then it is unlawful to engage in it. However, if the laws of one’s country will not allow one to undertake certain actions without entering into a legally invalid insurance contract, then one may take the insurance in order to comply with the laws and one will not, Allah willing, have thereby committed any sin, provided that one is not pleased with the contract (for it is disobedience to God), and provided that one intends to free oneself of it whenever it becomes possible in the future.
It is also obvious that scrupulousness entails avoiding such contracts and looking for another means of income if that is possible.
As for damage payments that such companies make out to one, the person who is forced by his country’s laws to enter into such a contract must confine himself to accepting money only in the amount that he paid to the company in the form of insurance premiums, for that is what he is rightfully entitled to. […]
أما بالنسبة للتعويضات التي قد تتدفعها تلك الشركات عند حصول الضرر فليقتصر الشخص الذي ألزمته الدولةُ بالتأمين على أخذِ قدر ما دفع هو من المال فقط؛ لأنه حقُّه، ولا يأخذ الزائد عليه، وإن لم يحصل له ضررٌ ولم يقدر الشخصُ على استرداد ماله فحقُّه محفوظٌ لا يضيع عند الله تعالى يوم القيامة.