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The impact of Islamic beliefs on consumers’ attitudes and purchase intentions of life insurance

Nizar Souiden (Faculty of Business Administration, Laval University, Quebec, Canada)
Yosr Jabeur (Institut des Hautes Études Commerciales (IHEC), Carthage University, Tunis, Tunisia)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 1 June 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of Islamic beliefs in moderating consumers’ attitudes and purchase intentions of conventional and Islamic life insurance. Second, it investigates the role of Islamic beliefs in moderating the relationship between the attitude toward conventional/Islamic life insurance and purchase intentions of these types of services.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was administered online in a Muslim liberal country where both types of insurance are offered. Based on a total sample of 207 responses, ANOVA tests and a structural Equation Modeling were used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

Results show that: the higher (lower) the Islamic beliefs of individuals, the less (more) favorable their attitude will be toward conventional life insurance and the more (less) favorable their attitude will be toward Islamic life insurance; the higher (lower) the Islamic beliefs of individuals, the weaker (stronger) their purchase intentions for conventional life insurance will be and the stronger (weaker) their purchase intentions for Islamic life insurance will be; and Islamic beliefs moderate the relationships between attitudes and purchase intentions of life insurance.

Practical implications

Because they play a significant role in moderating consumers’ attitudes and purchase intentions of conventional and Islamic life insurance, Islamic beliefs can be used as a meaningful criterion to segment the life insurance markets in (less conservative) Muslim countries. This would help insurance companies to better target their services. In a case where two segments coexist (i.e. individuals scoring low on Islamic beliefs vs individuals scoring high on Islamic beliefs), insurers should weigh different strategic options by targeting one of the two segments or both of them. Perhaps the main issue occurs when an insurer attempts to target both segments. In this case, managers should be aware of the confusion that they might create in the mind of their clients (or potential clients). Concurrently offering two types of life insurance (conventional and Islamic) may put the insurers’ credibility at stake.

Originality/value

Earlier studies report that in Muslim countries, the demand for life insurance is weak or negatively correlated with religion. The majority of these studies consider religion as a macro indicator (i.e. at the country level) when explaining the demand for such services. The present study further clarifies the nature of the relationship between religion and the demand for life insurance by: examining the role of Islamic beliefs (as one of the main dimensions of Muslims’ religiosity) at the micro level (i.e. at the consumer level); and investigating the moderating role of Islamic beliefs in explaining attitudes and purchase intentions of conventional and Islamic life insurance in a less conservative Muslim country.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.

Citation

Souiden, N. and Jabeur, Y. (2015), "The impact of Islamic beliefs on consumers’ attitudes and purchase intentions of life insurance", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 423-441. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBM-01-2014-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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