Is It Permitted to Take Out an Optional Dental Insurance Plan?
Answered by Shaykh Salman Younas
I had an insurance question. I am a university student, and my university policy states that if I am a full-time student, I will automatically be enrolled in a Health and dental insurance plan for students. For the health portion of the plan, I cannot opt out unless I have my health insurance provider from before. Since I don’t have health insurance, I must take health insurance from the university, which is mandatory.
On the other hand, for the dental portion of the plan, I have an option to opt-out out without proof that I have a personal dental insurance provider from before. My dental plan is temporary. As a student living in Canada, dental work is very costly, and I am in need of it.
It is not an emergency, but it should be done promptly before my teeth worsen. this includes things like fillings, cleaning, and cavity. Would it be halal or haram for me to use this optional insurance provided to me as a student? Because it helps me financially if I take it?
The default legal ruling of conventional insurance is that it is impermissible due to its incorporating elements of interest and chance, both of which are prohibited in the Quran.
There are, however, two exceptions to the above rule:
- In cases where the law of the land makes it a requirement to have insurance to use a particular commodity, such as a car, and
- In cases where there would be apparent hardship in not having insurance, such as medical insurance in America.
In both the above cases, it would be permitted to take out insurance to fulfill the legal requirement and to the extent required to lift any potential hardship arising from not being insured. Anything beyond these limits would remain on the basic rule of impermissibility. The types of insurance that may become permissible due to the two considerations above will likely differ from region to region. This is the opinion of scholars such as Mufti Saeed Palanpuri, Shaykh Ali al-Qaradaghi, and others.
Regarding your specific situation, if you do require dental work and need it, and paying out of pocket would cause you hardship and make you unable to take care of your teeth in a way that leads to harm (decay, cavities, etc.), it would be permitted to take out this optional insurance.
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Born and raised in New York, Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studied Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is now in his final year of his PhD at Oxford University, looking at the early evolution of the Hanafi madhab.
His teachers include: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Salah Abu’l Hajj, Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Snobar, Shaykh Ali Hani, Shaykh Hamza Bakri, Ustadh Rajab Harun and others.
Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in the UK with his wife.