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Do you have UAE insurance cover for death or illness?

Forty-eight per cent of UAE’s residents do not currently have life or critical illness insurance cover, which leaves them and their families without protection in the event of their death or serious illness, according to a research by Friends Provident International.

Of those surveyed, 40 per cent do not have life or critical illness cover and cited cost as the major impediment, saying such plans are too expensive. A further 20 per cent said they do not have cover because it is not required and the remainder said they were unfamiliar with the concept or had other reasons.

The concept of such insurance is well understood by those who did purchase them, with 80 per cent of respondents saying they did so to protect their family’s future if they were to fall seriously ill or die. Only 14 per cent bought insurance as cover for a loan or mortgage.

“Most expats working in the UAE only have life and/or critical illness cover as part of their employee benefits package, which means they could be left unprotected if they leave their current employer.


“It is easy to think that you are indestructible when you are young. However, protection should form a cornerstone of any robust financial planning, especially for an expat professional worker. I would therefore encourage all expats to speak with a financial adviser with a view to arranging their own life and critical illness cover and to ensure they have comprehensive personal protection regardless of their employee benefits,” said Marcus Gent, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa at FPI.


Another statistic shows that almost half of Asian expats (48 per cent) are likely to choose an insurance provider based on advice from their friends and family compared to their Western counterparts, who are more likely to be influenced by professional advice, with 20 per cent of them saying they sought adviser recommendation.

Asian expats also cited price (33 per cent) and brand (25 per cent) as more significant factors than their Western expats (17 and 22 per cent respectively) when considering protection plans.

More respondents currently have health insurance than life insurance and critical illness cover. However, this could be set for a change.

Dubai’s government recently mandated that responsibility for health insurance cover rests with companies and it is for them to arrange cover on behalf of their employees. This could mean that money previously used for health insurance plans could now be redirected towards other insurance plans.

“Health insurance is vitally important and all residents should have some form of health coverage. I applaud the government’s decision to make it mandatory for companies to arrange this on behalf of their employees.

“This should mean that people who have not previously enjoyed the benefit of healthcare from their employers will have more disposable income and they should consider carefully how they will use it. Instead of spending it all on luxuries, I would encourage people to consider saving at least some of the money they would otherwise have used to pay for healthcare and to make sure they have appropriate life and critical illness cover in place to protect their future and that of their loved ones,” added Gent.

 

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