Amongst those of us leading normal lives, there’s a resistance to considering the possibility of long-term debilitating illness or death. However, according to a recent report by Zurich, the number of life insurance or critical illness claims in the UAE are increasing. In fact, over 11m USD have been paid out in the last three years in the UAE. Using Zurich’s study, we’ll look at our perceptions about our health, the actual statistics about health in the UAE, and what all this means for life insurance.
Health Statistics in the UAE: Why are Life Insurance Claims Increasing?
Between 2017 and 2019, heart attacks and strokes are the biggest risks to health and life in the UAE. 39% of life benefits paid and 42% of critical illness claims are resulting from heart attacks and strokes. This is of particular concern for the male population in the UAE. Compared to this, 27% of life claims and half of critical illness claims come from cancer. However, in contrast to strokes and heart attacks, this is a bigger risk for women in the UAE. Meanwhile, accidents account for a further 13% of life insurance claims in the UAE. According to Zurich’s report, the average age of claimants for critical illness is 49. The average life expectancy is 51.
According to the YouGov survey commissioned by Zurich to investigate their findings on health and life risks in the UAE, 90% of residents in the UAE regard themselves as healthy. Of these people, 42% go further and say that they consider themselves to be extremely healthy. 16% of those surveyed say that they exercise daily and more than 55% exercise more than once a week. 55% of those surveyed admit to eating junk food and 61% admit to eating out or from takeaways more than once or twice weekly. 35% of people haven’t been for a check-up in over a year. 12% have never been for a check-up. And, a further 34% of participants admit to driving recklessly more than once a week.
Many don’t take out life insurance policies because it seems impossible to consider the prospect of their death or the possibility that they might have some sort of long-term or debilitating illness. This is especially true for younger people, which make up much of the expat labour force in the UAE. Even if people do consider these possibilities, it can be difficult to face up to them and take out cover. To do so is to actualise the possibility of death or illness in their day-to-day lives.
Since claims have been increasing in the UAE, the reality seems to be that more people are affected than you might think. Luckily, these people have made the smart decision to take out cover. However, there are plenty more that continue to live without cover. And, even those with life insurance can be complacent – often, those with life insurance will ignore the need for critical illness cover. But, debilitating illnesses like strokes, heart attacks and cancer can be hugely detrimental to an individual’s financial life. And, these conditions are amongst some of the most common illnesses in the UAE. Suffering one of these illnesses almost certainly leads to a loss of income and, if you have financial dependents, a loss of income can be ruinous. Especially in the UAE where cost of living is high, and it is compulsory to pay for basic services like education and healthcare.
Is My Cover Enough?
It is always worth looking at your policy and considering whether your current cover is going to be enough. Even those who have cover for both critical illness and life insurance might not have taken out a large enough policy. According to the Zurich report, 93% of those who claimed on their critical illness have less than 250,000 USD in cover. But, according to Internations.org, the average cost of living for a family of four in Dubai is 72,000 USD per year. So, the need for a larger policy for those with financial dependents is clearly pressing.
If you’re concerned about whether you have enough cover or want to discuss what policy is right for you, contact IAE Insure today at email@example.com or call +971 4 396 1878 for a FREE no obligation quote. Visit us at www.iaeinsure.ae