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There is still confusion between health and critical illness insurance in the UAE

October 2017

October 30, 2017 | 12:15 | Dubai

For the third year running Friends Provident International (FPI) has commissioned YouGov to undertake research into life insurance trends in the UAE.

Overall the research shows that more people in the UAE are taking responsibility for protecting their family’s future.  For example, compared with a year ago, take up of critical illness insurance has increased by one third among the female population, and 24 per cent of the 396 women surveyed claimed to have this cover in place (18 per cent in 2016). The increase in take up of critical illness insurance among the male population is much lower and has grown by just one percent to 25 per cent over the same period.

However, 40 per cent of the respondents claiming to have critical illness insurance in place said it was provided by their employer, an increase in the 38 per cent of respondents to last year’s survey who said the same.

Chris Divito, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa at FPI said: “It is worrying that the number of respondents claiming to have critical illness insurance, and indicating that it is provided by their employer, has increased in the last year. I am concerned they may be confusing their mandatory health insurance with critical illness insurance, which is not something typically provided by an employer as part of a benefits package. These are two completely different types of insurance and these people may not be as well protected as they might think.”

Health insurance is designed to cover medical expenses only, and will cover these expenses as they arise. The amounts payable are strictly correlated with the cost of actual medical treatment. Health insurance does not usually provide for long-term recuperation, therapy or home-care services should they be required. On the other hand, the proceeds of critical illness insurance can be used in any way the policyholder chooses, depending on their particular circumstances.

Chris Divito commented:

“People should consider critical illness insurance as a vital addition to their mandatory health insurance – especially if they have a family who would be impacted financially if they became seriously ill. While health insurance will take care of medical bills in the short term and get you back on your feet, it will not replace earnings that may be lost as a result of a serious illness, any long term care or any modifications that may be required to your home to help you cope with the ongoing impact of a serious illness.

People should speak with a financial adviser to check they are adequately protected in the event of serious illness or accident. An adviser will be able to discuss the options and if necessary arrange suitable cover.”

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