Residents of the United Arab Emirates are “willing to spend more on protection compared to the global average”, but nevertheless are under-insured, particularly when it comes to critical illness cover, according to research carried out by Zurich International Life, Middle East, the regional arm of Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance Group.
The research, which is contained in an eight-page document entitled What if you could protect it all: The importance of critical illness protection, reveals “a disparity between the willingness to spend to protect oneself” and one’s loved ones, “versus the current level of protection in the UAE”, Zurich notes, in a summary of the research’s findings.
In the UAE, Zurich found, individuals are willing to pay an average of 6% of their monthly income on insurance premiums, compared with a global average of 5%.
What’s more, one in five of those surveyed by Zurich said they would be willing to pay as much as 10% of their income on insurance.
Yet despite these findings, Zurich’s researchers found 76% of those surveyed would be regarded as “under-insured”, based on the amount of insurance they said they held, and 85% of the women surveyed said they weren’t covered for critical illness.
Critical illness cover – which is sometimes known as “dread disease insurance”, and even as a “dread disease rider” to a life insurance policy – is a fairly recent development, coinciding with the emergence of medical technologies that have made it possible to live a long time with many illnesses without actually dying of them. It is said to have been promoted initially by Dr Marius Barnard, a heart surgeon who had been part of the team that performed the first human-to-human heart transplant in South Africa in 1967.
According to Zurich, the average age of its critical illness claimant is only 48, and its youngest is 29.
To read and download the Zurich report, click here.