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Mon 1 Aug 2016 01:47 PM

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80% of Dubai expats still unprotected despite spate of fires

Financial planning firm reveals 'frightening statistic' as expats continue to snub home insurance policies

80% of Dubai expats still unprotected despite spate of fires

Up to 80 percent of expats living in Dubai are not protected against property fire, despite six major residential tower fires in the past 12 months, it has been claimed.

Financial planning firm Guardian Wealth Management said it is urging UAE residents to secure themselves and their belongings. 

“Home and contents insurance are essential for homeowners and tenants alike as it safeguards property and valuables. However, we estimate that almost 80 percent of expats are not protected and that is a frightening statistic,” said Hamzah Shalchi, regional manager at Guardian Wealth Management.

“Often in home countries this type of insurance is mandatory or automatic but in this region it is often not thought about and people aren’t always sure how to go about it," he added.

He said the same can be said for life or critical illness insurance which is essential for families, not just in the event of a fire but any life-threatening scenario.

“If something were to happen to the main breadwinner of the family and there was no life insurance in place, the consequences could be drastic.

"It is essential that UAE residents look into the best policy for them and their family and seek expert financial advice".

People in the UAE are among the least likely globally from a total of 12 countries to take a proactive approach towards ensuring they and their families are financially protected in the event of disability, critical illness or death, according to a report published in April.

HSBC’s Power of Protection 2016 report said 65 percent of people in the country believe it is someone else’s responsibility to provide financial stability to their families if something were to happen to them and they were no longer able to earn.

In June, Zurich’s life business in the Middle East said it paid out AED246 million ($67 million) in critical illness and life cover claims between January 2013 to December 2015, up 42.5 percent on the previous two years.

Zurich said in a statement that 98 percent of life cover claims were paid during the period, for a total of AED125 million and critical illness claims were paid out in 87 percent of cases for a total of AED121 million.

Zurich added that its data showed its claims experience corresponds strongly with the region's leading causes of premature death, critical illness and disability.

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