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Tue 26 Jun 2018 11:40 AM

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Lack of medical insurance 'big risk' for UAE travellers

Most UAE residents opt out of travel insurance because they 'forget', says yallacompare CFO Jonathan Rawling

Lack of medical insurance 'big risk' for UAE travellers
Almost a quarter of those surveyed had experienced lost baggage, and almost 20% had seen flight cancellations, while 6.8% reported lost or stolen cash.

Lack of medical care is among the biggest risks for UAE travellers, of whom 65% are not covered by travel insurance, according to Middle East comparison site yallacompare.

Speaking to Arabian Business, CFO Jonathan Rawling said most insurance policies offer affordable medical coverage which will provide financial protection in the event of a life-threatening illness or injury.

“Not having proper coverage for medical care on holiday is a big risk that you take by not being covered by travel insurance… The point here is that these things can and do happen. And when they do, that small investment in an insurance policy before you travel will look like excellent value for money,” he said.

But medical emergencies are not the only reason travellers should opt for travel insurance, Rawling said, as a survey by yallacompare found 40% of UAE residents have seen some sort of travel-related incident.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed had experienced lost baggage, and almost 20% had seen flight cancellations, while 6.8% reported lost or stolen cash.

“Naturally, then, without travel insurance, you lose access to that financial protection. Plus, you’re left on your own to sort out any issue that you may come across while travelling,” he said.

Rawling added that most UAE residents opt out of travel insurance because they ‘forget’.

“The biggest reason that UAE residents give for travelling without insurance is that they forget about doing it. Over 32% say that they prefer to ensure they’re covered, but they often forget ahead of a trip,” he said.

Meanwhile, over 21% of respondents said travel insurance is too expensive, with some noting hesitation with regards to buying it and others believing it is too difficult to purchase.

However, travel insurance can be bought online in five minutes, Rawling said, adding that it costs as little as $22 (AED81) to cover most issues in a week’s trip abroad.

“You fill out a few details about your trip, and before you know it, a valid policy is in your inbox. And secondly, travel insurance is extremely cheap when compared to the overall cost of a trip abroad,” he said.

The number of people opting out of travel insurance in the UAE has increased 5% since last year, according to the yallacompare survey, which saw 60% of people refraining from taking out insurance while travelling.

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