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Wed 17 Dec 2008 06:35 AM

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UAE life insurance demand set to rise 18% in 2009

Home owners keen to protect investments for dependants behind growth.

Annual demand for life insurance policies in the UAE is forecast to grow 18 percent until 2011, spurred by mortgage owners keen to secure home loans and protection their dependents.

The economic downturn has forced UAE expatriates to take a more cautious approach to the future, according to a report by the Nexus Group of Companies released on Tuesday.

“The recent market turbulence has alerted people to take stock of and review their medium- and long-term financial goals in a number of areas,” said Nigel Watson, sales director at the Nexus Group of Companies.

Life insurance in the UAE is expected to grow from $386 million in 2006 to $676 million in 2010, according to research by Swiss Re.

The downturn has also encouraged investors to adapt a more risk-averse strategy, said Watson. “Lately we have seen customers focus more on investment in the institution rather than just the actual fund,” he said.

In addition, the report said, the UAE expatriate workforce is also demanding more employment benefits which include group life and strictly private medical insurance coverage, according to the firm.

In an increasingly competitive market, said the report, employers are offering a wider range of employee benefits in order to attract and retain qualified and experienced people.

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