In the UAE, where medical insurance is mandatory, residents are often unsure what cover they would benefit from if they were diagnosed with a critical illness, such as cancer or heart disease.
Critical illness is a common issue in the region, with 54 per cent of claims for men relating to heart attacks and for women, 80 per cent of claims are for cancer treatment, says Zurich Middle East’s 2020 Customer Benefits Paid report.
In 2019, Rahma Cancer Patient Care Society explained that the average monthly treatment cost for chemotherapy in the UAE is around Dh32,000, which can lead to overall treatment costs far in excess of regular medical insurance coverage.
Through our customer insights community, we discovered a fundamental concern about having the right level of protection against critical illnesses such as cancer. Together we shaped YourCare, an easy and affordable solution for UAE residents.
Excluding additional treatment, the cost of open heart surgery in the UAE is often in excess of Dh150,000. According to Zurich, 60 per cent of UAE residents underestimate the costs of critical illness cover and 80 per cent feel inadequately covered for cancer.
To mitigate this situation, Zurich recently launched a new critical illness product called YourCare – a fully digital solution that was developed based on feedback from existing Zurich customers.
“Through our customer insights community, we discovered a fundamental concern about having the right level of protection against critical illnesses such as cancer. Together we shaped YourCare, an easy and affordable solution for UAE residents such as millennials, that addresses the gap between their health and life insurance cover so they can better protect their own and their family’s futures,” says Walter Jopp, CEO of Zurich Middle East,
Hasan Humaidan, a Bahraini national living in the UAE, says that, when he was unexpectedly diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer, his critical illness cover enabled him to afford the treatment and compensated him for his lost earnings.
“There was no history in my family or my close relatives of cancer. I didn’t know that I would get this cancer and to that it would stop me continuing my career.
“Why do we insure our cars but don’t insure ourselves? If something happened to you tomorrow your family would get nothing if you don’t have this life cover for critical illness. I have already covered four of my children and their wives with life insurance. I have started that for them as a gift and an investment for their lives.”
Rajendra Jain, a UAE resident from India says that, prior to suffering a heart attack, he lived a healthy and active life.
“When my heart attack occurred to me at the age of 50, it was a big shock. How it can happen to me, having such a disciplined life? I had no bad habits, such as tobacco or alcohol.
“I played sports since childhood and I love playing cricket. I’m the oldest but the fittest player in our group.
“We have life insurance cover back in India, but for critical illness, one of my friends pushed me. That’s why I finally took the decision to cover my full family, including my daughters.
“I submitted the claim and I got the cheque within seven working days. The claim amount that I got was big enough to cover future medical illness and future medical bills.
“If I didn’t have this critical cover, then it would be a very tough situation for me and my family. Looking to my disciplined life, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. This is not my view, it is most of my friends’ views.”
According Zurich’s report, between 2017 and 2019, the average age of a claimant for critical illness cover was aged 49. The same report also found that the youngest age for claimants was just 29.
With many UAE residents, such as millennials, concerned they are insufficiently covered for critical illness, both through their life insurance and medical insurance policies, Zurich Middle East’s new product is designed to address this issue.
YourCare is an affordable form of critical illness insurance that offers residents Dh1 million cover from just Dh4 per day.
The product offers consumers cover in just minutes, and applicants can insurance themselves against serious illness for either five or 10-year terms.
“When it comes to critical illness cover, we advise our customers, don’t underestimate, don’t overestimate - address the gap,” says Jopp.
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