Stock - Health Insurance
Golden Visas open up another potentially lucrative area for UAE insurers, which is why tailored packages are seen as a must. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Some of the leading Dubai-based insurers could soon introduce medical insurance packages specifically tailored to Golden Visa holders and their dependents. Some pre-testing has been done by a couple of these insurers to gain feedback from potential clients and healthcare providers.

These insurers are also waiting to take their cues from the way Abu Dhabi’s health insurer Daman is handling its own dedicated Golden Visa medical package. “There will be first-to-market advantages for those insurers who can launch these Golden Visa packages – but they will have to show these are different from the typical health insurance policies in the market,” said an insurance industry source.

In the next few months, the rush for Golden Visas will begin anew, as word of the initiative reaches more potential investors/residents planning to base themselves in the UAE. Health insurance is mandatory for all visa issuance/renewals in the UAE.

As of now, more than 65,000 Golden Visas have been issued, and in the next few weeks those property owners who have assets of Dh2 million and more too will be eligible for these visas. And they will need supporting medical insurance too... 

“A basic health insurance plan is good only for those who just have the Golden Visa and the UAE is not their primary location to live,” said Leena Parwani, CEO of LPH Financial Services. “Then, the individual with no health condition can take the Basic plan, which is cost-effective. But if it’s someone living in UAE, then the current options are the same individual plans available from all the providers.”

This is what insurers are trying to change, to come up with tailored plans, some of which could carry a higher premium. Given the demographic mix of the current Golden Visa holders (and of their dependents), insurers are most likely to have policies that are linked to ages.

“The Golden Visa policies may state their entry level premium is a certain amount,” said Leena. “But the actual pricing would be based on the age of the insured, and will only be offered by the individual submitting a declaration about their age.”

The HAAD (Department of Health - Abu Dhabi) has significant penalties for non-renewal of health insurance. Therefore, Abu Dhabi vsa holders have to make sure they renew on time - and if their employer is not renewing on time they have to pay these fines

- Leena Parwanii of LPH Financial Services


Even as UAE insurers still work out what an ideal Golden Visa health cover should be, visa holders need to make sure their existing policies are being renewed. In Abu Dhabi, visa holders not renewing face a ‘significant’ fine, and which extends to each of his/her dependents as well. This is calculated on a monthly basis, and which makes it imperative that medical insurance gets renewed at the end of the term. (This applies to corporates too, if they are the ones to have issued the Golden Visa on behalf of their employees.)

This could get as rigorously applied in Dubai too, say insurance industry sources. “It’s mandatory to upload the health insurance certificate for Golden Visa issuance,” said Leena. “And we are seeing corporates not renewing the medical policies for up to 2 to 3 months and, sometimes, more than that. Even individuals are not bothered to renew on time, even after the expiry of the 30-day grace period. This places these individuals at serious risk of not having any insurance protection when they might need it most.”

We have seen a lot of non-renewals among individuals, especially those in the 60+ age group. As premiums on medical insurance are not so low, policyholders are becoming quite conscious of the costs involved

- Insurance agent