With flights grounded, schools temporarily shuttered and tourism on hold, many people’s livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19. The coronavirus is a stark reminder that life can often take an unexpected turn.
A 2018 survey conducted by YouGov reported that more than half of UAE residents did not have life insurance cover. According to the World Population Review, the UAE’s 9.89 million population has a median age of just 32.6, indicating that life insurance may not be a financial priority for a relatively young population. There is also a misconception that life insurance is universally expensive.
Yet, as COVID-19 continues to impact all of lives, is this sentiment changing?
In an April survey of 2001 residents in the UAE and KSA, YouGov revealed that 64 per cent of residents in the emirates were concerned about job and salary losses due to the coronavirus. As people become increasingly cost conscious, are they still considering life insurance?
Life insurance is the gift of financial protection for our loved ones.
Dr Wendyliza Sarcia Paz, a Filipino GP based in Dubai, has two daughters aged 11 and nine. She believes that the COVID-19 is changing people’s attitudes towards unexpected financial challenges. “Though life insurance is a financial product that is still gaining further popularity among Filipinos, it is increasingly seen as highly important to seek contingent protection against the various uncertainties we face every day. Life insurance prepares us for these uncertainties,” she says.
Dr Paz describes cover as “the gift of financial protection for our loved ones.”
Tarek Al Kaaki, a Lebanese expat who works in marketing, says that life insurance is an important provision for his wife and two-year-old son’s future. “Life is unpredictable, and many of us choose to ignore the reality of what would happen if we were to die and what would happen to our beloved ones.
“A policy can help pay off loans, rents, funeral expenses and ensure that my kids will be able to go to college, maintaining the lifestyle they were used to.”
Al Kaaki says that cost is also a key consideration when he is selecting a policy. “When I plan to sign up for a life insurance policy, cost is an important factor as it’s a long term commitment with the insurer. You need to make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy insurance company that will pay you back because you are trusting an organisation to pay your beloved ones in your absence.”
Indian businessman Mohan George Pulinthitta, a father of two in their twenties, says that he views life insurance as an essential provision. “Life insurance is one of the most important investments you need. Proper cover gives you the reassurance that your loved ones are taken care of in the event of any unforeseen and unfortunate incident.”
Pulinthitta says that convenience is also an important factor when he considers insurance policy and that it must come from a trusted provider. “The convenience and reputation of life insurance is the primary consideration for me. I believe that there would not be any hidden clauses attached and transparency is maintained by reputed brands.”
In addition to an increasing sense of financial uncertainty, COVID-19 is also making UAE residents find security and confidence in digital technology for essentials such as health consultations, shopping and staying in touch with colleagues and loved ones.
According to Dubai Future Foundation, “online platforms for entertainment (gaming and streaming), retail and communication have seen significant increases in traffic during this period.”
With COVID-19 changing many people’s online behaviour, life insurance providers must adapt to a growing number of increasingly cost-conscious digital customers looking for affordable financial protection against the unexpected.
“COVID-19 has altered people’s attitudes to life and they are increasingly likely to realise that the unexpected can actually happen and that they need to be prepared,” says Walter Jopp, Chief Executive Officer - Middle East at Zurich Insurance Company.
Zurich’s new YourLife initiative is an instant and low-cost life insurance policy that requires no medical, protecting customers from needing to visit a healthcare provider unnecessarily during COVID-19. The innovative digital product is designed to be quick, affordable and convenient. The application process takes less than five minutes and the cover costs from just Dh2 per day.
Jopp appreciates that the coronavirus can lead to unexpected financial challenges but believes that staying safe and making affordable financial provisions to protect your family and loved ones from adversity will place you in a strong position when the UAE economy recovery inevitably gains traction. “At Zurich, we take pride in protecting our UAE customers and our new YourLife cover empowers people to take control of their loved ones’ financial security, safeguarding them from the unexpected,” he says.
To learn more about Zurich Middle East’s YourLife policy, visit here.