Financial planning critical to managing evolving health risks

Covid-19 has been identified as the second highest cause of life cover claims after heart attacks and strokes



Cancer among women and heart attacks and strokes among men are the leading causes of critical illness and life cover claims - KT file
Cancer among women and heart attacks and strokes among men are the leading causes of critical illness and life cover claims - KT file
by

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Wed 1 Jun 2022, 5:57 PM

It has become more important than ever for residents to plan for their financial security during a time when health risks are constantly evolving, experts at Zurich International Life have said.

According to the company’s seventh edition of its Customer Benefits Paid Report for the Middle East region, which looked at living and life cover benefits claims made to Zurich between January 2019 to December 2021, cancer was the leading cause of critical illness benefits paid over the three-year period. Lifestyle diseases such as heart attacks and strokes were the leading causes of life cover benefits paid, followed by Covid-19.

These findings point towards a greater need for proper financial planning, experts noted.

“Our customer base is a cross-section representing the wider UAE community in all its diversity,” said Wilson Varghese, head of Operations at Zurich. “Our findings can be extrapolated as a reflection of changing health risks faced, especially after the pandemic. It is critical for people with financial dependants to protect themselves and their loved ones – I usually liken life insurance to taking a financial vaccine.”

“It is equally important that we all get proactive about our health,” he added. “An active lifestyle, healthier diet, and regular health checks are essential to identifying and reducing risk factors while enjoying a better quality of life.”

According to the Zurich report, men accounted for 66 per cent of critical illness claims and women were 34 per cent of the claimants. Men also accounted for the larger share of life cover claims, representing 78 per cent and women 22 per cent. Cancer was the leading cause of both critical illness and life cover claims among women; while, among men, heart attacks and strokes were the leading sources of both critical illness and life cover claims.

Due to the variations by gender, age and lifestyle choices among the claimants, the report also confirms that insurance needs must be assessed at an individual level. Every family member must have their unique insurance cover and protection solutions that go well beyond standard medical insurance.

“Our vision is to empower the community to be ready for life. As a response to supporting customers when they need us the most, we ensured that as many as 98 per cent of life claims were paid out,” Varghese said.

Over the three-year period, the highest critical illness claim made was $1 million and the single largest claim for life cover was $5.93 million. Overall, the company paid out $144 million in critical illness claims, life cover claims, and permanent and totality disability and hospitalization claims between January 2019 to December 2021.

rohma@khaleejtimes.com


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