How to protect your family with right insurance policies

How to protect your family with right insurance policies
Depending on the insurance plan offered by your employers, you might have to pay for some add-ons like dental and optical coverage out of your own pocket.

Dubai - 91% of homes in the UAE are not insured, exposing a large number of people to the risks of loss, theft and fire

By Werda Zia

Published: Sat 6 Jan 2018, 6:35 PM

Last updated: Sat 6 Jan 2018, 8:37 PM

Life throws many things at us, and while thinking about the insurance needed to protect your family can be confusing, complex or difficult, it is crucial you consider some basic forms of insurance for your family. Insurance policies create a financial safety net for you and your family in case of accidents and ailments. Here's a little guide to help you understand the various insurance options and how you can leverage them to be prepared for all eventualities.
Home insurance
Since 91 per cent of homes in the UAE are not insured, a large number of people are exposing themselves to the risks of loss, theft and fire. Contrary to what a lot of UAE residents think, it's almost equally important for renters to get home insurance. There are three types of home insurance: structural/building insurance, home contents insurance, and personal belongings insurance.
Renters need two out of these three types of home insurance. Home contents insurance protects your furniture, appliances, paintings, other things you keep inside your house, whereas your personal belongings insurance covers everything you carry around with you, e.g., laptops, smartphones, jewellery, handbags and wristwatches. Starting from as low as Dh300 per year, home insurance doesn't have to cost you a fortune.
Health insurance
Medical bills can break your bank or land you in debt if you don't have health insurance. The good news is that it's mandatory for employers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to offer medical cover to their employees. In Abu Dhabi, your health insurance, paid for by your employer, even covers your spouse and children, but expats have to pay half of the premium for them. As of last year, while medical cover is being offered to all employees in Dubai by their companies, the responsibility of buying the compulsory basic health insurance for your dependents, including maids, lies with you as the visa sponsor. Employers in other emirates are currently under no legal obligation to provide health insurance. While picking a health insurance policy, make sure you consider how much your policy pays for maternity, which is a mandatory component in insurance plans for married women in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Depending on the insurance plan offered by your employers, you might have to pay for some add-ons like dental and optical coverage out of your own pocket. The premium for basic health insurance in Dubai is around Dh650. Your parents are usually not covered by insurance plans provided by employers and you can expect to pay higher premiums compared to that of your spouse and children. According to insurance experts, you can save a considerable amount of money by going for a family plan instead of getting your family insured by multiple providers.
Life insurance
Whether you are the primary breadwinner or caretaker of your family in Dubai or send money back home, life insurance can make a huge difference in the lives of your loved ones. The persons you nominate in your life insurance policy get a lump sum when you pass away. By taking out a life insurance policy, you can secure your children's future. The money can also be used for other purposes such as settling loans and providing a steady income stream to your family.
As a young person with a family, you can get a life insurance policy for a monthly premium of around Dh110. You even have the option to include critical illness insurance and disability insurance as add-ons to your life insurance plan, which is usually the cheaper option, or get them separately. The cost of critical illness insurance and disability insurance depends on a number of factors including your age, medical history, occupation and living expenses.
Critical illness insurance
If you ever get a critical illness like cancer and heart disease, which are common in the Middle East, you and your family may have to face huge financial burdens. You won't be able to work for while, so paying the monthly rent and schools fees can be difficult during, especially if you don't have any savings. In addition, the medical bills can be huge. This insurance can help you tackle all this and provide significant financial support to your family while you're recovering from a critical illness.
Disability insurance
In case you are not able to work due to a disability, this insurance coverage will provide you with a monthly income. You can use this income to sustain yourself and your family for as long as you're unable to go back to work.
Another key insight that insurance experts frequently mention is that you shouldn't just pick the first insurance policy that comes your way. Be sure to do some comparison shopping before you make a decision. Doing so will not only help you save money, but you'll also be able to find insurance policies that match your exact requirements.
The author is senior writer at ServiceMarket. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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