The most common causes for Middle East life cover claims

UAE health insurance

The most common claims for men on life and critical illness insurance policies in the Middle East are for heart attacks and stroke, according to the latest claims statistics from Zurich International Life.

Zurich is the only life insurance provider in the Middle East to issue annual claims statistics specific to the region. Essentially, every year, the insurer breaks down the claims that it has paid out, looking at the most common causes for why claims were made, and who made the most claims.

The idea is that, if you fall into one of the groups most likely to make a claim on their life or critical illness insurance, you might want to think about getting covered.  

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So, while men claimed more because of heart attack and stroke, the most common claims for women on these insurance policies are for cancer, Zurich said in its report. The majority of claims made by men are from those aged 40 and above, while for women, the majority of claims were paid to people in their 30s.

What can you do with that information? Well, if you’re a man in his 40s with a family history of heart problems, you may want to get covered. Likewise, if you’re a woman in her 30s with a family history of cancer, life and critical illness cover could be useful for you.

Here’s some more on the split of illnesses and gender in claims last year:

“For life insurance, almost half (48%) of male claims were due to heart attack and stroke with a quarter (26%) from cancer, while for women, half of the claims (50%) were for cancer and 19% were for cardiovascular disease. When it comes to critical illness, over two-thirds (68%) of claims for men were paid out due to cardiovascular disease while four out of five (81%) claims paid out to women were for breast and cervical cancer,” the report said.   

These claims aren’t small, either. Last year, the largest life insurance payout by Zurich was AED 5.5 million, though the insurer paid out just under AED 250 million in total.

Interestingly, the majority of claimants (73%) were men. Zurich said this is reflective of the gender split that the insurer sees, highlighting the fact that women remain underinsured in this region.

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Another interesting tidbit to the report is that, although Zurich’s research shows that 97% of UAE residents consider themselves to be healthy, critical illnesses tend to come at unpredictable times. Zurich’s claims records showed that the youngest claimants for life cover were 27 years old, while for critical illness, it was 29. The argument that you don’t need life or critical illness cover just because you’re young and healthy doesn’t stack up, according to the numbers.

“As you cannot predict the future, it is important to protect it and seek advice from a financial professional to ensure you have the right protection for yourself, your family and business,” explained Chris Bagnall, chief underwriting officer and head of claims at Zurich Middle East.

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