Despite the fact that over 73% of UAE residents travel to a different country at least twice a year, the majority fail to take out travel insurance ahead of trips, according to the findings of a new survey conducted by yallacompare, the Middle East’s leading comparison site.
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The survey polled over 350 UAE residents on their attitudes towards travel insurance. It found that while those who live in the UAE are prolific travellers (100% of respondents travel at least once per year), over 65.4% do not take out travel insurance before setting off.
“The findings of this year’s survey are a little disappointing, given that a similar survey we conducted last year found that 60% of people did not take out insurance when travelling. This suggests that the number of people flying without coverage has slightly increased since 2017,” said Jonathan Rawling, CFO of yallacompare.
“Our worry is that a perceived notion that travel insurance is too expensive has put a number of UAE residents off the idea of securing coverage. Our Consumer Confidence Tracker for the first quarter of 2018 suggested that UAE residents are increasingly worried about their financial health, so people may be trying to cut out travel-related expenses wherever possible.”
Indeed, of the respondents who do not take out travel insurance, 21.2% identified a perception that travel insurance is too expensive as the main reason for not being covered. That’s compared to 13.6% of respondents who last year said that travel insurance is too expensive.
Meanwhile, 32.1% said that they would like to be covered, but forget to take out travel insurance ahead of a trip, and 25.7% said they do not see the point in travel insurance.
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“Our answer to the people who think travel insurance is too expensive is that, on yallacompare, you can purchase a simple travel policy for as little as AED 81 for a week-long trip. That’s a fairly small amount relative to the cost of an entire holiday, including flights and hotels,” explained Rawling.
“As to the point of travel insurance – that small outlay will offer financial protection in the event of any travel-related upset. Has your flight been cancelled? Is your hotel overbooked? Has your luggage been lost? Are you facing a medical emergency abroad? These are all common issues that travellers face, but if you’re not covered with travel insurance, you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket to rectify them.”
UAE residents are no strangers to travel-related incidents. Around 40% of respondents said that they had experienced a travel-related incident over the past 12 months, consistent with the findings of last year’s survey.
As was the case last year, lost baggage was the most common issue that respondents reported, with 23.1% having experienced it. Flight cancellations, meanwhile, had been seen by 19.2% of respondents. Just over 5% had experienced being stranded in the airport while travelling, and lost or stolen cash had affected 6.8% of respondents.