Brand reputation and price have the greatest influence on people’s decision to buy life and critical illness insurance in the UAE. These factors were considered more important than others, such as adviser recommendation, claim payment history and portability, which enables continuity of insurance coverage when relocating to another country, in FPI’s fourth annual protection survey results.
The survey, conducted in collaboration with market research and data analytics firm YouGov, polled more than 1,000 respondents. Around 40 percent of respondents said brand reputation of the insurer was the most important factor behind their decision to purchase life insurance, while another 30 percent cited affordability as their key consideration. Only 7 percent of respondents said that adviser recommendation was the most important factor in choosing insurance.
The survey also showed that just under half (49%) of respondents have life cover and overall just 24% have cover against serious illness. Of the male respondents 28% claimed to have critical illness insurance (up from 25% in 2017) and only 19% of females (down from 24% last year) said they had this cover.
Of the 51% of respondents who said they did not have life cover, 36% said it was too expensive while 30% of respondents without cover were not familiar with the concept of life insurance. Another 39% said they were not familiar with critical illness insurance.
“Understanding the need for life and critical illness insurance, and selecting the right policy is crucial. I urge people to speak with a financial adviser, who will be able to help them to determine whether they need cover and the amount of cover they need. As the survey shows, there is a worrying lack of understanding around life and critical illness insurance and therefore people are likely to base their decisions on factors such as brand reputation of the insurer and price,” commented Chris Divito, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa at FPI.
He explained that while it is important to consider these aspects, a financial adviser is best placed to review a range of plans from different providers, and to help people choose a plan that is appropriate for their individual circumstances, and not just based on price and brand.