Zurich Middle East Consumer Report Reveals That Financial Planning is Critical


Zurich International Life (Zurich), part of Zurich Insurance Group, has released the seventh edition of its Customer Benefits Paid Report for the Middle East. The report, generated from living and life cover benefits claims made to Zurich between January 2019 to December 2021, aims to raise awareness and educate customers about the need for life insurance and critical illness protection to ensure greater financial preparedness and security.

According to the report, cancer was the leading cause of critical illness benefits paid (48%) over the three years. Lifestyle diseases such as heart attack and stroke were the leading causes of life cover benefits paid (35%), followed by COVID-19 (24%).

Overall, men accounted for two-thirds or 66% of critical illness claims, and women were 34% of the claimants. Men also accounted for the larger share of life cover claims representing 78% and women 22%. Cancer was the leading cause of both critical illness (84%) and life cover claims among women (41%), while among men, heart attacks and strokes were the leading sources of both critical illness (62%) and life cover claims (41%).

Speaking on the results of the report, Wilson Varghese, Head of Operations, Zurich, said, “Our customer base is a cross-section representing the wider UAE community in all its diversity. 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.”

Due to the variations in 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.

The youngest child claimant for critical illness benefits was four years of age, with the youngest adult claimant aged 29 years and the average age for critical illness claims 49 years. The average age was 54 years for life cover claims, with the youngest claimant aged 28 years.

Over the three years, the highest critical illness claim made was USD 1 million, and the single largest claim for life covered USD 5.93 million. Overall, the company paid out USD 144 million in critical illness claims (47%), life cover claims (52%), and permanent and totality disability and hospitalization claims (1%) between January 2019 to December 2021.

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