Middle East consumer report reveals that financial planning is critical to managing today’s evolving health risks

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    • The seventh edition of Zurich’s Customer Benefits Paid Report that is based on living and life cover benefits claims over a three-year period offers unique insights on the evolving health risks in the Middle East 
  • The report identified that cancer among women and heart attack and stroke among men are the leading causes of critical illness and life cover claims
  • COVID-19 was identified to be the second highest cause of life cover claims after heart attack and stroke
  • 52% of total customer benefits were life cover claims while 47% within living benefit claims were attributed to critical illness
  • Over the last three years, the company paid customer claims amounting to USD 144 million 

Dubai, UAE: 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-year period. 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 – I usually liken life insurance to taking a financial vaccine. It is equally important that we all get proactive about our health. An active lifestyle, healthier diet and regular health checks are essential to identifying and reducing risk factors while enjoying a better quality of life.” 

Due to the variations by 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. 

“Our vision is to empower the community to be ready for life. As a response to supporting customers when they need us the most, we ensured that as many as 98% of life claims were paid out.” Varghese added.

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-year period, the highest critical illness claim made was USD 1 million and the single largest claim for life cover 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.

About Zurich Insurance Group 

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer serving more than 55 million customers – both people and businesses – in more than 210 countries and territories. Founded 150 years ago, Zurich is transforming insurance. In addition to providing insurance protection, Zurich is increasingly offering prevention services such as those that promote wellbeing and enhance climate resilience.

Reflecting its purpose to ‘create a brighter future together’, Zurich aspires to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. It is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050 and is one of the world’s most sustainable insurers, as shown by the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. The Group has about 56,000 employees and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX.

About Zurich International Life Limited 

Zurich International Life Limited is a part of Zurich Insurance Group and established in the Isle of Man, which is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority with established and registered branches in the UAE licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE, Bahrain licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Qatar Financial Centre authorised by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. In the UAE, it is registered (Registration No. 63) under UAE Federal Law Number 6 of 2007, and its activities in the UAE are governed by such law.