UAE residents failing to take responsibility for life insurance – HSBC report

Country has the highest proportion of people who ‘expect someone else to arrange’ life insurance



People in the United Arab Emirates are the least likely in the world to ensure they and their families are financially protected with life insurance, according to a new survey.

HSBC’s Power of Protection 2016 report revealed 32 per cent of people in the country – the highest globally – have not taken out life insurance because they expect somebody else to arrange it. Similarly, some 65 per cent of people believe it is someone else’s responsibility to provide financial stability to their families if something were to happen to them and they were no longer able to earn.

The new global research from HSBC aims to provide insights into people’s concerns about the future and their financial protection of themselves and loved ones. The views of more than 11,000 people from 12 countries were taken into consideration, including more than 1,000 respondents in the UAE.

Head of wealth development, UAE and MENA, retail banking and wealth management for HSBC Gifford Nakajima said: “While most people in the UAE (67 per cent) have an optimistic outlook and high expectations for their future quality of life, more than half (56 per cent) say that their biggest worry is that poor health could one day stop them being able to look after themselves or their families.

“Despite recognising this challenge, we see that 30 per cent rely on family, 19 per cent on their employer and 16 per cent on the government for financial support, the latter of which is not possible for expats in the UAE, highlighting the need for people to take ownership of securing protection for their families.”

The research also shows that 33 per cent of people in the UAE say they could not manage well or at all if something unexpected were to happen to them, while 46 per cent say they do not know how to get life insurance or are concerned about what policies would pay out.

Life insurance penetration rates in the UAE were less than 1 per cent in 2014, according to Timetric research, compared to the likes of Taiwan and South Korea at 15.3 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively.