Are you adequately insured?

Last updated on April 15, 2021 at 7.5 pm

The rationale for any kind of insurance is simple: It is a way to mitigate losses in case of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. It’s like a document that says, buddy I have got your back, and yet, there are fewer and fewer people who consciously buy insurance. We are talking about insurance covers across spectrum.

Let’s take a look at some that are a must for us.

Health insurance: Most residents in the UAE have health insurance, thanks to the law that mandates having a cover to secure a visa. But how many of us have adequate insurance? And how many of us continue to rely on the cover provided by our workplace? “I had a very good health coverage for myself, wife and son from my office for years. It even covered dental. But after I was made redundant, we had to hunt for a new policy, which is a lot more expensive and doesn’t offer the same coverage. We were planning for another baby but will have to delay it because our new insurance will not provide maternity cover for the first year or so,” said Sundar Shekhar, a resident of Dubai.

These are some new challenges that people are grappling with during the pandemic.

Individuals and families should have independent health covers. In fact, if you are in negotiation for a new job, you could ask for an allowance to fund a personal health cover. Companies are realising the need for it and could agree giving a bit extra or liaise with the insurance provider to offer you a personal cover at a discounted price. Look for riders, if available, on a health policy and cover yourself adequately.

Life insurance: Rising expectancies, better medical facilities, good standard of living lull many of us into believing that we are going to be around for long enough to take care of ourselves, our families, and responsibilities. It is good to be optimistic, but then again there are factors that are beyond our control and could influence change we might not like. The pandemic has given a wake-up call.

Working people who have assets, financial liabilities and commitments, dependants should invest in a term insurance policy, which in other words is a pure life cover that doesn’t have any investment portion in it. If the policy holder dies during the policy term, the dependants get the sum assured. However, if he or she survives the policy term, which usually mirrors an average work life, the policy ends.

That is how it should be. You need life insurance only to cover for the financial liabilities and providing for your family in case of an unfortunate death of the income earner.

There are several other types of life insurances as well — endowment, whole-life and ulips being the popular ones, but such policies are high on management charges and can potentially eat away gains.

Travel insurance: It is not the end of the pandemic as yet, but slowly as people are getting vaccinated, we could start flying for leisure again. Some countries like the UAE, Maldives and a few others are open even now, which suggests we should talk about travel insurance.

Flyers are usually given an option to buy travel cover when flying but not many opt for it. Most of the time such buying decisions are necessitated by laws of the airline or the country the person is travelling to rather than the willingness of have a cover. This needs more thought. Lockdowns imposed by the pandemic early on disrupted journeys of many. Holidaymakers with a travel insurance would have fared better.

This is the essence of an insurance cover — to have your back in the hour of need. Reassess your covers and invest in them wisely.

Suneeti Ahuja Kohli Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli has been in Dubai long enough to call it her spiritual home. She loves to travel but plans to settle down in Koi Samui, Thailand eventually to spend her sunset years by the sea. For now, she writes frequently on personal finance, retirement planning, business news and features, health and almost anything assigned by her editor. Her sojourns can be followed on instagram (suneetiahujakohli), news and views on Twitter @suneetiahuja, and for the rest, there’s a Facebook account.