The UAE has among the lowest travel insurance penetration rates in the world, a Dubai-based financial consultancy has claimed.
UAE holidaymakers are failing to take out adequate insurance when travelling abroad, with Nexus Group estimating that less than 1 percent of people are covered by a comprehensive insurance policy.
The figure excludes minimal coverage that individuals have from a third parties such as a bank or as part of a visa application, the company added.
Community awareness about travel insurance in the UAE as “probably among the lowest in global markets”, said Phil Ashkuri, head of general insurance at Nexus Group.
“As is the case with most non-mandatory coverage, travel insurance penetration in the UAE is exceptionally low. This is a trend that urgently needs to be addressed – particularly in a market like the UAE, where travel is a prominent part of our lifestyle.”
“Many residents rely on travel insurance that banks offer as part of a membership or credit card package, or that which is required by the Schengen visa,” he added.
These policies often offer limited cover and are insufficient when it comes to claiming incurred losses, Ashkuri said.
Nexus warned that medical expenses in the US can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, while a Schengen policy for Europe only covers emergency medical expenses and not those associated with flight and baggage delay, or loss of personal items.
By contrast, worldwide term travel insurance coverage to mitigate against such costs, including for the US and Canada, ranges on average between $27.25 (AED100) for 5 days and $150 (AED550) for 92 days, while annual (multi-trip) coverage ranges between $163 (AED600) and $245 (AED900), the company said.