Expats in UAE unprepared for rainy day scenarios

Published:  12 Apr at 6 PM
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A new study by HSBC reports that expats living and working in the UAE are the least financially prepared for illness, death and other disasters.

The international bank’s Confidence in the Future report may well have been undertaken to boost its sales of life, health and other such insurances, but it casts a dim light on UAE expats’ sense of responsibility to their nearest and dearest. Apparently, 65 per cent of expats surveyed expected a third party to provide for their families in the event of their being unable to work.

Worse still, 32 per cent had no life insurance as no-one had thought to arrange a policy on their behalf. Around a third of UAE expats surveyed believed someone else should take care of arranging life and health insurance, rather than doing it themselves. When asked who should take responsibility in the event of death, disablement or inability to work, over a third of respondents over the age of 55 believed it was the family’s duty to take over, against 29 per cent of younger respondents.

The results of the global survey gave an overview of 11,000 expats in 12 countries worldwide, with more than 1,000 UAE expatriates taking part. Analysis of the UAE responses showed resident expats in the Emirates had little understanding of the importance of ensuring worst-scenario protection for their dependents.

UAE expats aren’t alone in their disregard for responsibility, with results from expats in China and Argentina reading roughly the same. One unsurprising result of the survey was that 60 per cent of those taking part gave cost-related reasons for not taking on insurances. In particular, health insurance was considered an unsustainable financial burden for many expats across the 12 countries surveyed.

Meanwhile in Bahrain, a group of politicians are urging the government to consider a new law banning expats over 50 years of age from continuing to work in the country. The reasons given were that workers over 50 showed diminished performance and less efficiency as well as having a negative effect on colleagues. The group is calling for automatic sackings and immediate deportation of elderly expats as part of an amendment to the current law.
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