A common emotion, across the globe, that people aim for is the feeling of security. Fear and vulnerability are great motivators for people to work and secure their future. A lot of people opt for avenues such as life insurance, retirement plans and child education plans to secure their future. However, there is one more avenue that is essential to secure yourself and that is insurance that offers a living benefit called with critical illness cover.

What is critical illness cover?

In the UAE, often people are unaware about critical illness insurance and its importance. Most people believe that their health card offers them the same benefits and is enough to protect them in a medical emergency. However, this isn’t really the case. A health card offers you treatment solutions with their partner hospitals. It does not offer you any payout nor does it let you choose the best treatment policy for your concern. In addition, it does not offer any provision to finance your next few months in case you are unable to work.

On the other hand, a critical illness cover pays a cash lump sum if you suffer from any of the 36 accepted serious illnesses. This lump sum can be used by you in whatever way you deem fit for your life and treatment. You can use it to pay for a treatment, for post-care medicines, for rent and groceries in case you are unable to work or even to cover your child’s education expenses.

Is a critical illness cover worth it?

Even after knowing the distinction between a health card and critical illness insurance, a lot of people question whether it is worth the investment. For most, insurance only means life insurance. However, it is important to note that life insurance only offers your loved ones benefit after death, but critical illness cover insurance offers you benefits throughout your life.

Did you know, people in the UAE die of heart attacks almost 20 years earlier than the rest of the world? 80 per cent of deaths that occur due to CVD are entirely preventable with early detection and treatment.

Several expats living in the UAE have insurance in their domestic countries and so just opt for a health card in the UAE. However, for financial security, it is essential to have a valid critical illness insurance in the UAE. Without this cover, you may land up diving into your hard-earned savings for everything from treatment to post-treatment care, mortgage, daily utilities and a lot more.

When it comes to insurance plans, there are numerous combinations available

  • Term Life Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance
  • Whole Life Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance only

A critical illness cover is an important addition to any combination of insurance plans that you may choose to opt for. In addition, there are numerous options available. Several insurance companies also offer a critical illness cover with an option to receive as much as 75% premium as payback if you do not file any claim during the term period.

For those of you who feel that insurance is too expensive, there are options here as well. Several plans are available these days that offer an annual renewable option instead of a long-term commitment. Further, there are plans available at various prices ensuring that whether you have just started earning or are a millionaire, you can help live a healthy and secure life. An insurance advisor will be able to guide you on the right plan for you taking into account your price point and term period.

Critical Illness cover in the UAE

As per a recent survey conducted by Friends Provident International in the UAE, 750 existing customers (who had no critical illness policy), were asked why they didn’t feel the need to opt for critical illness cover. Almost 30% of them believed that their medical insurance was sufficient to look after their requirements (medical and financial) should they be diagnosed with a critical illness or disability.

This is a major reason why people don’t opt for a critical illness cover. However, under this plan a lump sum is paid directly to the customer in case they are diagnosed with any of the illnesses covered under the policy. This amount can help them supplement their daily lives while focussing their effort and energy on a speedy recovery.

A lesson about life from this pandemic

Recent times have proved once again that life is extremely unpredictable. For the longest time, cancer was a rare and scary disease. Now though medical progress offers better survival chances, most people have insurance against this disease to mitigate the high costs of treatments.

Just as we felt that medicine was catching up with the ailments present in the world, we were hit globally by the Coronavirus pandemic which has left the world in a lockdown situation. This shows us how susceptible we are to an illness and the toll it can take on our life and finances.

Why Critical Illness Insurance is a must in the UAE

In most cases, a serious illness is not just a one-step treatment. For instance, a disease may be followed by several other concerns such as kidney failure, heart concerns or others. All of which require treatment that can be expensive. At such a time, the lump sum received under a critical illness plan can be immensely beneficial. With a critical illness cover, you can use the lump sum paid across different treatments or in any way you deem fit to support your life.

These can include:

  • Mortgage and rent payments
  • Grocery and daily essentials
  • Supplementary income in case you are unable to work
  • Hospital expenses
  • Home renovations that support post-surgical recovery
  • Travel after recovery, and a lot more

In addition, for the years that you are blessed with good health, you may also receive a reward, several insurance companies offer a portion of the premium as a payback in case you don’t file a claim in a particular period.


Critical illness insurance is non-negotiable these days. However, knowing facts like cover amount, premium amount etc. is important before signing any insurance policy. The technical jargon used in most contracts can be overwhelming and confusing. In such cases, it is advisable to take the help of an independent financial consultant like Dr Rafiya Mushtaq. With her expertise in the field, she will be able to study several critical illness insurance quotes and policies to help you decide the best policy for you.

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