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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Two thirds of UAE residents are travelling without insurance in 2018

Despite heading out of the country twice a year, many do not sign up for a policy, according to a new poll

A fifth of those polled said the cost of travel insurance was the reason they did not sign up for a policy to cover their holiday this year. dnata Travel
A fifth of those polled said the cost of travel insurance was the reason they did not sign up for a policy to cover their holiday this year. dnata Travel

Almost two thirds of UAE residents do not take out travel insurance before an international holiday, a new survey from financial comparison website yallacompare revealed on Monday.

About 65 per cent of those polled said they take out a policy before their trip – a higher figure than the 60 per cent that did not take out travel cover in 2017, according to the survey of 350 people living in the Emirates. That is despite 73 per cent of those polled travelling to a different country at least twice a year.

The results suggest "the number of people flying without coverage has slightly increased since 2017”, said Jonathan Rawling, chief financial officer of yallacompare.

Despite policies costing as little as Dh81 for a week-long break, according to yallacompare, a fifth of those polled said the cost of travel insurance was the reason they did not sign up for a policy to cover their holiday. In 2017, that figure was 14 per cent.

“Our worry is that a perceived notion that travel insurance is too expensive has put a number of UAE residents off the idea of securing coverage," Mr Rawling said. "Our Consumer Confidence Tracker for the first quarter of 2018 suggested that UAE residents are increasingly worried about their financial health, so people may be trying to cut out travel-related expenses wherever possible.”

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While 32 per cent said they would like to have cover in place, but forget to take it out, a quarter of those polled said they did not see the point of travel insurance.

Flight cancellations, meanwhile, were experienced by one in five of those polled; about 5 per cent had experienced being stranded in the airport while on a trip, and lost or stolen cash had affected 7 per cent of respondents.

Travel insurance covers everything from medical emergencies to lost belongings, flight cancellations and delays to personal accident cover and loss of travel documents. However, analysts say residents may also receive a measure of travel insurance coverage through health-insurance policies, credit cards or home contents insurance.