Gulf News has reported that in Dubai, more than half of one-year health insurance policies have not been renewed, raising concern that a significant number of residents are going without proper coverage into the second year of their residency permit. In the UAE, all residents must have insurance coverage during their two-year residency term. Mandatory medical coverage for all dependents of a sponsor came into effect in 2017.
“Only imposing penalties for non-renewals will ensure residents keep updating their medical policies annually,” said Mustafa Vazayil, Managing Director at Gargash Insurance and a senior member of the Emirates Insurance Association. “The other option would be for a policy to be issued for the entire two-year resident visa period rather than have it renewed annually. It’s a cost burden for the individuals to pay upfront for a two-year term. But it’s not for the insurers to push for it – the authorities could take such a decision to ensure the entire population is covered.”
“Although we do not expect to see any further spikes in premium growth related to medical insurance, since all residents in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have mandatory medical cover now, we may see some growth if medical covers become mandatory in the Northern Emirates,” said Emir Mujkic, Lead Analyst for Insurance, S&P Global Ratings.