No, I’m not asking if whether or not you have a condom with you or any other form of contraceptive or means to prevent unwanted pregnancy. I’m talking about Insurance. Are you protected against life’s risks? In the event that something happens to you, or when you kick the bucket, or get seriously ill- or disabled and lose your ability to earn income; will your family or those who depend on you be able to survive or will they be left with nothing and forced to live with relatives or beg?
Just recently, I read about another Filipina who is currently in a coma after having a heart attack, with medical bills now amounting to AED 500,000! She has been in a coma for the last four months with no one coming forward to help. The worse part is, she does not have any insurance, and after she gets repatriated, it doesn’t look like she has any relatives that will be able to give her the care she needs, or buy her the medicine and pay for the treatment that she desperately needs to recover. This is only one of the many sad stories of Filipinos in the UAE, and other parts of the world. The reason? No insurance, or not enough insurance.
According to the 2015 data from the Insurance Commission , about 32M Filipinos now have insurance, of which 28M are serviced by Micro Insurance companies. This is good however, most of the population still remains uninsured, or do not have enough insurance coverage to cover for loss of income in the event of a serious illness, or death. Most Filipinos still rely solely on their SSS or GSIS benefits. A huge number of Filipinos have a negative perception about insurance. Most think an insurance is just an unnecessary expense which is why most people don’t think of getting one only to regret it in the end. What many Filipinos fail to realize is that the risks of not getting insurance far outweighs the financial “inconvenience” of paying for the premiums for x number of years. Take for example the case of the woman mentioned earlier. If she had an insurance policy that included critical illness and hospitalization benefit as part of her coverage, it could have helped to pay a huge part of her medical bills, and allowed her to get repatriated sooner. Some of the money could also be used to help buy her medicines to aid in her recovery when she goes home to the Philippines.
One key thing people nowadays need to understand when buying insurance is that they should do it, not because they intend to live longer, or because they expect to receive a certain sum should the unexpected happen. Insurance is necessary so that those they leave behind will be able to live. Insurance is necessary, especially for the breadwinners because in the event of their untimely death, or loss of their ability to earn income, it will allow those left behind to continue living even without his or her income for years.
We buy insurance to give us that peace of mind that no matter what happens to us tomorrow, our loved ones will still have a bright future ahead of them.
If you’re an OFW in the UAE, and interested in finding out what insurance is best for your needs, feel free to get in touch- or talk to your trusted financial advisor.