The United Arab Emirate comprises of seven emirates, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi serving as its two most popular emirates. UAE is a home to some of the world's most extraordinary places like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari world, Miracle Garden, Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest tower, serving as a tourist magnet. The UAE has emerged as a tourist-friendly zone over the decades, and just in 2016; it recorded over 14.9 million visits. Several tourists visit the UAE during the period of April to May and the winter period of October to March due to its conducive weather at these periods.
Tourists and other travellers who intend travelling to the UAE are required to obtain a valid travel insurance policy. The travel insurance policy is meant for compensating some of the costs incurred as a result of sudden medical expenditures. Apart from covering inpatient and outpatient treatments, the travel insurance covers the expenses associated with medical evacuation, repatriation, search and rescue operations at an additional fee.
Why is the Travel insurance policy required?
The possession of a valid travel insurance policy is required prior to the issue of a visa by UAE consulate or Embassy to travellers from countries requiring Visas.
Besides, the medical care services at the UAE can be expensive without an insurance policy, and as such; the consulate mandates the possession of an insurance policy that meets the requirements for obtaining a visa to the UAE.
Types of Travel Insurance
The major types of travel insurance policies offered by several reputable insurance companies are:
- Single Trip
- Multi- trip insurance.
Cost of travel Insurance policies
The cost of obtaining a travel insurance policy is not fixed, and as such; the premium of any insurance policy depends on various factors. These factors are not limited to the following below.
Other options can be included by the insured to enhance the coverage capacity of the travel insurance policy.
These Additional options include:
- Trip cancellation
- Dental Insurance
- Sport Insurance
- Personal liability insurance
- Luggage insurance
- Accident insurance
Will the medical insurance cover treatment for accidents, and why is the accident insurance necessary?
Yes, it will, but subsequent compensations for disabilities, dismemberment, loss of sight and extremities will not be provided by the travel insurance alone. Rather, if the accident insurance is included in advance, it will provide such compensations. For instance, if an insured tourist losses his sight and sustain multiple skin cuts during a car crash along the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. After coverage of the necessary treatment of the trauma and injuries, the accident insurance will provide compensation, due to his inability to continue his occupation.
Personal liability Insurance
An insured tourist may inadvertently destroy or inflict injuries on a third party, and get sued. And he/she may incur the cost of treating the third party or replacing the victims damaged property. Similarly, the insured may commit an offence in the UAE out of ignorance, but we know that ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law. In such an unfortunate situation the personal liability will cover the cost of settling any arising court case or punishment by the law. If necessary, the personal liability insurance will provide a competent lawyer to negotiate on the insured‘s behalf in such an unfortunate situation, provided this option is included by the insured prior to the insured event.
What to do if an insured event occurred?
First of all, contact the representative of the insurance company and provide detailed information regarding the insured event. Also, be sure to report any contraindications or allergies to certain kinds of medications. Duplicate (if possible) your appeal by sending an e-mail format of the complaint in addition.
At the time of the appeal, be ready to provide the costumer care with the following details:
- Name of insured person
- Number of the insurance policy and the name of the insurance company
- Current location
- Phone number that will be used in following up details about the insured’s situation
After this procedure the insured will receive instructions from the representative of the insurance company concerning the medical institution to visit. If the medical institution is far from the insured’s location. The insured must specify the mode of transportation required to deliver him/ her to the proposed medical institution. The insured must also make inquiries concerning who will incur the cost of such a fare.
Keep all documents and evidence concerning the payment of transport to the medical institution.
In the hospital, do not pay for any service, except it’s a copay. And don’t forget a passport or any other important documents at the front desk.
The insured must preserve all documents confirming the costs medications. If the name of the purchased drug does not coincide with the name of the medicine in the doctor’s prescription, the generic name of such medications must be obtained from the pharmacy.
If the Insured is directed by the customer care to a medical institution in which it is necessary to make cash payment, for subsequent compensation of expenses; the Insured must obtain the following documents:
- An invoice for payment confirmation.
- Doctor’s statement indicating the diagnosis in English.
Do not go to any medical institution, except the institutions recommended by the insurer’s customer care. Such actions may require the insured to bear the cost of the medical services without receiving compensation from insurance company in future.
Cost of Medical Services in the UAE
The cost of healthcare services in the UAE are quite expensive when compared to the cost of similar services in other developed parts of the world. For instance, the cost of coronary heart bypass surgery for several countries including the UAE are compared in the table below:
In the UAE, public health facilities are highly standardized. Both the public and private sectors are equipped with modern healthcare facilities, which enables the sector to deliver basic and special health care services efficiently.
In order to receive affordable medical services, tourists and other foreigners are presented with the option of applying for a health care card from the UAE’s Ministry of Health. This card provides emergency health care services at the public health institutions. The second option for tourist and other foreigners is acquiring a private health insurance. However, several tourist and foreigners prefer to use their travel insurance policies to obtain subsidized medical services.
Tourists are advised to apply for the public healthcare cards either online or at any reputable medical centre, regardless of the ownership of an insurance policy. The insurance may not cover the cost of certain treatments, like pre-existing conditions and other chronic diseases.
The following are required for acquiring the UAE health card:
- National Identification Number
- Passport Details
- Visa Details
- Payment of approximately $87.12 (adults) and 32.66 (children)
The table below reveals the cost of some medical services in the UAE:
Medicines are usually obtained from pharmacies, and unlike Europe, there are so many pharmacies that offer medicines both with or without medical prescriptions. In places like Dubai, these pharmacies are opened for 24 hours throughout the 7 days of the week. Pharmaceuticals are controlled by stringent rules. And the usage of certain kinds of medications are restricted, for instance; codeine, sleeping pills and etc. surprisingly, several medications that are prohibited in other parts of the world are not restricted in the UAE. Hence, a list of these medications should be investigated to determine if it’s lawful or punishable to bring them into the UAE.
Medicines are expensive in places like Dubai, and tourists are advised to keep receipts after purchasing medications from the pharmacy if they intend to make subsequent claims concerning these expenses.