Global Consumer Insurance Survey 2012

United Arab Emirates: an evolving demand for insurance

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Insurance penetration across the UAE is underdeveloped, but as regulatory regimes improve, the demand will continue to evolve.

To separate received wisdom from current reality, survey questions were asked of customers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a federation of seven emirates—Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain.

Insurance penetration across the UAE is underdeveloped, but as regulatory regimes improve, governments embrace compulsory forms of insurance , and religious objections to the business of insurance relax, the demand dynamics will continue to evolve.

Select regional findings include:

Life and pensions

  • Most customers (80%) are confident that they purchased products that meet their needs.
  • A large majority of consumers (83%) expect to conduct their own research before buying, more than any other country cited in the survey.
  • More than half of consumers (59%) intend to use online comparison sites and social media to research product information.
  • A substantial majority of customers (89%) rate personal interaction as important when discussing product features, but only 24% regard an agent's advice as the key factor in product selection.

Non-life insurance

  • Only 34% of customers use online resources like providers' web sites to research products (compared to 56% in China), although 41% expect to use make more use of comparison sites in the future.
  • More than half of customers (58%) say that price is the most important factor in buying insurance, followed by brand (53%).
  • A majority (64%) of customers with a good claims experience say they are unlikely to switch providers. However, this dropped to 39% for those with a bad claims experience.
  • Nearly half of consumers (49%) would buy multiple products from their existing insurer, citing convenience and service as the main drivers.

We hope this research proves useful in shaping your customer strategies and moving your business forward.

See the full survey reports