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Travel insurance

Residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have their eye on safe travel this summer, according to a Middle East-based comparison website.

The website, compareit4me.com, noted a 62-per-cent increase in the number of visits to its online travel insurance comparison portal between May and June this year, and an even more impressive 200-per-cent increase in policies being sold. Analysts at the site believe the increases have been driven by the fact that UAE residents take the end of religious holiday Eid Al Fitr, which ended on 26 June, as the beginning of their summer holidays.

“We’d naturally expect an uptick in travel insurance policy sales ahead of the summer holidays,” commented the site’s chief financial officer Jonathan Rawling, “but what has really caught our eye is that there seems to be a better understanding among UAE residents that taking out travel insurance is an important part of travelling. Our evidence for this is that travel insurance policy sales for June are actually up 550 per cent year-on-year. This means that many more people are taking out travel insurance ahead of their summer holidays than they were last year.”

The site also revealed that of the many users that utilise its service, only a handful utilise its Arabic pages, with the vast majority searching in English. “It’s certainly true that, in general, Western and Asian expats tend to be more considerate of the fact that travel insurance is a worthy purchase, so that might play into these numbers,” said Rawling. “And with Eid Al Fitr and the summer months being a popular holiday window for GCC nationals, we would argue that perhaps more education on why travel insurance is important is needed for this group.”

This assertion is backed up by research undertaken by compareit4me, which found that 80 per cent of UAE travellers have experienced some sort of unexpected incident while travelling.