A recent YouGov survey into life insurance trends in the UAE has found that although more people are taking responsibility for protecting their family’s future, there is still significant confusion between health and critical illness insurance. 40 per cent of the respondents claiming to have critical illness insurance in place said it was provided by their employer, an increase on the 38 per cent of respondents to last year’s survey who said the same.

'It is worrying that the number of respondents claiming to have critical illness insurance, and indicating that it is provided by their employer, has increased in the last year,’ says Chris Divito, who is the managing director of Middle East and Africa at Friends Provident International. ‘I am concerned they may be confusing their mandatory health insurance with critical illness insurance, which is not something typically provided by an employer as part of a benefits package. These are two completely different types of insurance and these people may not be as well protected as they might think.’

Health insurance is designed to cover medical expenses only, and will cover these expenses as they arise. Health insurance does not usually provide for long-term recuperation, therapy or home-care services should they be required. On the other hand, the proceeds of critical illness insurance can be used in any way the policyholder chooses, depending on their particular circumstances.

'For example, they can choose if and when they want to return to work, or perhaps the proceeds could be used to pay for long-term nursing care.'

Chris added: ‘People should consider critical illness insurance as a vital addition to their mandatory health insurance – especially if they have a family who would be impacted financially if they became seriously ill.’

It needs to be purchased separately, Chris adds. 'Critical illness insurance can be viewed as complementary to health insurance, in that it can pick up where health insurance cover stops. The sum insured is paid out on diagnosis of one or more of a defined list of medical conditions, and this money can be used in any way the policyholder chooses.

Don't expect your employer to provide or even advise on this. Instead, discuss it with your financial adviser who can recommend a suitable level of cover and discuss the options available, as this type of insurance is sold through advisors.

Medical term of the week: Hypohidrosis



Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself off. People with Hypohidrosis aren’t able to sweat normally because their sweat glands are no longer functioning properly. It can affect your entire body, a single area, or multiple areas. The inability to sweat can cause overheating which can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. Hypohidrosis might not be preventable but you can take steps to avoid serious illnesses related to overheating such as wearing loose clothing, staying inside in the hottest hours of the day and not overexerting yourself in the heat.

Medical gadget of the week: Fitbit Aria WiFi Smart Scale



Keep track of your weight with the Fitbit Aria Wifi Smart Scale that syncs wirelessly with your WiFi network to record your weight, BMI, lean mass and body fat percentage. It can keep individual results for up to eight users and best of all, you don’t need a Fitbit tracker to use this scale; it connects with other weight loss apps. It’s Dh649 at sssports.com.