What Is Your Go-Back Fund As Of Today?
Build Wealth, Plan B, Saving For The Future

What Is Your Go-Back Fund As Of Today?

Like me, most people came to Dubai for a good lifestyle, and to make money. Dubai is a city of dreams, I love staying here and my lifestyle in Dubai.

I am sure most expats who stay here, would say the same. But the truth still remains, whether we were born here, or if we came here for a better lifestyle, we all have to leave one day.

Leaving the UAE by choice is a different story, but what if you had to leave for any other reason?

How much money would you go back with? 
What assets have you built as of today? 
I hope you won't be going back with nothing.

What is your go-back fund? Have you thought about it? I hope these questions compelled you to think about this important subject.

Have you started building wealth yet? If yes, are you happy with your progress? If no, what are you waiting for?

Please forward this article to some one who could start building wealth.

Feel free to leave your questions, comments or suggestions below.

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A price of a night out !!! that’s it…
Plan B

A price of a night out !!! that’s it…

A Price Of A Night Out

Critical illnesses such as cancer, heart attacks, etc… cause you to take time off work. The number of months you are'nt working is exactly equal to the number of salaries you will lose.

If you are permanently disabled, your income stops forever, and you are a liability for your family.

If you are no more, there is no one to look after your family.?

Ironically, a price of a night out is all it takes to ‘Protect your income’ and your family, in case the unthinkable happens.

So ‘How much does it actually cost to protect your income?'

Example:

The examples below show how the premiums change if I was applying for the same cover at different ages. 

If I was 25 years old,

If I was 35 years old,

If I was 45 years old,

The Choice Is Yours

  1. If you choose to protect your income around the age of 25, it costs $99.72 per month - as much as a night out at the movies by yourself.
  2. If you choose to protect your income around the age of 35, it costs $196.87 per month - as much as a night out with your partner.
  3. If you choose to protect your income around the age of 45, it costs $417.22 per month - as much as a night out with a group of friends.

The cost of protecting your income is quite cheap if you decide to do it early enough in life, and it can increase significantly, if left till later years.

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What People Are Saying

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I have been Amit's client since 2012. He has helped my save for my daughter's college education and also protect my income. He meets me regularly to review the status of my plans as well as my financial situation.

I would have struggled to achieve that goal was it not for his planning and professional approach. If you are a caring parent who wants to secure your child's future, you should contact Amit asap.

Milind Dande - Project Manager
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I've got in touch with Amit several years back and have taken a number of insurances / policies through him.

Amit has in-depth knowledge of the market and knew exactly what I wanted and was looking for. I would recommend him without hesitation to anyone who's looking for valuable financial advice, whether it is about a savings plan, income protection or retirement planning.

Anke Docherty - Head of HR & Administration
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What a refreshing difference to past experiences with other financial consultants, he did not try to squeeze me into a “one size fits all package” but provided a “Tailor Made Solution” based on my specific requirements together with some optional, good advice.

The choice of Amit as my Personal Wealth Adviser was a good one and I can recommend him with confidence to anyone who is concerned about preserving and growing their wealth.

Glen Gifford - Business Development & Investments Director
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Zurich Futura Review
Plan B, Product Reviews, Whole-Life Insurance Product Reviews

Zurich Futura Review

What is a Zurich Futura Policy?

Zurich Futura is a ‘Whole of life’ insurance policy, that covers you till the age of 95, and has some cash value when and if you decide to cancel it.

Buying a Zurich Futura is similar to Buying a Property On Mortgage

Imagine, you bought a property on mortgage: 

  1. You would typically pay the mortgage on a monthly basis, till the loan finished in about 10, 15, or 20 years as per you choice.
  2. Then you would own the property for life.
  3. If you sold it after 15-20 years, you would get some money back depending on the value of the property.

Zurich Futura works pretty much the same way: 

  1. You pay the life insurance premiums over 10, 15, or 20 years on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis, as per your choice.
  2. You would be covered for life (till age 95).
  3. Should you decide to cancel the policy at any age, you would get some money back depending on the market value of the investment component. 

Is Zurich Futura the cheapest form of income protection?

Not really, Zurich Futura is not the cheapest form of income protection.

In fact a term policy with similar cover costs about one-third of the price of a whole-of-life insurance policy like the Zurich Futura.

However a Zurich Futura has some advantages over term life cover?

Increase or decrease premiums – You can alter the benefits and premiums up or down, based on changing income and financial conditions.

Contribution holidays – Unlike term policies you can take cumulative contribution holidays of up to 2 years after the nil allocation period of 2 years has passed. Obviously you have to write to Zurich requesting a contribution holiday.

Be covered after 79 – Most term life policies cover you till the age of 79. If you feel that you need cover after 79, the Zurich Futura is the only option.

Pay premiums over a limited term – As an expat you may not stay here in the UAE forever. Zurich Futura allows you to pay over a limited term that you select, e.g. between 7 and 50 years depending on your requirement, and if you move abroad after the payment term is completed, you don’t have to continue paying.

Cease payments after some years – Say for example you decided to choose a 15-year payment term to be covered till 95 for your chosen benefits and then you find out that you have to leave the UAE after say 10 years.You can at that point ask Zurich how long your benefits will last at a given growth rate if you stop contributing. If they say that benefits may last till a certain age and you are okay with it, you can stop paying further premiums.

Pay your premiums as a lump sum – Zurich Futura is the only product in the market that allows you to pay all your premiums as a lump sum, with a significant discount on the total whole of life premiums (if you paid them on a regular basis) and be covered till 95.

What are the disadvantages of Zurich Futura over term-life cover?

Expensive premiums – Premiums for the same cover compared to term life cover are about 3x more.

Save more money – You can save more money by investing the difference between the Futura and term life premiums and grow your wealth faster.

Download my Guide on Income Protection

Click on the image below to download ‘The Ultimate Income Protection Guide'

The Ultimate Income Protection Guide

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

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3 Risks Business Owners & their Families are exposed to in the UAE
Plan B

3 Risks Business Owners & their Families are exposed to in the UAE

Entrepreneurs, start businesses for one or all of the following reasons.

  1. They want to be their own boss, and promote this fantastic product or service that they have thought of.
  2. They want to give the best lifestyle to their family.
  3. They want their business to be a source of income for their retirement years.

There is not much more is there? But setting up a business and making it successful is easier said than done. In today's world, setting up a business requires a lot of capital. Sometimes additional capital is required to take on high-value projects and/or expand the company to hire more people, or to buy equipment, or even to get a better office etc... Mostly entrepreneurs end up funding this themselves from their earnings and lifetime savings.

Doing so exposes them and their family to different types of risks. In fact the risks are compounded for business owners in the U.A.E, due to the lack of knowledge about the inheritance laws here.

1. Legal Risks

  1. Firstly, in the absence of a registered will, all the personal and business assets of an expat are subject to distribution as per the law of the land (Shari'ah Law) regardless of nationality and religion.
  2. If the guardianship of the children of the deceased is not specified in the will, it is not automatically granted to the mother. The father-in-law gets automatic guardianship of the children. If the government is not able to contact the father's side of the family, the children could end up in government care, not with the mother.
  3. Shari'ah law places a high importance on the settlement of any liabilities of a person. This includes personal and business liabilities.
  4. So when an expat passes away, his dependent's visas are cancelled and they have 30 days to leave the country.
  5. Then his personal and business bank accounts may be frozen (within one hour in come cases) till such time as all the liabilities are cleared.
  6. Once liabilities are cleared, if a will has been registered, it will be duly executed as per the wishes of the deceased.
  7. In the absence of a registered will, the estate of the deceased is distributed according as per Shari'ah law.
  8. Just one example of distribution as per Shari'ah law is shown here - If the deceased is survived by a mother, father, wife and three children (one son and two daughters)
    1. The wife shall receive 1/8th 
    2. The mother and father shall get 1/6th each
    3. After these three parties have received their respective share, the remaining wealth will be distributed among the son and daughters, with son getting the share of two daughters (i.e. a male child gets double of a female child).

This has huge implications for a business owner because his/her family may be left with no access to their bank accounts, credit and ATM cards when the father dies, sometimes for as long as 18 months till the courts decide on how to distribute the assets.

2. Wealth Risks

Entrepreneurs invest everything in their business because they are convinced that their business is the best investment in terms of returns. Moreover some business owners don't even take home a salary and reinvest most of the business profits back in the business. I know people who have sold their homes to fund their business. Since all of the entrepreneur's wealth is invested in the business, it becomes the sole source of income and a single point of failure.

If the business fails, or if the entrepreneur dies without proper income protection, his/her family could be left without any source of income. The bigger problem is when the owner falls sick. Mostly, the entire business depends on him/her and the income could stop when work stops, while expenses and business costs may continue unabated.

3. Business Risks

The key questions to ask for a business owner in relation to business risks are below:

  1. If a business owner dies, how will the family get the money that was invested in the business?
  2. If a partner dies, what happens to the partner's invested capital?
  3. In the absence of the owner, how will the business get adequate working capital to continue operations?
  4. How will the suppliers be paid the amounts due to them?
  5. What happens to the outstanding debt in the market due from customers?
  6. How will the bank financing be paid back without losing pledged assets?
  7. If the star sales person, or the person responsible for the entire operations dies, what loss will be incurred by the company and how will it be protected?
  8. If employees leave when the owner dies, how will their gratuities be paid as per labour law?
  9. How are personal and business assets pledged to the bank as collateral protected against forfeiture if the owner dies?

Summary

All business owners and their families are exposed to various forms of risks. The key is to identify these risks and address them according to the gravity of the risk and its priority. What risks is your business and family exposed to? And how can you address them? To find out more, and to schedule a free initial assessment, click on the 'Ask Amit' button below.

Ask A Question

Have a question? Feel free to ask me. Click the button below and Ask your question.

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How To Choose The Best Critical Illness Cover In UAE
Plan B

How To Choose The Best Critical Illness Cover In UAE

Choosing the best critical illness cover in the UAE

Life insurance is the answer to the one of scariest question - 'What if I die tomorrow?' If your life is covered, you do not have to worry about any mis-happening (financially, of course!)

However, have you ever wondered what will happen if you don't die!

Let us rephrase - what will happen to you and your family if you are alive but not able to make any living due to some illness. On top of that, you have to bear heavy medical expenses on treatments.

Here comes the critical illness solutions.

Critical illness cover, also referred to as critical illness insurance, is an insurance policy where you'll get a 'lump sum' - a one-off payment - if you're diagnosed with one of the serious illnesses covered by your insurance policy. It's designed to pay off your mortgage, debts, or pay for alterations to your home such as wheelchair access, should you need it.

You critical illness insurance will pay out if you get one of the specific medical conditions or injuries listed on the policy.  The policy will also specify how serious the condition must be.

Most policies will also pay out, if you are permanently disabled because of injury or illness. It only pays out once and then the policy ends.

Points to consider before buying critical illness cover

  • List of all critical illness insurance overages included in your policy: Different companies offer risk coverage towards different critical illnesses.
  • Understand the procedure of filing claim: A claim process is important for any insurance policy. So is the case with critical illness insurance policy. Thus, do learn well in advance about the formalities and documents you would require to file a claim.
  • Benefits you would get at the time of renewal: Before buying any particular critical illness insurance, make it a point to find out about the renewal benefits you would get from your insurer for the year you haven't filed any claim.
  • Some other factors that one should look for before buying critical illness insurance is claim settlement history

How to choose sum assured?

Before deciding on sum assured, keep in mind factors like monthly expenditure,treatments costs and future financial liabilities in case of income loss.

Also, take into account existing covers such as Mediclaim or personal accident and disability insurance policy.

Stand-alone policy or rider?

You either can buy a critical illness plan as a standalone policy, or you can combine critical illness riders with your life insurance plans. The policy terms and conditions under both the options are more or less the same. The choice between a standalone policy and a rider depends on your requirement.

The decision to buy critical illness coverage also depends on individual risk tolerance, advisers say. Mitch Reiner, an investment adviser in Atlanta, said most people are probably best off self-insuring against critical illnesses. However, he wouldn't try to dissuade a client who would truly sleep better at night with that additional coverage.

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Have a question? Feel free to ask me. Click the button below and Ask your question.

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Type Of Insurances To Consider In The UAE
Plan B

Type Of Insurance To Consider In UAE

Insurance is one of the few things you buy with the hope that you'll never need to use it. If an emergency or accident occurs, however, insurance can help offset the costs associated with recovery. By understanding the basic types of insurance, you can better protect your home, your family, and your health.

Property and casualty insurance

Auto, homeowners, and renters insurance are the three main types of property and casualty insurance:

  • Auto insurance provides financial reimbursement for injuries and property damage if an accident happens. Auto insurance often includes a variety of deductible options, liability limits, and additional coverage choices.
  • Homeowners insurance usually includes protection for a broad range of potential catastrophes, including fires, tornadoes, burglaries and legal liability. Mortgage lenders require customers to have proof of homeowners insurance on properties with an outstanding loan. A variety of coverage options and deductibles, liability limits and additions are available. Homeowners insurance protects not only the dwelling, but also personal property, subject to policy exclusions. Extra protection may be needed for flooding or earthquake damage.
  • Renters insurance covers the cost to replace or repair personal property (such as household goods, furniture, clothing and electronics) if it is damaged or destroyed in a catastrophe like a fire or burglary.
  • With these types of insurance, it’s important to determine whether you want to insure the “replacement cost” or “actual cash value” of your possessions. Actual cost is the estimated value after depreciation. The premium on replacement cost insurance will be higher than the actual cost option.

Health insurance

Whether you’re going in for a routine check-up or having major surgery, a good health insurance plan can help reduce what you pay for medical care. When purchasing health insurance for yourself or your family, you may choose either a managed care plan or an indemnity plan.

Life insurance

Life insurance can help to replace lost income in the event of a death and can be important if you’re responsible for the financial well being of a child, spouse, or other loved ones. While there are several options, two common life insurance products are:

  • Term life insurance provides the largest amount of coverage for the lowest cost. Policies typically have terms between 1 to 40 years. If the policy holder dies during the term of the policy, the value of the policy goes to the beneficiaries.
  • Whole life insurance coverage builds cash value within the policy that can be accessed at a later date, and while premiums are generally higher they do not increase as you get older.

Once you have a basic understanding of the types of insurance available, you can sit with a certified financial planner and choose the best possible option.

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Have a question? Feel free to ask me. Click the button below and Ask your question.

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Plan B

The importance of Medical insurance

Individual-Health-InsuranceSome have it and some don’t. The fact is many people we meet, even 60-year olds tell us that Medical insurance (the most basic form of income protection) is not really important and that they can do without it. Others tell us that their company has them covered.

[quote]’I have medical insurance through my company and  it is sufficient’ is the most common statement I hear.[/quote]

For those who don’t have medical insurance at all, here are some facts. In this article by Gulf News – ‘Sharp rise: Health at a cost’, you can see that even the per-day ICU costs have gone up in government hospitals in Dubai (and these are 2010 numbers).

If you land in the ICU through an accident or any other reason, the per-day cost in a govt. hospital is Aed 3,100. While X-rays will cost Dh120, up from Dh50, charges for CT scans and mammograms have gone up to Dh500 from Dh100-Dh150 earlier. The cost of MRIs has doubled from Dh600 to Dh1,200, with most surgeries costing more, sources said, adding that there will be no change in consultation and room charges.

[quote]We know that emergency treatment is free in government hospitals in Dubai, but you will be asked to pay for ongoing treatment costs after the initial emergency treatment is done.[/quote]

According to the revised maternity packages at Al Wasl Hospital and Dubai Hospital, both operating under the DHA, the fee for a normal delivery reportedly costs Dh7,000 with a two-day hospital stay, while a caesarean section costs Dh10,000 with a four-day hospital stay. The charges for a normal delivery and stay in a private room now costs up to Dh9,000, while a caesarean section and stay in a private room costs Dh12,000.

For those who have medical insurance through their company, ask yourself this question –

[highlight]’Do you even know what is the annual claims limit on your policy?'[/highlight]

Secondly, the insurance cover provided by your employer is good as long as your problems are straightforward. Things can get tricky when your medical condition is more serious and life-threatening.

Most companies provide on average between Dh100,000 and Dh500,000 per member per year. As someone who enjoys this group cover, your average out-patient visits for a minor flu, sprains and fractures are all taken care of. However, it may not be enough to cover a major condition like cancer, which could require regular chemotherapy sessions and can be very expensive if treated in the UAE.

Imagine this: You and your family are part of the company’s group medical scheme. Three years into the programme, your company decides to change providers, as does happen, because the premiums that have been charged to them today have gone up by 25-30 per cent based on the claims ratio of the group, medical inflation and scheme members getting older.

While your old contract covered pre-existing illnesses (asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes) and maternity, the new contract does not. To make matters worse, the new insurance company underwrites you as a fresh case, and you now have to declare all your medical conditions again. And they may or may not cover you now. If your spouse is mid-term into pregnancy, the new contract may not cover her now or may have a waiting period. In the unfortunate situation that something goes wrong during the pregnancy or with the new born, the costs can be high enough to put you in debt for the rest of your life.

The safest option, albeit not always the most affordable one, is to buy your own private health insurance. This can be in addition to your company’s group policy. Remember you get what you pay for. Look for a policy that has a guaranteed renewability clause and that doesn’t stop cover after the age of 60 or 65.

Again, nothing like a worst-case scenario to provide you with more insight. Ajay is covered under his company’s group scheme. Now diagnosed with cancer, his treatment is covered fully up to Dh500,000 under his group plan. The nature of the treatment keeps him away from work for long periods. As a result, his employer has had to let him go, thus he is no longer part of the group medical plan. From here on, all the bills are his to pay. What’s worse, no other insurer will cover him for the cancer as this is a pre-existing condition.

Do you still think your insurance cover is good enough?

Ask Amit

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Plan B

6 Important Things To Remember Before You Take An Insurance Plan

Insurance is the most important element in risk cover to secure you and your family from unforeseen events. But, a denial from your insurer to settle the claim can be a big jolt. Thus, it is imperative to be careful while buying a plan and one must also re-examine the details of the policies already held.
Here are tips to ensure your claim is not rejected:life_insurance--621x414
  1. Don’t suppress vital information: Insurer fixes the premium based on the information provided by you which includes your age, occupation, liquor/tobacco intake, pre-existing diseases, family history, details of other policies that you hold etc. It is a mistake to conceal facts in order to lower the premium amount as it can backfire. Disclosure and reporting of facts are entirely the responsibility of the insured; therefore, ‘do not’ conceal any material facts while taking life insurance.
  2. Don’t avoid medical tests: Although most of the insurers demand a compulsory medical test to be done before approving the proposal, however there are few who waive-off this condition. It is always in the best interest of the insured to have his/ her medical test done to rule out the possibility of having pre-existing disease as a rejection reason.
  3. Fill-up the form yourself: Most people entrust their agents or advisors with the work of filling up the form without realizing that a single omission of a fact can jeopardize their insurance plans. This can be easily managed if you sit with your agent (or online) and fill up the form yourself as chances of missing out any fact are lessened and you would also be assured that you have complied with all rules. It is also advisable to keep a copy of the filled form with yourself.
  4. Don’t let the policy lapse: Claims can be settled only when the policy is active. So, it’s important to put a reminder for yourself of the premium payment due dates. Forgetting to pay the premium within the grace time can result in policy lapse and the claim made even after a single day of such lapse will be rejected by the insurer.
  5. Keep nomination updated: Information pertaining to the nominee is very essential as he/she will be the actual beneficiary when the claim is made. Therefore, make sure that this space is kept updated at all times. If the nominated person in an application dies before the policy holder then change the nominee in the policy immediately. Also, it is common for an unmarried man to name his parents as nominees. But, after marriage he should ideally make his wife as nominee, as there are chances that at the time of death of the insured, his parents may also be deceased.
  6. Verify policy document: Finally, once you receive the policy document, verify the details mentioned therein with that provided by you. Report any mismatch/error to the insurer immediately and ensure that it gets rectified. In the event of a claim, the claimant has to provide the mandatory documents for smooth settlement of claim. The whole process, if followed unfailingly, can curtail the claim rejection possibilities to a greater extent.

In my opinion, Financial planner has an important role in structuring and executing your  Insurance Plan. So its always better to deal with a Certified Financial Planner who has experience and credibility in the market.

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Four Reasons Why Estate Planning Is Important
Plan B

Four Reasons Why Estate Planning Is Important

Estate Planning is an important aspect of retirement planning. It is a way to protect and preserve one’s assets and legacy for the loved ones.

Estate planning tools range from complex aspects like creating a trust for tax planning purpose to simple ones like making a will. Outlined here are four important facts about making a will that can help us understand its need and features:

1. Why making a will is important? Making a will is the cornerstone of Estate Planning. Deferring the process of making a will can leave the family of the deceased in a difficult position. ‘If a person dies intestate’  simply put if a person dies without a will then his legal heirs have to apply for a ‘Succession Certificate’.  Such certificate obtained by court can prove their relation to the deceased and is required by most institutions for division of assets. For example, the bank will ask for such certificate to release the funds of person who died to his family members.  Conversely, in the case of death of a person who has a will, it has to be submitted in the court for ‘Probate’. Probate is court process by which a will is proved valid or invalid.

2. How to make one? As per law, a will can be made with or without the help of a legal counsel. For a will to be legally binding : will has to be made by a person who is above the age of majority;  the person signing will should be of sound mental health;  will is executed properly i.e it has to be signed by the person preparing his/her will and witnessed by two legally competent adults.  The maker of the will has to understand the contents of the will in terms of details of the assets he/she is leaving behind for beneficiaries. It is advisable to make a will while the person is in good health to avoid emotional stress.

3. Is it always simple?  Most wills are simple. They contain the details of the existing assets and how to distribute them to the beneficiaries. Nonetheless, there are people with special requirements who opt for a legal expert to address to certain special needs like a beneficiary with special needs, children from previous marriage or a desire to disinherit someone from his/her legacy.

4. Kinds of will A simple will can be written individually by a person. If two or more people are making a statement regarding distribution of their assets then it’s a joint will. A will that can be executed only after occurrence of an event can be a conditional will.  A will that is not written or documented is an oral will. A living will is written by person directing his/her doctor to discontinue any treatment which is being given only as artificial support of life.

A common man does not know the complexities of legal matters and may not be able to execute a valid will owing to lack of legal awareness. It is advisable to consult a competent estate planning attorney to help one draw up a valid will

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Plan B

How inheritance laws affect expats in the UAE

inheritance-uaeI came across an article the other day in the National about Wills and inheritance laws in the UAE. Since I speak to a lot of business owners about this issue, I decided to create this post supporting the article on the ‘The National newspaper’.

What is Inheritance Planning?

Inheritance Planning is a term used for planning for what you leave behind, after you leave, for your heavenly abode. When a person passes away without a “Will” / “Wasiyat”, or dies “intestate” as legally mentioned, the property of the deceased is distributed according to the law of the land on personal affairs.

In other words, if you do not have a “Will”, you do not have anything to base on as to how your estate is distributed. An “Estate” applies not just to your real estate, but anything of value like money, bank accounts, cars, furniture, books, bonds, investments, jewelry, family inheritances, etc.

[quote]Your “Last Will & Testament” is a document that details exactly what you would like to do with your estate in the event of your death.[/quote]

The document can cover all aspects of your life, from physical assets such as property, investments or cash to your last wishes.

5 factors that affect expats in the UAE

  1. When an expatriate dies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), banks are instructed by the courts to freeze all transactions on the accounts of the deceased, including joint accounts. Even assets shared between a husband and wife will be frozen until the inheritance is sorted out.
  2. Shari’ah law gives preference to settling the liabilities of the deceased prior to distribution of assets, so unfreezing the account & assets can only be carried out by the order of a Shari’ah Court if it has an attested “Will”. This process aims to safeguard any payments that need to be made after an expatriate dies, such as outstanding loans and debt payments.
  3. In the absence of a “Will”, UAE being a Muslim country, Shari’ah Law automatically applies to both Muslim and non Muslim estate holders when they pass away in the UAE. The estate will be divided as per the Shari’ah Table.
  4. If you are a young parent, a “Will” importantly covers the appointment of guardians or custodians for the purposes of having someone look after your minor children until they grow up.
  5. In the absence of a “Will”, the court may have to decide on the guardianship for your children which may not be of your choice or wish. They may be put under the custody of a public welfare system for a long period of time till a guardian can be finalised by court in due course of time.

But, despite the fact that UAE courts only accept transactions related to marriage, divorce and other issues only from Muslims of any nationality, they also accept “Wills” from expatriates of any religion or any nationality as people belonging to other religions also reside in UAE.

Business owners have it worse. SME owners and owners of large conglomerates have much more to lose since running a business requires a large base of assets to be built locally and internationally. The absence of proper inheritance planning can bring a family used to a millionaire’s lifestyle down to their knees in a matter of days.

As an expatriate, whether you are employed or a business owner, please take some time off to focus on your own inheritance planning and save your family from the financial grief that is sure to follow should something happen to you in the UAE.

What you can do

Step 1 – Meet a certified financial planner to take stock of all your assets and liabilities in the UAE and abroad.

Step 2 – Meet a Wills and inheritance planning specialist to have a will drawn up to cover the distribution of your assets as per your wishes.

Step 3 – Take steps to protect your family against any liabilities you may have through proper insurance.

Need some help? Click on the image below to ask a question or contact us.

Ask Amit

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Plan B

8 Things To Ask Before You Buy Insurance

David wants to buy life insurance, so he contacts an agent to discuss available policy options. The agent arrives, buts seems more interested in plugging a policy than in informing him about other policy options and aspects of life insurance.8580178_l

He says, “Trust me, This will take care of all your insurance needs.” So saying, he gathers his files and rushes off, probably to plug the same policy to another client.

The policy sounds like a good deal. But should David purchase it right away? The answer is no. Before deciding to buy the policy, David needs to ask the agent a few key questions, some of which are listed below.

Q1. Tell me about the insurance company.

Agents typically represent multiple insurance companies. So David must ensure that the plan he is selling is from a credible insurer. The agent must convince him about the insurer’s claim settlement ratio, number of years in business and overall financial stability.

Q2. What are my coverage needs?

The agent needs to carry out a thorough calculation of David’s insurance needs. Insurance calculators give buyers an idea of their coverage needs, but a qualified agent can gain a more comprehensive idea of the policy buyer’s financial circumstances, and thereby offer a more nuanced estimation.

Q3. What types of insurance policies can I buy?

In David’s case, the agent was eager to sell a single policy. He did not give him any options. This is wrong. The agent should bring to the table multiple policy alternatives, thereby enabling the customer to make an informed decision.

Q4. What is not covered?

Agents generally keep mum about exclusions in a policy, but David must ask about these coverage limitations. It is best to get these confusions cleared out at the buying stage in order to avoid future shocks.

Q5. Can I convert or renew my policy later?

Most policies allow renewals without the insured needing to prove his insurability once again. However, it is best to check with the agent. If David hopes to upgrade to a better policy in future, he should ask the agent about conversion rules and limitations.

Q6. What is the claim procedure?

The agent may promise to help the family with the eventual claim filing, but David must find out about the procedure and necessary paperwork anyway. 

Q7. Will my premium payments increase with age?

Insurance premiums tend to rise as the years pile on, but David must check with the agent about possible increases following renewal or switching to a new policy.

Q8. Will the death benefit adjust for inflation?

As he buys a policy at the age of 32, David can only guess that the death benefit will cover his family’s future expenses. But there is no way to guess inflation rates three decades on. Thus, David must ask the agent whether the policy adjusts for inflation.

The above reflect only some of the information that the policy buyer must gather from the agent. My advice is to take your time when buying life insurance—do your research, ask questions, and finally, make an informed decision.

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Plan B

Zurich Life Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance Claims Statistics (2016)

Delivering when it matters the most

In 2014 to 2016 Zurich International Life delivered when it mattered most and paid out a total of USD67 million in protection benefits to Zurich customers. Zurich pays all valid claims in a fast, hassle free and accurate way.

Middle East Insurance benefit claims

Below you can see the amount paid out for death and critical illness claims in the Middle East during 2014 to 2016:

  • Zurich paid out USD34 million in death claims – that’s 51% of the overall claims.
  • It also paid out USD33 million in critical illness claims – that’s 49% of the overall claims.
  • The largest single death claim was USD1.5 million.

A closer look

Based on 2014 to 2016 data - death and critical illness claims Zurich paid out in the Middle East.

Causes of Critical Illnesses

Why some claims were not paid

Ask Amit About Income Protection

Have a question? feel free to ask me. Click the button below and Ask your question.

What People Are Saying

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I have been Amit's client since 2012. He has helped my save for my daughter's college education and also protect my income. He meets me regularly to review the status of my plans as well as my financial situation.

I would have struggled to achieve that goal was it not for his planning and professional approach. If you are a caring parent who wants to secure your child's future, you should contact Amit asap.

Milind Dande Project Manager
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I've got in touch with Amit several years back and have taken a number of insurances / policies through him.

Amit has in-depth knowledge of the market and knew exactly what I wanted and was looking for. I would recommend him without hesitation to anyone who's looking for valuable financial advice, whether it is about a savings plan, income protection or retirement planning.

Anke Docherty Head of HR & Administration
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What a refreshing difference to past experiences with other financial consultants, he did not try to squeeze me into a “one size fits all package” but provided a “Tailor Made Solution” based on my specific requirements together with some optional, good advice.

The choice of Amit as my Personal Wealth Adviser was a good one and I can recommend him with confidence to anyone who is concerned about preserving and growing their wealth.

Glen Gifford Business Development & Investments Director
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Plan B

Critical Illness Insurance – The Mainstay of Income Protection

Critical Illness Insurance explained

Critical illness insurance cover shouldn’t seem like an unnecessary component of your insurance policy. If things go wrong in the future, this could save you a lot of money.

Critical Illness Insurance
Critical Illness Insurance

Over the years that I’ve been in the business, I’ve come across a lot of people who confuse a critical illness plan with a medical insurance policy. Yes, you are likely to be reminded now of that zealous insurance agent who tried shoving that critical illness insurance plan down your throat when you opted for a life insurance plan. Like most of us, you brushed aside his visions of doom; reasoning that you are too young to worry about stuff like this. I mean, who worries about critical illness at 28, right? Wrong.

My own father (who never smoked and drank socially) went through angioplasty at the age of 50 because of blocked arteries. By the time he was 55, the clogged arteries became worse and he had to undergo an open-heart surgery.

He was given another twenty years to live and bit his tongue while eating food one day. He neglected the wound and later it became malignant and he developed cancer.

By the time, the cancer was diagnosed, it had advanced to the throat and he had to have a part of his tongue and thyroids removed. Later it spread to the bone marrow and he died within a year.

The Financial Impact of not having Critical Illness Insurance

Staying with my father’s example, he never bought any life insurance, nor any critical illness insurance for that matter. He always thought it was a waste of money to buy insurance. Consequently he had to spend a lot of money to deal with his critical illnesses, i.e. the heart surgery and the cancer. The open heart surgery cost him a bomb and wiped out a chunk of his retirement savings.

After the open heart surgery he tried to recoup his lost savings by working harder but he could never work at the same efficiency as before the illness. This increased his stress levels and later he bit his tongue while eating. the cancer that followed cost AED 13,000 per chemotherapy session in a government hospital in the UAE. Since cancer treatment is cheaper in India, he had to leave his job and go to India for treatment. This wiped out whatever savings he had left.

Later me and my two brothers had to send him around Aed 10,000 every fortnight to sustain treatment costs there. Ultimately, he passed away leaving his dream home in India mortgaged to the bank. When he passed away we had to pay off the mortgage to avoid losing the house. This wiped out our savings too. Suddenly I found myself helping my brother financially to get him married as he was already engaged when my father passed away.

As you can see, not having critical illness insurance in my father’s case, really devastated our family finances.

How Critical Illness Insurance would have helped my father

If my father had bought critical illness insurance earlier when he was healthy, the insurance company would have paid out a lump sum when he underwent his open heart surgery. My father could have used the lump sum e.g. USD 300,000 to cover the treatment and surgery costs and maintained his current lifestyle for two to three years without a job. He could also have paid out the remainder of his mortgage to keep the house and save us from that liability.

How to get Critical Illness Insurance

Companies such as Zurich International Life, Friends Provident International, Royal London 360, Metlife Alico, etc… all have good critical illness insurance products. If you want to find out how you can protect your income against critical illnesses click on the image below to find out.

Ask Amit

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Plan B

Best Life Insurance Policy

Best Life Insurance Policy

How to choose the Best Life Insurance policy

Buying Life insurance is one of the most important and major decisions that a person makes in his/her life. For expats in Dubai, it has all the more significance since they are away from their home country, and have come here for a better standard of living or to earn more.

So choosing the best life insurance policy for your needs is the prime concern.

Best Life Insurance
Best Life Insurance

Factors to consider when choosing the best life insurance policy

Term Life insurance or Whole of Life Insurance

Term Life insurance policies make sense if you are planning to cover yourself for a specific need such as a mortgage with a fixed term or a personal loan or any other liability with a fixed term.

Whole of life insurance makes sense if you are young and just got married and your responsibilities have increased. Either way, make an informed decision by getting professional advice.

Local vs International Insurance providers

International providers are always better than local insurance providers simply because your life insurance policy becomes portable and travels with you, i.e. the cover and the benefits are paid out internationally in any country.

Source of advice

Get qualified advice. There are a lot of fly-by-night operators in the U.A.E. who will put their interests before yours. Speak only to independent financial advisors who are not tied to any particular insurance provider.

Ask for references, check qualifications and evaluate the advice give, based on your own common sense and logic. Ask for comparisons between products and the logic behind a particular recommendation from an advisor.

Product Flexibility and charges

Always evaluate the flexibility of the product on offer, don’t just go with the lowest price.

Terms and Conditions

This is the most important point. Read the fine print, ask questions and don’t sign up till you get satisfactory answers.

How to find the best life insurance policy

If you are looking for help in choosing the best life insurance policy for you and your family, this is where I can help. Please click on the image below so I can contact you and discuss the details.

Life Insurance Enquiry
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