Heart attack and stroke for men and cancer for women top reasons for insurance claims

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Heart attack and stroke for men and cancer for women top reasons for insurance claims

Zurich International Life’s latest claim statistics reveals that heart attack and stroke were the most common reasons for life and critical illness cover claims by men in the Middle East, while cancer was the leading cause for life and critical illness cover claims by women. Their claims data shows that the majority of claims made by men are from those aged 40 and above, whereas for women, the majority of claims were paid to women in their 30s. The findings were presented as part of the Middle East Claims Statistics and Insights – Jan 2014 to Dec 2016, which Zurich has published annually since 2011. Zurich continues to be the only life insurance provider in the Middle East to issue yearly claims statistics specific to the region.

Substantial variation between insurance claims patterns for condition, gender and age.

The total value of claims Zurich paid out from Jan 2014 to Dec 2016 in the Middle East was just under AED 250 million (USD 67 million), with the largest life cover payout being AED 5.5 million (USD 1.5 million). The Zurich data shows significant variation in the causes of premature death and critical illness by condition. For life insurance, almost half (48%) of male claims were due to heart attack and stroke with a quarter (26%) from cancer, while for women, half of the claims (50%) were for cancer and 19% were for cardio vascular disease. When it comes to critical illness, over two-thirds (68%) of claims for men were paid out due to cardio vascular disease while four out of five (81%) claims paid out to women were for breast and cervical cancer. In general, statistics show that the majority of the claimants (73%) were men, which is reflective of the portfolio gender split of Zurich, revealing that women remain underinsured in the region.

Higher expectations of health and longevity

Findings from a recent report by Zurich reveal that 97% of UAE residents considered themselves to be healthy, with 88% believing they would remain healthy for the next five years. However, Zurich’s claims records demonstrate that the youngest claimants for life cover is 27, while for critical illness, it is 29 years.

Helping customers with the claims process

Committed to paying out all valid claims quickly and easily to deliver strong customer service, last year, Zurich paid out 94% of life cover claims and 91% of critical illness. The top reason why some insurance claims are not paid out is due to serious non-disclosure of a previous or existing condition such as heart attack, cancer, diabetes, etc. A small percentage was due to fraud or a
condition being diagnosed within the three-month waiting period on Critical Illness cover, preventing the company from attaining its ideal goal of 100% of claim payouts.
Commenting on the lack of awareness of residents in the region to matters related to insuring both their life and their future, Chris Bagnall, Chief Underwriting Officer and Head of Claims, from Zurich Middle East said: “Insights from our claims data highlight the different risks people face and how they differ between men and women.  As you cannot predict the future, it is important to protect it and seek advice from a financial professional to ensure you have the right protection for yourself, your family and business. Zurich continues to work hard to increase the levels of disclosure. This period has seen an increase in the percentage of valid Critical Illness claims paid out. The percentage of rejected death claims increased this year as Zurich continues to be diligent in detecting attempted fraudulent claims.”
He added, “It remains of upmost importance to Zurich customers that these fraudulent claims are detected as this helps to keep premium levels low.”

Do Not Underestimate the Signs of Chest Pain, warns Top UAE Cardiologist 

Failure to seek not only immediate medical attention, but also the right type of attention, when experiencing chest pain is one of the primary reasons that patients often do not receive potentially life-saving treatment, says Dr. Ahmad Edris, Staff Physician, Cardiovascular Medicine and Interventional Cardiology in the Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
And with cardiovascular disease firmly holding its place as the leading cause of death in the UAE, accounting for about one-third of mortalities and striking five to ten years earlier than in the West, this is a worrying trend. Based on recent Emergency Room data from across the UAE, approximately 1 in 5 patients who go to hospital with symptoms of chest pain are found to have an underlying heart condition, such as unstable angina or acute coronary syndrome (heart attack).
“What will often happen is people with chest pain will dangerously discount their symptoms as something trivial, or go to their usual healthcare provider, when in fact that facility may not have the specialists nor the faculty required to give them the rapid care they need,” Dr. Edris said. “However, when it comes to matters of the heart, time is of the essence. If the cause of chest pain is indeed an underlying heart condition, the more time is wasted, the more the heart muscle is compromised.”
Patients with chest pain are strongly advised to seek immediate medical attention, as it can often be difficult to determine the exact cause of the ailment. Symptoms to be aware of include chest pressure, fullness or tightness, crushing pain radiating to the neck or upper extremities, pain that lasts for more than few minutes or gets worse with activity, as well as shortness of breath associated with nausea or vomiting.
The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi has officially designated Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi as a Chest Pain Center; therefore, the hospital will treat any patient visiting the Emergency Department with chest pain symptoms. The program gives residents access to specialist acute care, including consultant-level cardiologists available around-the-clock – a service that is unique worldwide, advanced technology, such as the latest-generation coronary stents and sophisticated imaging and assessment tools, as well as therapies unique to the region, such as robotic hybrid cardiac surgery.
In 2016, more patients from across the region visited Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi for chest pain, heart attack, and heart failure. Nearly 2,000 Gulf patients had been seen for chest pain symptoms or related heart conditions by the end of the year. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has the ability to care for significantly more patients and would like to extend its care to the entire region.
“Patients who arrive at the Emergency Department will first be tested for heart attack, which although is not always the cause for chest pain, could potentially present an immediate threat to an individual’s life. They may also check for dangerous lung conditions, such as a collapsed lung or lung clot,” said Dr. Rakesh Suri, Chief of Staff and Chief of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. “Those who require treatment will be given the necessary care, as the Chest Pain Center is open to all and our priority is saving the patient’s life – so whether it is a coronary bypass surgery or cardiac catheterization, we will operate immediately.”
Patients will also benefit from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s unique group practice model, which brings heart specialists across disciplines, such as cardiovascular medicine and cardio and thoracic surgery, under one roof to discuss complex patient cases and decide on the best course of treatment.

 

About Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala’s network of world-class healthcare providers, is a multispecialty hospital on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is a unique and unparalleled extension of US-based Cleveland Clinic’s model of care, specifically designed to address a range of complex and critical care requirements unique to the Abu Dhabi population. Cleveland Clinic Abu
Dhabi has five Centers of Excellence in the following Institutes: Heart & Vascular, Neurological, Digestive Disease, Eye and Respiratory & Critical Care. Other Institutes include Surgical Subspecialties, Medical
Subspecialties, Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Imaging and Quality & Patient Safety. In all, more than 30 medical and surgical specialties are represented at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.The facilities at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi combine state-of-the-art amenities and world-class service standards. The hospital is a 364 (expandable to 490) bed facility, with five clinical floors, three diagnostic and treatment levels, and 13 floors of critical and acute inpatient units. It is a physician-led medical facility served by North American/European Board Certified (or equivalent) physicians. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides patients in the region direct access to the world’s best healthcare providers and Cleveland Clinic’s unique model of care, reducing their need to travel abroad for treatment.

 

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