Dubai – MENA Herald: With six major residential tower fires in the past 12 months and the recent Sulafa Tower fire in Dubai Marina, financial planning firm Guardian Wealth Management are urging UAE residents to secure themselves and their belongings. Now more than ever it is integral for people to check their property and life insurance cover to remain protected in the event of a tragic accident.

“Home and contents insurance are essential for homeowners and tenants alike as it safeguards property and valuables. However, we estimate that almost 80% of expats are not protected and that is a frightening statistic” comments Hamzah Shalchi, Regional Manager at Guardian Wealth Management.

“Often in home countries this type of insurance is mandatory or automatic but in this region it is often not thought about and people aren’t always sure how to go about it. In reality it is a simple process and there are a number of providers who offer cover”, continues Shalchi.

The same can be said for life or critical illness insurance which is essential for families, not just in the event of a fire but any life-threatening scenario.

“If something were to happen to the main breadwinner of the family and there was no life insurance in place, the consequences could be drastic”.

“Outgoings such as school fees and the mortgage/rent will still need to be covered or if the family chooses to repatriate after the death, how are they going to pay for this once the main wage is gone? Therefore, it is essential that UAE residents look into the best policy for them and their family and seek expert financial advice”.

The process of obtaining life insurance is relatively straightforward with a simple questionnaire and medical assessment which determines the clients risk profile. At Guardian Wealth Management they favour offshore life insurance providers that adhere to UK or US laws with the benefits including enhanced asset protection, potential avoidance of foreign exchange controls and greater privacy.

“Local life assurance policies adhere to local laws and in the case of the UAE, Sharia Law. This means that in the event of a death proceeds will go to beneficiaries within the UAE and may be distributed in ways outside of the persons wishes. In offshore policies payments can be made into offshore accounts or in the home country and distributed as they see fit”, concludes Hamzah.

Although fires and life-threatening incidents are rare and the UAE benefits from some of the best civil defence and healthcare teams in the region, it is important to be safe rather than sorry and prepare for the worst case scenario.