When you’re making a long-term move to a country like the UAE, financial affairs are always a factor. You want to be able to make a suitable living and, in general, for everything to runs smoothly on the financial side. The last thing you want is to be stuck at home fighting illness when you have a mortgage to pay and should be at work earning money, which is why you should consider purchasing mortgage insurance.
Mortgage insurance provides a great safety net if you suddenly become unable to work due to illness or an accident, or become unemployed. Should any of these strike you down, having paid a monthly premium you’ll receive a regular amount each month (for a limited period) to cover expenses such as mortgages and bills. Facing the pressure of paying a mortgage in good health is hard enough, but having to cope with it when you’re ill won’t exactly make you feel better.
The law of the land
UAE labor laws regarding sick pay mean that employers aren’t complete ogres if you fall ill. Pursuant to UAE law, provided you’ve passed the probation period you can claim full pay for the first 15 days of your illness, then half for the next 30 days. The chances are this won’t cover your monthly expenses, which is when the mortgage insurance comes into its own.
The one thing to be aware of, however, is that employers don’t dish out the sick pay willy-nilly. If the illness is self-inflicted, such as an injury while playing pranks on your colleagues during the working day (it happens!), you’ll be on your own as regards sick pay. The employer won’t foot the bill for your antics, and the insurer isn’t likely to pay out any dirhams either.
Think before you call in sick, for another way you can end up doing yourself out of dirhams is to go online and diagnose yourself what’s wrong with you, rather than pay a visit to the doctor. It may not be fun having the doctor pressing and poking around, but at least they’ll diagnose correctly (and the insurer has less excuse to withhold payment claiming you’ve been irresponsible). There have been cases of people who have wrongly diagnosed their own ailments and convinced themselves they’re terminally ill when in fact they only have a minor ailment.
One of the consequences is that people head out and purchase the wrong medicines or administer them incorrectly. Doctors in the UAE have reported patients going OTT with steroids to tackle pain in the joints, leading to kidney damage. The other problem is that by choosing the wrong medication, they could also be preventing something more serious being uncovered.
Everyone gets ill from time to time. It’s unavoidable. However, you still have to be careful how you go about it if you want to be sure of income while you’re on the mend. Mortgage insurance takes a lot of the financial pressure off in an age in which people would rather sacrifice their health than their income. And when home is far from home, you want to at least be able to say that if all else fails then at least you have your health.