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Top 5 Self-Employed Insurance Solutions to Secure in Dubai

Untethered and independent, it’s the self-employed workers and freelancers who are now calling the shots. Believed to be one of the core drivers of innovation in the region, the number of self-employed individuals in Dubai and the rest of the UAE is on the rise.

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If you’re thinking about, or have already taken the plunge into self-employment in Dubai, you’ll likely be aware of one of the major downsides of leaving the 9-to-5 behind; namely, losing your employer-provided health insurance, sick leave, and other employee benefits. While keeping overheads down is critical – especially if you’re operating on wafer-thin margins – self-employed insurance coverage is definitely something not to skimp on.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) stated in November 2020 that both UAE residents and non-residents could submit applications for freelance licenses. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), over 89% of people plan to increase their freelancing work in 2023. Meanwhile, Forbes stated there will be a spike in freelancers, and 78% of businesses will rely on freelancing rather than hiring new employees.

In this article by Pacific Prime Dubai, we will go through the four self-employed insurance solutions to secure in Dubai.

How to Be Your Own Boss in Dubai

Before we outline the main self-employed insurance options in Dubai, it would be prudent to first discuss what you need to do to be your own boss in the Emirate. Over the past few years, freelance permits have increased in accessibility and availability, thus making it much easier for expats to work for themselves in Dubai.

One of the key paths to becoming a licensed freelancer in Dubai is to obtain a freelance work permit and residency visa (if you’re not currently sponsored by your spouse/father) from a free zone. Examples of free zones that offer permits include:

  • Dubai Media City
  • Dubai Studio City
  • Dubai Production City
  • Dubai Design District

Please note that your license will need to be renewed annually. Another viable option is to set up your own business in a free zone that would legally allow you to conduct business in the UAE. To learn more about setting up a business in the emirate, click here.

Permit costs will differ depending on the freezone that you intend to work in. For example, in Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the minimum share capital to get started is AED 50,000 per company and AED 10,000 for each shareholder.

Self-Employed Insurance Options to Consider

Like any other part of the world, working and residing in Dubai requires a number of key insurance solutions to safeguard self-employed individuals against losses due to illness, injury, death, legal defence charges, and other problems.

Private Health Insurance

As you are probably aware, health insurance coverage is mandatory for all UAE nationals and foreigners residing in Dubai. While expats working in Dubai will typically have employer-provided health insurance, self-employed individuals will need to arrange their own private health insurance.

There are many private health insurance options on the market, including cheaper plans designed to meet the minimum coverage requirements, as well as more comprehensive options that incorporate a wider range of benefits (e.g. dental benefits, international health insurance coverage). Benefit options can be flexible, and can be tailored to meet your health and budget needs, and also match the work-related risks you might face as a self-employed individual.

Life Insurance

Contrary to popular belief, life insurance isn’t just something you think about when you reach old age; the earlier you secure life insurance, the more likely you’ll get a lower premium. If your reasons for becoming self-employed are partly to do with supporting your loved ones (e.g. spouse, children, and other dependents), then obtaining life insurance is a must. In Dubai, there are two main types of life insurance:

  • Term life: Simply put, term life policies last for a specified duration of time (e.g. 10, 15, or 20 years). Term life policies are designed to ensure that your loved ones are protected until such time as they are financially independent.
  • Whole life: There are no fixed time frames for whole life insurance, meaning the policy will last for the entirety of the policyholder’s lifetime.

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance is compulsory in many free zones. Essentially, it covers the insured from claims by third parties that come about as a result of negligence, injury, death, property damage/destruction, or financial/economic loss caused by the actions of your work operations. Coverage can be tailored to meet your needs – but, as with virtually every form of insurance, exclusions and stipulations will apply.

Property and Casualty Insurance

Property and casualty insurance, also known as P&C insurance for short, is divided into two parts: property and casualty. While the former is intended to protect your property and valuables from a variety of losses caused by natural disasters, theft, and other unexpected events, the second shields you from responsibility in the event of accidents, injuries, or damages to other people and their property. P&C insurance allows you to focus on growing your business without having to worry about events beyond your control.

Motor Insurance

Where your self-employment involves the use of a vehicle, securing motor insurance is compulsory. By law, all vehicles in the UAE must be insured to cover third parties (e.g. liabilities arising from accidental bodily injury/death, and third-party property damage). Third-party motor insurance is designed to cover this legal requirement, whereas comprehensive motor insurance additionally covers the policyholder’s own vehicle.

Get in Touch with Pacific Prime Dubai Today

Please note that the above list of insurance solutions is by no means exhaustive, as the right solutions for your needs will depend on the unique risks and nature of your work. With the help of Pacific Prime, a brokerage with over 20 years of knowledge and experience in helping countless people secure insurance for their time in the UAE.

Visit our insurance solutions page for international health insurance, family health insurance, maternity insurance, business insurance, and much more. Contact us for impartial advice and a free plan comparison today.

Natchapol Meelarbsuk is a Content Creator at Pacific Prime. With 3+ years of experience in content writing in different industries, he is a well-rounded person ready to tackle any piece. Writing is something that he enjoys and is confident in.

He’s a third culture kid who left Thailand when he was 5 before returning at 17. He attended an American school in New Delhi, India before moving to a private school in London, England. Pete has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Bangkok University International College. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, watching movies and watching football. He also writes movie reviews on his personal blog.
Natchapol Meelarbsuk