The NRI market represents the most significant nationality segment in the UAE, with over 2 million NRI’s estimated to be living and/or working in the UAE. Such a significant force of earning and remittance potential now accounts for the largest remittance market from the Emirates, according to UAE Exchange. The NRI community is well known for its commitment to saving, in particular, discipline for saving for future life events such as childrens’ weddings and education needs.
The NRI community continues to be a hugely important market segment for Zurich and our handy tips have been developed for NRI advisers looking to help NRI customers achieve their financial goals. At Zurich, four in every ten of our customers are NRI, so understandably we are passionate about making sure NRI customers get the right advice.
How NRI advisers can make a difference
NRI advisers have the unique insight and experience of what it is to be an NRI living in the UAE, and in this way, they can be best placed to help customers translate this into developing a financial plan for NRI customers.
It is important that advisers focusing in the NRI segment tackle the benefits and the risks of either going it alone, or more common for the NRI customer, seeking the advice of friends and family. For this reason, it is important that NRI customers understand the alternative channels they have to seek more information, including what is available on websites and finance-focused social media platforms.
Insight into (Rupee) currency movements, currency inflationary risk and helping with de-risking options (through alternative currency investing), together with expertise in balancing in-country versus offshore investing is valuable in assisting NRI customers achieve their life goals.
Here’s are our guide to helping NRI customers be ready for life
- Revisit customer financial objectives
Undertaking a full fact find with any customer is paramount, with protection claims being prevalent amongst most NRI’s still in their 40’s, ensuring protection insurance is in place is critical for NRI customers to achieve financial peace of mind. At Zurich, we see the importance that NRI customers place on ensuring the right protection insurance is in place, with 8 out of 10 of our NRI customers investing in Zurich protection plans.
Helping customers break down their financial goals through understanding how much they can commit today, and how saving over the long term can deliver compound growth benefits can make regular saving much less daunting. Equally, the number of years NRI customers wish to enjoy in their retirement, estimating what amount is acceptable in the future and considering inflation risk on their future money is central to retirement planning, including the reality of saving nothing at all.
- Review the product benefits together with all risks
NRI customers are hugely knowledgeable about alternative investment options and returns. Understanding how products work, their benefits and fit to customer situations is important in providing unbiased guidance to customers.
Whilst customers should be encouraged to take professional tax advice for on-shore and in-country asset liabilities, having some basic knowledge to hand from a trusted source such as government tax websites can help in providing some initial guidance to NRI customers, this includes but is not limited to interest income, rental income, capital gains, giving or receiving gifts, eligibility to buy or sell property – residential, commercial, agricultural, etc.
In discussing protection needs with NRI customers, customers should be made aware of the prevalence of heart attacks in NRI men and cancer in NRI women, as highlighted in Zurich’s claims insights. NRI customers should therefore be encouraged to consider the wider risks of not having protection plans in place over and above understanding the detailed coverage terms of protection products. Use our protection calculator to determine how much life cover your customer might need or use our interactive Life Checker game to help educate your customers on the importance of protection.
- Discuss options upfront, because life happens
It is critical for NRI customers to consider contingency planning so that they can continue to meet saving and investing commitments and pay protection insurance premiums. Customers should be encouraged to consider both negative events such loss of employment, reduction in salary and death or disability, and equally, positive life events such as additional children, getting married or a financial bonus. Positive and negative scenario planning can ensure that they protect and make the most of their financial plans.
- Offer ongoing assistance to keep plans on track
The importance of ongoing advice is key to NRI customers. Not only does it provide the best way to engage and build loyalty, but also ensures that both investment and protection plans continue to meet the long-term needs of customers. Although medium to long-term saving and investment planning is generally better suited to saving and investment plans, reviewing market trends and the performance of financial indices can be a good way of helping customers benchmark their returns and keep their plans on track. Use our Online Portfolio Management tool as a seamless way to manage Zurich policy investments online
- Self-investment for NRI customer confidence
The UAE adviser market continues to make a huge investment in professional standards. NRI customers, like all customers, are demanding better financial advice standards from those who they engage with. Transparency on adviser qualifications and experience levels is likely to be heightened as regulation increases in the UAE. Professional qualifications help build adviser credibility and ultimately improved confidence and customer engagement.
For more information on how to help your NRI customers be ready for life, visit our website Zurich.ae
 World Bank, 2017