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Zurich Middle East is part of Zurich Insurance Group, one of the largest insurers (with 140 years' experience).
Zurich International provides individual savings, investment and protection products, and have established branches in Bahrain, Hong Kong, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.
Zurich Middle East is regulated by UAE Insurance Authority, Central Bank of Bahrain and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority.
The Zurich International Vista is a savings plan that claims to provide access to an extensive range of investments giving you the potential to earn a return on your savings.
The Zurich International Vista allows you to check the value of your savings plan any time by logging in to Zurich International Online.
The key features of the Vista savings plan are as follows:
Your Zurich International Vista savings plan can be structured in two ways:
Zurich International Vista savings plan charging structure:
|Applicable rate||How and when this charge is taken|
|Expense recoupment charge||4% yearly taken from regular premiums paid during an ‘initial contribution period’. This is usually the first 18 months of regular premiums or any regular premium increase.||This charge is taken from your investments at the
start of each month up until the maturity date of the plan.
|Monthly plan charge||This is a fixed charge of USD8.25 and is taken each month.||This charge is taken from your investments at the start of each month throughout the term of your plan.|
|Yearly management charge||1% yearly of the value of your plan.||This charge is taken from your investments at the
start of each month throughout the term of your plan.
|Underlying fund charges||The fund charges are made by the fund managers and will vary for different types of funds.||You do not pay these directly as the charges will be deducted daily before calculating the daily price of each fund.|
|Zurich mirror fund charge||Where Zurich mirror funds are selected, an additional 0.75% yearly fund management charge is applicable.||You do not pay these charges directly as they will be deducted before calculating the price of each fund.|
Zurich International says that your savings are kick started with a welcome bonus during the first 12 months of your plan.
The amount of bonus depends on how much you are saving. They will also pay you a loyalty bonus every five years and at the end of your plan. The loyalty bonus is dependent on all expected regular savings amounts being received up to when the loyalty bonus payment is due.
Changing or cancelling the Vista savings plan:
A full early encashment results in penalties being applied through surrender charges linked to the term of the policy.
In effect this means that on polices with an original term of more than 15 years, most - if not all of the first 18 months to 2 years premiums will be lost upon surrender.
You can select from a range of around 170 funds from the biggest names in global fund management.
However they are MIRROR funds, which means additional expense.
The Zurich Vista Plan can be denominated in different currencies, such as: USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, SGD, JPY, CHF, AUD, and you can choose a term from 5 years to 25 years.
Zurich Vista is recommended by traditional direct salespeople (IFAs) as an ideal savings product for international professionals who want to save to reach a long-term financial goal.
It can also be white labelled (that is: it is a product that other financial institutions can sell with their own logo on, their own product literature relating to the product etc.)
Zurich Vista is often sold by banks as well.
If your policy is surrendered early you may get back substantially less than you actually invested, and in the first 18 months you will get nothing back.
As it is a unit linked regular savings plan, Zurich Vista is susceptible to market risks.
Effective management of the investment strategy and expert guidance of an investment adviser may add considerable mileage to the growth in fund values of the plan.
It is not intended as a short-term plan. You should not invest in such a plan if you may need the money for short-term financial goals.
You should not commit to saving a high monthly premium if you are unsure whether you will maintain that level of premium for the duration of the plan, as fees will depend on your initially agreed premium.
These all sound fairly obvious - but you'll be astounded at some of the premiums and terms people are persuaded to sign up for - and the negative impact it can have on their savings.
Savings start from USD300 per month. There’s no maximum; however, whatever amount you choose, it should be affordable throughout your selected savings term.
You could also add one-off investments at any time from USD6,000.
This is an outdated, expensive and inflexible plan.
Much better options exist.
If you already have a Zurich Vista savings plan from Zurich International, and it is worth £250,000 or more, we strongly recommend you seek a Second Opinion to ensure you are on track to get and keep the life you want.