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Singaporeans have a wide variety of insurance plans to choose from with a plethora of companies offering different insurance plans to cater to all their requirements. They need to first have a thorough knowledge of all the different insurance products available, compare and then choose the plan that suits them the best. Depending on their lifestyle or the phase of life they are in, customers can choose the kind of insurance plan that they would need.

Every insurance plan should be tailor made to suit policyholders’ needs and each plan will be different for different individuals. Salaried employees can take all-inclusive plans for their personal belongings, cars, homes and other emergencies. Senior citizens will benefit from health, life and retirement plans providing financial assistance during their retirement years. Business owners and industrialists should take comprehensive business insurance plans to protect their plants and industries against risks. So, depending on the specific requirement of the policyholder, companies offer custom made plans providing maximum advantage and coverage in Singapore.

As we sail through the journey called life, every day brings in something new or unexpected. It is always a good idea to be well prepared for unpredicted events and be protected against all possible risks that life might throw at you. Getting insured helps you financially combat unforeseen situations and also ensures peace of mind for individuals and their families.

Types of Insurance

Insurance companies in Singapore offer an eclectic array of insurance products and customers can pick and choose any plan that would provide assistance to them and their families. Insurance in Singapore is broadly categorized into three types - Life Insurance, Health Insurance and General Insurance.

Life Insurance

Life Insurance in Singapore provides protection to policyholders and their families against all emergencies and calamities related to personal accidents, bodily injuries, permanent disabilities and death. During these unforeseen circumstances, a life insurance policy pays out an assured sum of money to financially support the policyholder’s family or dependents. Life insurance policies are also available as retirement plans for senior citizens, savings and investment plans in Singapore. Retirement plans are very helpful for senior citizens, providing an annuity during their retirement years. Whole life plans, endowment plans and investment linked plans (ILPS) offer the combined benefit of savings along with the protection of an insurance plan. In these cases, the premiums might vary and might be slightly higher than a regular insurance plan for the extra level of savings or investment benefits they offer.

Mortgage term reducing insurance is also a form of life insurance product offering financial protection to families of policyholders. The insurance company pays the mortgage amount required for a property, in case of death of the policyholder or the main home loan borrower.

Health Insurance

A health insurance policy caters to all your health, wellness and medical treatment / nursing costs with additional coverage for loss of income during hospitalisation. A critical illness insurance plan pays a portion of the sum insured during diagnosis of critical illness or trauma. Medishield Integrated Shield Plans and other hospital / medical plans reimburse medical bills and pay a portion of the costs involved in surgeries and hospitalisation, if the policyholder is suffering from sickness or injuries due to an accident. In cases, where the policyholder’s family does not receive an income due to the policyholder’s hospitalisation, then the insurance company compensates for the loss of income using hospital cash insurance. Disability income insurance plans offer income replacements to families in cases where the policyholder is unable to work due to medical conditions. Most employers in Singapore provide health insurance benefits to their employees. Long term care insurance plans like ElderShield and ElderShield Supplements pay for severe disablements or if the individual is too weak to look after themselves.

General Insurance

Home Insurance, Motor insurance, Fire Insurance, Travel Insurance and Pet insurance fall under the category of General Insurance products. These insurance types are offered by most companies in Singapore with a variety of schemes under each type. A general insurance plan gives policyholders financial coverage against losses of personal belongings, private cars or homes. The insurer covers the entire amount of loss incurred with the sum insured or up to an extent as decided in the agreement with the policyholder.

Home Insurance - Home owners can provide complete protection to their homes, flats and household contents along with other personal belongings and safeguard these against damages with a comprehensive home insurance policy. Home Insurance compensates for repairs of home appliances and for replacement of household contents as stipulated in the insurance agreement. A home insurance policy can be taken by both home owners and tenants in Singapore.

Motor insurance - Motor insurance comprises of two type of insurance products- car insurance and two wheeler insurance. In Singapore, car insurance is available for private cars as well as high-end luxury cars. An all-inclusive car insurance policy covers all types of losses or damages to cars including theft and break-ins. Most insurers offer the services of authorized garages for car repairs to policyholders and also include the feature of cashless settlements at these garages. Two wheeler insurance offers complete protection against damages to two-wheelers and covers any legal liability that policyholders might face.

Fire Insurance - Fire insurance is mandatory for home owners for protection against damages caused to homes due to fire accidents. A fire insurance policy pays for repairs or replacements required due to losses or damages to homes caused by fire accidents, floods or burglary.

Travel Insurance - A travel insurance policy compensates for loss of baggage/personal effects, trip delays, medical expenses incurred during travel, baggage delays, theft of money and travel documents, cancellations, missed flights and overbookings, hijacking, personal liabilities and loss of use of hotel facilities. Travel insurance can be taken as single trip, multi-trip or as annual policies. A single trip insurance policy covers a single trip as the name suggests, while multi-trip policy can be taken by frequent travellers for unlimited number of trips in a single policy year. Annual policies can be taken for trips starting and ending at Singapore only.

Pet Insurance - Insure your pedigree pets with a pet insurance plan compensating the cost of vet’s bills, pets’ hospitalisation fees and kennel fees. Some insurance policies also compensate the death of pets and the cost required to advertise if owners have lost their pets.

Business Insurance

Business owners generally face multiple challenges while running their businesses or industries and might not have the financial capacity to cover or mitigate these risks. Any hindrance to the regular functioning of a business will lead to losses for owners, thereby affecting their overall business performance. A comprehensive business insurance policy helps industrialists protect their plants and businesses from losses or damages occurring from any calamity or minor disruptions. Business insurance lends financial support to combat all types of business risks, ensuring continuity of production. Generally companies in Singapore offer Business Insurance solutions comprising of the following elements - Commercial property insurance, General Accident and Liability insurance, Construction and Engineering insurance, Group health, accident and travel insurance, Marine insurance, Professional Liability insurance, Product/Package Protection, Trade Credit protection and Work Injury Compensation.

The primary cost involved in any insurance policy is the premium amount that policyholders pay in return for the coverage they get. There are some additional costs included as well.

Mortality Charges – These charges translate to the amount a policyholder will being for every $1,000 worth of coverage.

Morbidity Charges – Very similar to Mortality charges, but it comes into effect only for critical illnesses.

Additional Charges – These charges include administrative charges, policy fees and other charges adding up to insurers’ operational costs.

Commission Charges – Payment or commission to insurance agents for providing their services to customers.

Customers in Singapore can submit claims for any type of insurance using the particular company’s website, which generally provides detailed instructions to initiate and submit a claim. Along with the claim form, NRICs of claimants and other supporting documents, which need to be indicated on a claim form have to be submitted to the insurer, depending on the type of claim made.

After the required documents have been received by the insurer, the claim is processed and the settlement is made as stipulated in the insurance agreement. Some insurance claims might require inspectors to scrutinize the damages or losses incurred by the insured and then settle on a claim amount befitting the damages sustained.

Insurance companies in Singapore generally grant a 14-day cooling-off period for health, accident and life insurance policyholders to review the insurance product that they have purchased. Customers can read through their policy documents and analyse if the insurance policy that they have taken actually meets their financial needs. If customers realise that the purchased policy is falling short of their requirements, then they have the option of sending a written notice to the insurer to cancel the policy within a period of 14 days. The insurer will refund all the premiums paid deducting the expenses that have already incurred. In some scenarios, insurers might also deduct medical expenses will doing the refund, if it is an investment based policy.

Every individual needs to safeguard himself, his family and personal belongings against all possible risks and calamities. In today’s world, protection is available for every type of risk, regardless of the cause. An insurance policy provides financial assistance during emergencies and calamities to policyholders and their families. Individuals need to understand and assess their requirements with regards to buying an insurance plan. They should buy a policy which covers eventual risks associated with their lives. It is not necessary that they take insurance protection for everything that they own, but mainly for those personal entities that face higher risks and require policyholders to shell out huge amounts of money from their savings to cover up for the losses. Any insurance plan should be adequate enough to cover the requirements of policyholders and their dependents, be it for unexpected medical expenses, personal commitments or for long-term savings.

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News About Insurance

  • ElderShield Should be Made Compulsory: Review Committee

    The ElderShield review committee has made several recommendations to improve the long-term critical care programme, including making the scheme compulsory and lowering the age criteria.

    31st January 2018

  • New player in the Singapore insurance market – Delta

    Delta Insurance has started operations in Singapore and is offering insurance with under the Lloyd’s Coverholder model. Unlike the regular underwriting method where a company uses their own capital for underwriting, Delta Insurance Singapore uses capital from the insurer marketplace Lloyd’s. Delta’s focus is cyber technology and professional risk insurance. It has its own proprietary underwriting platform which helps them reduce the total time from application to policy issuance. Delta plans to start operations in collaboration with insurance brokers and agents and later expand to other distribution networks. According to Eugene Cheong, managing director of Delta Insurance Singapore, cyber insurance business in Singapore and Asia Pacific will see a growth of over 10 times in the next 7 to 8 years, rising from S$69 million as of now to S$691 million by 2025.

    18th July 2017

  • Insurance Premiums in Singapore likely to go up

    With the cost of living going up, it comes as no surprise that the cost of protection is also likely to increase. Countries faced with an ageing population are faced with increases in cost of insurance. According to a whitepaper written by Mercer, Asia Pacific’s ageing workforce faces increase in non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

    The increase in incidence of such NCDs coupled with the medical inflation that is witnessed today can drive up the prices of insurance premiums by as much as 85% for Singapore and 107% for Malaysia by 2030.

    This poses a problem to employers. Not only will they spend more on insurance premiums for their workforce but will also see loss in productivity due to incidence of such NCDs among their workforce. They need to understand how the health of their workforce is changing, where their expenses are coming from and once they identify the trend they can predict future costs. By being proactive in their management of insurance providers and putting in preventive measures, they can keep their costs down.

    30th June 2017

  • 4 profit: GE marks a fall of 11%

    As the fourth quarter wrapped up on December 31, 2016, Great Eastern Holdings (GE) declared a fall of 11% in its net profit. From previous year's S$218.8 million, the numbers have rolled down to S$195.2 million this year.

    Since the firm's insurance business' operating profit declined by 33% or one-third for the quarter, it also marked a decline of 13% for the entire year. The firm cited that the decline was a result of medical claims in its operations in Singapore and added strain from an increased sales growth. GE is a part of OCBC Bank.

    The net profit for the entire year witnessed a decrease of 25% owing to shutting down of the group's Vietnam section, reduced non-operating profit and reduced profit from shareholders' investments.

    CEO of the GE group, Khor Hock Seng said the firm will carry on its agenda of making its business model even stronger, improving operational capabilities and carefully managing expenses. He also added that GE will keep striving to try out new innovations to improve their level of service to their customers. The fundamentals of the group's beliefs in trade will continue to be strong, he said.

    20th February 2017

  • Life insurance sector in Singapore registers growth in last quarter

    Even a difficult macroeconomic environment could not stop Singapore's insurance sector to grow in every aspect in last year's fourth quarter. The growth was measured at S$955.3 million and it was a result of the increase in the sales of products that were premium. The new sales of these products that also included life insurance policies rose by 20% from year to year amounting to S$661.1 million.

    Single premium products' sales went up by 4% which amounted to S$294.2 Million. This sale was pushed by greater performance of non-linked and linked plans.

    While the sales of non-linked plans went up by 3% which is around S$226.9 Million, the sales of linked ones increased by 10% amounting to S$67.3 Million. Total amount of business sales for the entire year went up to 10% which amounts to S$3.29 Billion.

    According to a data released by the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA), as many as 50,000 residents of Singapore have got health insurance coverage either through IP riders or Ips.

    14th February 2017

  • How to sell an insurance policy in Singapore

    Nowadays, many people in Singapore are selling their insurance policies. There are firms like REPS Holdings and Purvis Capital that allow for resale of insurance policies. When you go to them, these firms will provide an assessment regarding the value of your policy. You will generally receive up to 10% of the Surrender Value (SV) that your insurer would have given you.

    If you want to sell your insurance policy, it should be an endowment policy provided by an authorised insurance company. The premium payment should have been made in cash and not through your CPF. The policy that you want to sell should be suitable for the purchaser. This form of selling policies is legal. However, it is not authorised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). You need to note that you will be handing over the policy to the person who is purchasing it. Therefore, you cannot expect for a payout after some years. After you receive the money for the sale, the endowment policy will not belong to you anymore.

    03rd February 2017

  • Consumers prefer to buy insurance products from a single provider

    Collinson Group conducted a study on consumer’s preference with regards to insurance purchases in Singapore. According to the study, more than half the consumers preferred to buy insurance products from the same insurance company for the sake of convenience and loyalty points. The rest preferred to buy different insurance products from multiple providers. Currently, there are 3 insurance providers in Singapore.

    Chris Rogers, the Director of Market Development at Collinson Group said that the banks will benefit if they offered insurance products through loyalty schemes and value-added credit cards or packaged accounts. Using the consumer’s existing data on spending, banks can offer relevant, timely, and personalised insurance products to the customers. Banks can offer insurance at a low price when it comes as a part of the customer’s credit card or bank account. This initiative will not only cater to the consumer’s needs but also ensure the customer’s loyalty to the bank.

    17th January 2017

  • ANZ insurance draws interest from two business giants

    ANZ is leaving its wealth and insurance business due to low returns on equity. The banking group intends to sell it at S$4.71 billion. This has attracted Meiji Yasuda, a Japanese company, and AIA Group, a company from Hong Kong.

    According to sources, the low-risk nature of the business is the characteristic that appealed to the Japanese company. If AIA takes over the ANZ insurance business, its current operations in Australia will experience a substantial growth.

    The chief executive of ANZ said the bank was expecting at least S$4.71 billion.

    ANZ has been operating in Singapore since 1974. They cover a complete assortment of banking services including private, retail, corporate, and institutional banking provisions.

    07th December 2016


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