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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Traveling is an integral part of our lives today. May it be going on an office tour for expanding your business overseas or making a trip to an exotic location with your family, meeting relatives after a long time who stay in a foreign country or attending a wedding back in your home land – we are always traveling for one reason or another. Read More…
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
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
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
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 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
Canada based insurance company, Sun Life Financial is looking at boosting its presence in Asia by expanding into Singapore and Thailand. The main reason behind this decision is that the demand for insurance products is growing exponentially within the Asian continent.
Sun Life Financial has made numerous takeovers the last 3 years in Asia and is considering acquisitions and building a unique and strong presence in the Singaporean and Thai markets as communicated to Reuters by the president of Sun Life Financial Asia, Mr. Kevin Strain.
Mr. Strain also added that though the insurer has not set a definite timeline for its proposed expansion, the hope will be to benefit from markets within Asia including India and China.
Sun Life Financial is currently operational in 7 Asian markets such India, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines. Presence in Singapore and Thailand will strengthen the insurer’s position in Southeast Asia.
11th November 2016
All motor vehicles in Singapore have to be insured for third party liability risks according to the Motor Vehicles (Third Party Risks and Compensation) Act. Motor vehicles under this act will also include privately hired cars. The liability under this act will include bodily injuries to and death of passengers.
Therefore, under this act, passengers travelling in privately hired cars can now seek compensation from owners of such cars or their insurers in case they are involved in a motor accident.
If owners are convicted of either using or permitting their employees to use vehicles on the island without such insurance in place, they will be liable to pay a fine not more than S$1000 or imprisoned for a period not exceeding 3 months or both.
10th November 2016
Europe’s biggest insurer, Allianz SE and France’s Axa SA were amongst the first few bidders for the rights to distribute general insurance policies through Standard Chartered Plc outlets in Asia. A unit of MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc also submitted an offer exclusive for the rights to distribute the insurance products. As of now, Standard Chartered is seeking for a deal of $400 million by the end of the year. This bancassurance deal will grant rights for 15 years according to certain sources. Banks in Asia have been negotiating similar partnerships as insurance products become popular.
22nd August 2016
MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) has recently suggested additional revisions to RBC 2 (risk-based capital framework). This framework look into the risks that insurers face. MAS has recently published its 3rd consultation paper, which has the revised suggestions and has taken the feedback of the industry into consideration. The revisions will help insurers in better management of their liabilities and assets and they will be able to offer insurance products for longer terms. These changes will also benefit the policyholders because the product pricing will improve. MAS plans to conduct a research to study the impact of the revised suggestions.
20th July 2016
A new insurance policy has been announced by NTUC, which covers cyclists and users of PMDs such as electric scooters, skates, skateboards, wheelchairs, and yes, even hoverboards.
The policy covers insurable parties against injuries, permanent disabilities, or accidental death that occurs or arises due to the use of a bicycle or other recognized PMD.
Other plans of the same nature exist already, but the uniqueness of this plan is that even third-party liability is covered in instances when the insured party meets with an accident.
The NTUC has stated that the plan will cost S$96 a year, and this will entitle the policyholder to an insurance coverage of up to S$200,000.
04th May 2016