Wednesday, March 14, 2012

hsbc insurance - launch of early critical care

hsbc insurance has just launched what i term as a second generation critical illness product, early critical care which is one of the most comprehensive protection plans currently available.

benefits at a glance:

Covers 90 conditions
Enjoy comprehensive coverage against a wide range of illnesses.

Provides 100% payout even for early stage critical illness
Early Critical Care pays 100% of the sum assured in the early, intermediate and critical stages#

Covering illnesses not commonly insured in Singapore
Covering prevalent illnesses such as Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, Diabetic Retinopathy, Osteoporosis and Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis

my comments:

it has to happen, sooner or later with another joining the bandwagon to roll out what i term as a second generation critical illness product.

because hsbc insurance is the latest entrant to the market, it offers the most comprehensive coverage of critical illness from early to intermediate to severe critical illness conditions with 90 on the list.

with the usual 30 critical illness, there are 27 intermediate conditions and another 28 falling under early stage. throw in another 4 additional critical illnesses and the total covered number 90 covered conditions which also includes angioplasty and other invasive treatment for coronary artery under coronary artery by-pass surgery.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ntuc-income: launch of capital plus (CPN29)

just received this email notification from ntuc-income:

Dear Valued Business Partners,

We are pleased to announce the launch of our limited-tranche non-participating 2-years single premium non-participating plan, Capital Plus (CPN29).

*_Brief outline of the plan:_*

Ø2-years single premium non-participating plan

ØGuaranteed interest of 1.40%p.a.

ØProvides TPD before age 65 years old (last birthday) and Death coverage

ØEntry age of 16 to 80 years old (last birthday)

ØMinimum single premium of $10,000 up to a maximum of S$1,000,000

ØSimplified underwriting

·Sum Assured = 105% of Single Premium

·Sum Assured = 100% of Single Premium (if claim occurs within the 1^st policy year)

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details.

As this is a limited tranche product, applications to the plan is on a *_first-come-first-served basis_*. The product will be withdrawn upon attainment of tranche size. Any excess premium received above the tranche size will be refunded accordingly to customers. As per previous tranches, we expect possibility of short withdrawal notice. We seek your kind understanding in this.

We look forward to your continuing support.

Thank you very much.

Brought to you by

Financial Advisers, Sales Division
FA Hotline: (65) 9746 2663

my comments:

yet another launch of capital plus which is a single premium non-participating endowment product from ntuc-income.

but this time, the launch comes with a twist because the last day for acceptance of subscriptions is this thursday, march 15, 2012 with no extensions entertained.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


smoking ban to cover more places

those who smoke will soon have fewer places to do so because the smoking ban will be extended to cover more areas like common corriders, void decks and staircases of residential buildings.

other non-smoking areas to be covered include sheltered walkways, overhead bridges and outdoor hospital compounds.

the new non-smoking zones will kick in the coming year.

for bus-stops, the change means for those who smoke must stay outside a 5m radius around bus shelters.

all these comes as a the result of a public consultation exercise which the national environment agency and health promotion board initiated last november which attracted 8,000 respondents with 89% giving their ayes to an extension of the smoking ban.

on the smoking ban to cover more places, senior minister of state of the ministry of the environment and water resources, ms grace fu said:

"our long term goal is to prohibit smoking in all public places except in designated smoking areas...
our aim, in collaboration with the heatlh promotion board, is to work towards a future where singaporeans consider smoking not only detrimental to health, but also socially unacceptable."

my comments:

the upcoming implementation will surely be welcomed by most folks because of the threat to our health due to the dangers of what is termed as passive smoking which is well supported by medical evidence.

and the most recent untimely death of renowed taiwanese singer, ms feng fei fei who passed on from lung cancer has once again put the spotlight on the link between lung cancer and non-smokers because ms feng led a healthy lifestyle and did not smoke.

in our tiny red dot nation, non-smokers constitute 30 per cent of the total lung cancer cases each year, according to Dr Daniel Tan, associate consultant at the Department of Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS).

but it appears that the incidence of lung cancer in non-smokers is also higher in women than in men. Dr Daniel Tan said that seven out of 10 non-smokers who contract the cancer here are women. and lung cancer is the second most common cancer among women locally, after breast cancer.

however, even with the extended smoking ban, many of us (non-smokers) will still be exposed to the ambient smoke present when we visit the loo or take the elevator (especially in housing board flats) and that is a risk which is difficult to avoid altogether.

is there any way to hedge against the risk of contracting lung cancer?

the first option is to do nothing, or que sera sera.

the second is probably the tried and tested way which is to stay a non-smoker of course but there is really nothing much else we can do with regard to breathing in second hand smoke.

and the final solution is to consider transferring the risks of contracting cancer to a third party. on this, there are currently so many providers who offer not only the standard critical illness coverage but early critical illness and multiple critical illness claims as well.

do u have any other option/s?

Monday, March 5, 2012

cpf life plans refined from 4 to 2

an announcement was made by Deputy Prime Minister and Manpower Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam during the Committee of Supply debates on the Manpower Ministry's estimates in Parliament on Monday on another tweaking to the cpf life scheme introduced in 2009.

when the cpf life scheme was launched, there were 4 plans available, namely:

1. life plus
2. life balanced
3. life basic
4. life income

as a result of feedback, the government has decided to combine the desired features of the life plus and balanced plans into a new plan called the standard plan which will be the default plan if cpf members have not indicated their choice of which plan they want and will automatically be placed under this plan.

the desired features of the new standard plan are:

a. comparable payouts to the minimum sum scheme
b. the bequest feature and
c. the flexibility to use the retirement account

the other plan available from january 2013 is the existing life basic plan for members who prefer a higher bequest and a lower monthly income.

the cpf board will be removing the life income plan due to very low demand as only 3% of life participatns who have opted for this plan and will no longer be available from january 2013.

how will the change affect existing life participants and cpf members?

for existing life participants which number approximately 73,000 members can choose to stay on their existing life plans or if the new standard plan is their preference, they have until december 31, 2013 to make the switch.

for other cpf members who turn age 55 on january 2013, it means there are now less 'confusion' over the choices available due to the refinement of plans to 2 (from 4 currently).

one of the confusions arose when life participants chose the life income plan only to realise that there is no-bequest feature in this plan and changed their minds when this was explained to them.

another confusion was from feedback garnered since the launch of the cpf life scheme indicated that members found it difficult to choose between the 4 plans.

my comments:

this is a welcome announcement as what was hitherto 4 choices for the cpf life scheme has been narrowed to just 2 plans.

but we are still spoilt for choice because other than the cpf life scheme, cpf members can choose to purchase an annuity from a private insurer.

ntuc-income's participating annuity has been the other so-called default choice of cpf members turning 55 years of age.


because this is the only insurer that offers an annuity that allows the annuitant to receive additional monthly payouts in the form of bonuses which once declared, is guaranteed and enables the annuitant to enjoy a higher monthly payout.

but of course, the flip-side is a lower monthly income from the start of the payouts as compared to the cpf life scheme.

because we are living longer, the ntuc-income participating annuity merits consideration as the higher income (in the form of bonuses declared) from living longer may be more desirable in mitigating the effect of inflation.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

excuse me, are u a senior citizen?

today being our weekly family day is the perfect excuse to pig-out and spend quality time with my family which consists of my significant other and our only son.

we opted to go to one of our favourite restaurants, momiji japanese buffet restaurant at city square mall which is just a stone's throw (a herculean one at that) from our residence.

today isn't the first time we are giving our business to momiji as all of us pretty like japanese food and because it is not a-la-carte, meaning buffet style which is definitely value for money especially if the term, to pig-out is taken in it's literal context.

at the entrance, the cashier inquired as to the number of pax. to which i replied 2 adults and 1 senior citizen (seniors enjoy a discounted rate over the regular rate for adults. senior citizen defined as being age 60 years or older).

as this is not our first time, and the cashier already familiar with our faces, i was taken aback when i was asked for proof of my senior citizen status because this has never happened previously when asked to pay at the entrance to the restaurant with the cashier taking my word with regard to paying a discounted rate for myself, being a senior citizen.

without any hesitation, i duly showed the cashier my id card and he immediately apologised to us because he mentioned that his boss insisted on proof of status (being a senior citizen), even though we are regular customers as the senior citizen privilege has been abused by other customers.

my comments:

is there anything to take away from this episode?

firstly, we are talking about integrity and the point is, without integrity, where will i hide my face especially in front of my own wifey and only son. what message and example is the head of their household transmitting to them?

and secondly, the cashier and staff of momiji would have known (if i am not a senior citizen) that i am a liar and a cheat who got by all the times we patronised momiji at the discounted rate for senior citizens.

therefore, this incident reminds me to be always mindful of being upright or if u like, carry and conduct myself with integrity in all areas of my life, especially as all of my clientele/prospects/referrals expect it of me, and not to mention the role as head of my household and insurance consultant/specialist/trainer in promiseland independent.

which brings to my mind, a chinese proverb which goes like this;

"fu shu liu pee, ren shu liu ming or roughly transalted; when a tiger dies, the animal leaves behind the skin but when a person dies, he/she leaves a name."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

insurer launches plan for low income

ntuc-income's head honcho, mr tan suee chieh can rightly say, we did it again but it's definitely not to the tune of britney spear's; oops, we did it again.

what's happening at ntuc-income?

our island's only co-operative insurer has launched their ntuc-income value pack last night at the sands expo and convention centre.

what is ntuc-income value pack?

this is a bundled enhanced incomeshield plan covering hospitalisation and surgery costs in a singapore restructured hospital for the lower B2 and C Class wards together with term coverage.

on the value pack, mr tan suee chieh said:

"if we want to build a truly inclusive and strong community, we must not forget those who are at risk of being left behind while the rest of society progresses. no family should be devastated by the high costs of health care or the financial burden that comes after losing a breadwinner, especially when such a situation can be prevented."

on this, i believe mr tan may be referring to this year's budget as delivered in parliament recently by mr tharman shanmugaratnam, our deputy prime minister and minister for finance and minister for manpower, when one of the broad objectives of the current budget was to build a fair and inclusive society.

my comments:

when other insurers revised the pricing of their term products lower during the course of 2011, i was in a focus group with ntuc-income's product development team and the initial reaction to the new term rates offered by ntuc-income's competitors, was we do not know how they can do it.

since then, more than a year has gone by and yes, ntuc-income can proudly announced, we did it again and their new i-term TAN4 (term assurance product) is now one of the most competitively priced term products currently available.

how did ntuc-income manage this?

first, it is the only co-operative insurer in our tiny red dot nation and it always brings to my mind, mr tan's proclaimation that his job is not to maximise profits for the company but to put people first in his role as the head honcho of ntuc-income.

and secondly, i believe margins must have really been squeezed to probably razor thin bottomlines.

all these translates to truly good news for those residing in 3-room housing board flats or smaller or residing in households with a monthly income of less than $3,500.00 and of course, for the general population without adequate insurance coverage.

permanent residents and foreigners have not been forgotten because they will also be eligible if they meet the criteria to take up the value pack.

and last but not least, we are proud to be a business partner of ntuc-income and we are united in the co-operative's mission to insure everyone here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

nasty find in sardine puff

32 year old sandra jana started her wednesday morning like most other working adults, stopping by a popular food outlet at the singapore post centre to purchase their signature sardine puffs before heading to work.

after her first bite, she discovered what looked like a dark brown insect embedded among the filling.

on this, sandra's sister maggie aged 25 said: "She saw something that looked like a shrimp in the curry puff," who spoke about the incident to Yahoo! Singapore.

maggie added; "But she looked closer inside and realised it was something that looked like a cockroach."

my comments:

wow, an extra ingridient at no extra charge. but seriously, this is not something to laugh over because if consumed, the question that comes to mind; what will be the effect to one's health?

even though the standard of hygiene in our tiny red dot nation is well enforced by the national environment agency and other authorities, can we afford to be complacent when consuming food and drinks outside our homes.

my senior pastor joseph prince (new creation church) once recounted during a sermon of a similar episode when in the midst of consuming a packet of nasi lemak and noticed a piece of ikan bilis (anchovy) that looked rather different. on closer examination (thank God for his protection), it turned out to be a rusty nail.

and who can forget the very distrubing and sad news when 2 persons succumbed to food poisoning resulting in their most untimely demise from consuming indian rojak in 2009.

what i'm trying to point out is that life is ever so chock-full of uncertainties and that's why i have a soul consuming passion and mission to convert skeptics to implement financial planning for themselves and their families. i have come a long way since my intro to the financial industry some 15 years ago and i'm even more committed to my role than my first day with promiseland independent, the company that i grew up with.