Tuesday, October 30, 2012

another life insurer?

today, david choo (managing director of promiseland independent pte ltd) and myself sat down with a management staff of the largest life insurer (in the country of origin) and discussed the probability of being one of their partners in distributing their products.

the person who met us disclosed that they have received in-principle approval for a life licence (pending meeting other requirements) to doing business in our tiny red dot nation. he also shared that our regulator (meaning the monetary authority of singapore) has been pretty strict but very transparent.

my comments:

when i joined the industry 15 years ago, an agency leader from a large insurance company warned me that the insurance business (at that time) is already saturated.

if this is true, why are there foreign insurers who continue to eye singapore and seek to do business here?

i reckon more insurers here will translate into ever more choices for consumers and it is definitely more positive than anything else.

Monday, October 29, 2012

standard life - launch of maiden products

today, i attended standard life's launch of their maiden products into the singapore market held at the raffles hotel.

standard life's offerings are all investment-linked products with a lump sum or single premium plan and 2 regular savings plans.

my comments: 

these products are not meant for the 'mass-market' as standard life's licence is restricted to the defined market segment*.

*Explanatory note: DMS insurers are registered with the MAS to conduct only non-CPF business and with minimum policy sizes.

for example, the investment plan which is a single premium ilp has a minimum requirement of US$50,000 or S$80,000. as for the other 2 ilp products which is the regular savings plan classic and regular savings plan wealth, there is a specified minimum contribution of US$420 or S$670 for monthly contribution, assuming a term of 10 or more years.

with these latest ilp products means even more choices for our consumers and there are now 18 insurers operating in our tiny red dot nation.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

medishield enhancements

the ministry of health has announced enhancements to the medishield scheme effective from March 01, 2013 and these include:

a.   annual and lifetime limits will be increased from $50,000 and $200,000 to $70,000 and $300,000 respecticely;
b.   maximum age of coverage will go up to age 90 from age 85 currently;
c.   the maximum entry age of 75 will be removed;
d.   coverage will also be extended to inpatient psychiatric treatment at $100 per day but capped up to 35 days per year; and cover short-stay wards in Emergency Departments;

on the flip side, class B2/C deductibles will go up by $500 for those aged 80 and below and premiums will be raised between $17 and $251 yearly. To help with the higher premiums charged, our government will be giving a one-off top-up to medisave of between $50 and $400 for those on medishield. At the same time, the medisave withdrawals limits will be raised to $1,000 (for those aged 76 to 80) and $1,200 for for those over 80 years of age.

my comments:

the enhancements are long overdue and is welcome news to all who are on the medishield scheme estimated to cover up to 92% of the population.
however, medishield will not extend coverage to babies born with congenital diseases or those that need neonatal care.
another request to allow medisave to pay for either the deductible or co-insurance rider was rejected which may lead to both overconsumption and overservicing of health care.
i would have been delighted if the enhancements include lifetime coverage because of increasing life expectancy and higher limits on in-patient benefits. but i guess the ministry of health is taking what i term as 'baby steps' in balancing the enhancements with the expected repricing of premiums which is still pretty hefty for those who are already elderly and living in the twilight of their years.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

prudential - launch of pruflexicash protection plus

prudential has added an anticipated endowment plan to their stable with the launch of pruflexicash protection plus.


  • Lump sum payment of up to 4 times the sum assured of PRUflexicash protection plus in the event of Death Accelerated Terminal Illness or Accelerated Disability1
  • Flexible policy terms of 15 or 25 years
  • 3 smart ways to enjoy your Yearly Cashback3:
    • Receive a Yearly Cashback after the second policy anniversary and use as you wish, such as a family holiday.
    • Enjoy bigger payouts on your policy if you choose to defer receiving your Yearly Cashback after the 10th policy anniversary or later4.
    • Accumulate your Yearly Cashback and get a non-guaranteed interest5 of 3% p.a. by leaving it with us.
  • Future Insurance Option6 (FIO) to buy new plan7 within 4 years from first premium due date even if health changes. You are assured of enjoying increased coverage of up to 4 times the sum assured of your PRUflexicash protection plus or S$200,0007, whichever lower.
  • Whichever policy term you choose, upon maturity you will receive in total 120% of the sum assured of PRUflexicash protection plus, plus all the bonuses (non-guaranteed) that were added to the plan every year.
  • Choice of cashing in bonuses (non-guaranteed) accumulated
  • Option to borrow up to 90% of policy's cash value**
  • Interest-free loans to cover medical expenses resulting from a surgical operation+
  • Add on these supplementary benefits for more comprehensive coverage
    • Crisis Cover III provides you with a lump sum payment in the event that you are diagnosed with any one of 30 critical illnesses
    • Crisis Waiver III pays for your premiums in the event that you are diagnosed with any one of the 30 critical illnesses
    • Comprehensive Personal Accident III provides an additional lump sum payment in the event of accidental death and dismemberment
      • reimburse your medical expenses incurred due to the accident and pays out a weekly income if you are unable to work because of the accident.
^ Terms and conditions apply
** There is an annual interest rate on the loan amount, which is non-guaranteed and subject to change.
+ This loan is available at the discretion of the insurance product provider and may be granted upon satisfying required conditions.
1 Policy provides coverage against Accelerated Terminal Illness and Accelerated Disability during the term of the policy, and before the anniversary of the policy on which the Life Assured will attain the age of 65. We will pay for either Accelerated Terminal Illness or Accelerated Disability but not both.
2 Bonuses are not guaranteed and will vary according to the future experience of the participating fund.
3 Yearly Cashback is a payout of 5% of PRUflexicash protection plus sum assured after the 2nd Policy Anniversary.
4 No later than one year before the end of policy term.
5 An annual interest rate will be applied on the accumulated Cashback. The interest accures on daily basis. This interest rate may vary.
6 This benefit is only applicable to PRUflexicash protection plus purchased under standard terms. The maximum age to exercise the FIO is 44 years old.
7 Excluding PRUflexicash protection plus or any other policy with a FIO.