Monday, November 26, 2012


myanmar nationals

we have just received this email notification from tokio marine life insurance singapore:

Dear Business Partners,

We are pleased to inform that we accept Myanmar nationals who are Singapore PR or holding a valid Employment Pass (EP).

Myanmar nationals, who are Singapore PR or EP holder, please use the Singaporeans Underwriting Guidelines, subject to the respective benefit limit.

However, please note that for EP holders, maximum Death/ Total Permanent Disability (TPD) / Dread Disease (DD) benefit will be capped at S$500,000.

We have attached the proposal handbook for your easy reference.

Appreciate your kind assistance to disseminate the information to all your advisers.

Thank you.


*Joyce Soh*
Administrative Executive, Distribution Operation Department
T 6592 6229 | F  6223 9120
*Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore Ltd.
*20 McCallum Street #07-01 Tokio Marine Centre Singapore 069046 | <>

my comments:

it's good news because tokio marine life insurance singapore has opened their gates to accept life insurance applications from myanmar nationals who are singapore prs or holding a valid employment pass.

i suppose with the country's reforms and sanctions being gradually lifted, tokio marine life insurance singapore is one of the first insurers to accept business from myanmar nationals. and i reckon more insurers may do the same.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

happy thanksgiving day

a happy thanksgiving day to all americans, canadians and to my family and relatives and also to all the people that i have got to know and love.

*from wikipedia:

Thanksgiving Day is is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada, with several other places around the world observing similar celebrations. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. Today, thanksgiving is a festival of family reunion. Family members gather for a reunion to give thanks for the good things that they have. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious traditions, but today is celebrated in a more secular manner.

my comments:  

wouldn't it be nice if our government legislates to make thanksgiving day a national holiday in our tiny red dot nation.

sorry to digress from my usual blog on insurance but on this day, it is opportune for me to give thanks to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ for his grace, love and mercies. and thanks also to my family and relatives, colleagues, friends and everyone that i have been blessed to have met.

and last but not least, for installing me in a position to significantly impact lives from my role as an independent financial adviser.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

prudential - launch of early stage cw and cw III

prudential has just launched their early stage crisis waiver and crisis waiver III.

what are the benefits of early stage crisis waiver?

Benefits of Early Stage Crisis Waiver
  • Upon the diagnosis of an Early Stage Medical Condition, future premiums will be waived for 5 years.
  • You may claim the benefits for Early Stage Medical Conditions twice during the term of the policy. The second claim will waive the premium for another 5 years. This is provided the second claim is not for the same Medical Condition as the first claim, and it does not fall within the same category of the first Early Stage Medical Condition.
  • You can claim for 10 years waiver of premiums upon the diagnosis of Intermediate Stage Medical Conditions. However, if there was a successful claim under Early Stage Medical Conditions, the Intermediate Stage Medical Conditions Benefit only waives 5 years of future premiums.
what is the benefit of crisis waiver III?

Benefit of Crisis Waiver III
  • Your remaining premium payments for the covered benefits are waived upon diagnosis of any one of the specified 30 critical illness.
my comments:

as quite a number of insurers have already launched what i term as 2nd generation critical illness products, prudential is probably the first to launch their early stage crisis waiver.

i reckon the competition will also launch similar early stage crisis waiver under a different name pretty soon.

for insurers still without a 2nd generation critical illness product, my guess is the day is not too far off when we will see this product launch, probably at the start of 2013.

Monday, November 19, 2012


at our monthly business meeting today (compulsory for all advisers), mr albert phua, our compliance officer reminded us of compliance to the representative notification framework which came into effect from november 26, 2010.

apparently, this was in response to the monetary authority of singapore's circular dated november 16, 2012 which noted many instances of tardy or non-compliance to 2 key provisions namely:

1)    Cessation to act as a representative or to carry on regulated activity. (Time frame - Immediately) and

2)    Change in the status/particulars of representative. (Time frame - within 7 days of its occurrence).

my comments:

if there's one principle which every financial adviser or financial entity must always bear in mind, don't play play (with apologies to mr phua chu kang) with the authorities and the other is every company exist because of their customers.

the change in the status and particulars of any financial adviser must be reported within 7 days of its occurrence, failing which the financial adviser and financial entity will be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

and that's why every single person in the financial industry must continually be 'on the ball' in order to be able to carry on business as usual and on this, there can never be any compromise.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

mas looks to tighten ad rules for investment schemes

speaking in parliament, mr tharman who is the MAS chairman and finance minister said that the central bank is working with the ministry of communications and information and other agencies to "minimise the scope to mislead consumers through advertisements".

mr tharman added; "MAS will continue its efforts in educating singaporeans on the pitfalls of dealing with unregulated entities and the risks of unregulated schemes."

my comments:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


world diabetes day

today is world diabetes day.

why is this relevant to singapore?

in our tiny red dot nation, there is a worrying trend that diabetes is afflicting more people. in the 70s, it was just 2%, in the 80s, it was double at 4% and latest statistics show 11.3% of the population has diabetes. more significantly, 14% of our population are already pre-diabetic. indians and malays are at higher risk of contracting diabetes while the chinese has an almost 10% of the same risk*. the idf (international diabetes federation) estimates that, globally, 187 million people do not yet know they are suffering from the condition.

*source: radio 93.8 body and soul program hosted by daniel martin

my comments:

to lower the risk, lifestyle changes is a key factor in delaying the onset of diabetes, especially among those who are already obese.

in terms of insurance planning, 1st generation critical illness products do not have coverage for diabetes but more recent critical illness products which i term as 2nd generation ci products* come with this coverage. having said this, it must be stressed that the coverage is specifically defined and capped with a low sum assured.

*for example, prudential pruearly stage crisis cover is the first insurance policy of its kind in Singapore to make payouts for selected diabetic complications. A payout of 20% of the sum assured will be made upon diagnosis of one of the covered Diabetic complications, up to a limit of S$30,000. Diabetic complications covered include Diabetic Retinopathy, Diabetic Nephropathy or amputation of part of limb due to gangrene.

in the final analysis, the best defence against diabetes (as in most diseases) is managing one's lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

happy deepavali!

wishing all my hindu friends and all hindus a very happy deepavali and may good always triumph over evil.

Monday, November 12, 2012

tale of a client

today, a client gave me a 'dressing down' for not keeping him/her informed of the launch of new insurance products. this is because the client is on an old shield plan with dollar capped benefits as opposed to new integrated shield products that offer 'as-charged' benefits and he/she would have upgraded to the enhanced shield plan if informed accordingly.

my instant reaction was to apologise and explained that it is highly improbable to keep every single one of my clientele continually informed of new insurance products.

my comments:

even with my apology, this person was not happy with me. to pacify him/her, i said i can try my best to do so for future launches of new products if an email can be sent to me requesting for the same.

the reason is because most people i know will treat the email blast of new insurance products as spam and may even lodge a complaint with the authorities.

sigh, nowadays, it is getting more and more difficult to manage clients' expectations.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

liberty insurance - launch of senior care

today, liberty insurance launched a new pa plan for senior folks, senior care.

what is senior care?

senior care is a personal accident plan specially tailored for senior folks with entry age commencing from 50 years. there are 3 plans available, namely essential, economy and executive being the top tier plan.

my comments:

there are really very few personal accident plans in the market catering to senior folks and liberty insurance's senior care extends entry age to 75 years which is renewable up to age 85 years. it is open to both singapore citizens and permanent residents who are permanently residing in singapore.

insurers prepare for 'supercentenarians'

yes, british insurers are taking cognizance of the fact that life expectancy is not static and will continue to add years, going forward by modelling pension products on the basis that people could live to the age of 120 or even 125 years.

britain's oldest man, mr reg dean recently celebrated his 110th birthday on sunday. but it may not take long for mr dean to be overtaken by a new breed of what is termed as 'supercentenarians'.

quoting the office for national statistics, data showed that the number of uk people aged 100 or more has increased 5 fold from 2,500 in 1980 to 12,640 in 2010 and projections suggest that the number of centenarians will exceed 160,000 by mid-2040.

at a conference, mr otto thorensen, director general of the association of british insurers said:
"With men and women living on average 30 years longer than they did 100 years ago, by 2100, people living to over 100 years old will be the norm."

my comments:

with increasing life expectancy, just ponder the challenges facing insurers worldwide (including singapore) on pricing products.

recently, with her passing, our very own supercentenarian, ms teresa hsu lived to a ripe old age of 113 years.

yet, some of our insurers have launched whole life products that come with a maturity of the insured attaining age 99 years or age 100 years.

and with increased longevity, raises another issue in terms of retirement planning. by and large, many people have still not planned for their golden years. even for those that have done theirs, i urge them to do a regular review because many of the retirement plans i have seen are not realistic based on 20 to 30 years of living in retirement. in other words, up to age 80 years max.

other than this, it is also a fact that generally, our population can be considered to be under-insured.

well, i reckon lots more need to be done to educate the masses of the importance of planning.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

life insurance industry performance up to 3rd Qtr 2012

in a media statement released today, the lia (life insurance association of singapore) reported that the life insurance industry achieved a total of $1,608.1 million in weighted* new business premiums for the first nine months of 2012 which saw a 10% improvement over the corresponding period in 2011. but single premium business recorded a drop of 10% at
$447.3 million with 14% comprising CPF-funded sales.

*   The weighted new business premium figure is calculated as follows:
    10% SPI + 100% API with adjustment for premium payment terms of less
    than 10 years.

the tied channel continue to dominate with 44% of the new business with the bancassurance taking another 37% and 15% of the pie going to financial advisers and the balance of 6% to the other channels. 

my comments:

as usual, the bulk of new sales came from par products which accounted for 52% of new business with non-par taking 29% and investment-linked products making up the balance with 19%.

as if to emphasise the status quo of the population being under-insured, the bulk of claims or more than 93% of $4.20 billion were paid for policies that matured while only $313 million was paid in respect of death, critical illness or disability claims.

for the kyc form, the 4 options of:

1.  full advice
2.  partial advice
3.  product advice and
4.  no advice 

has been replaced with the following (since Aug 01, 2012):
  1. Comprehensive Planning
  2. Specific Need(s) Planning
  3. No Needs Analysis Purchase