Category: Insurance coverage; medical shield; financial planning; personal finance

AIA Triple Critical Cover Insurance

AIA Triple Critical Cover

According to the Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2015, about 35 Singaporeans are diagnosed with cancer every day. This is a frightening statistic which gives me countless sleepless nights. As a sole breadwinner, it is important that I am covered adequately so that my family will not be financial affected if I am struck with anything untoward. In my last update on my insurance coverage in 2018, I revealed that I had purchased an endowment plan from NTUC Income. But I have forgotten to update that I had also purchased AIA Triple Critical Cover.

In this article, I will share my motivations for buying AIA Triple Critical Cover. I will also share the merits and limitations of AIA Triple Critical Cover. Note that this article is not sponsored by AIA nor am I giving any financial advice. I am just sharing my personal experiences. Readers should engage financial consultants if in doubt because everyone’s financial situation and needs are different.

AIA Triple Critical Cover

What attracted me to buy AIA Triple Critical Cover insurance was because of its unique selling point of ‘Power Reset’ feature, which restores the critical illness coverage amount back to 100% even for early stage critical illnesses. However, there …

The Dark Side of Investment Linked Policy (ILP)

investment linked policy

In relation to my previous article “My NTUC Income Life Insurance Policies”, a member requested for my opinion on investment linked policy (ILP). He also wrote that the investment linked policy that he had bought was not profitable. Is investment linked policy really that bad and is it worth your time and money?

In this article, I am going share my candid views on investment linked policy. Readers would know that I don’t mince my words, so I am going to pull no punches.

For a period of time, investment linked policy used to sell like hotcakes in Singapore because it has been marketed as a unique financial product that offers potentially high returns and insurance coverage. The commission fees for investment linked policy are usually very lucrative. Thus, obviously insurance agents would attempt to sell this type of insurance product in a bid to make more commission fees. But in my opinion, this is one of the worst insurance products for consumers and one should avoid buying it unless he is 100% sure of what he is buying into.

investment linked policy

As a matter of fact, I have examined this topic before in 2015 (Frightening Truth about Investment Linked

My NTUC Income life insurance policies

life insurance

In life, disaster often strikes when you least expect it. Of course, no one is ever prepared for a disaster but having life insurance coverage would help to put your mind at ease that your financial losses are mitigated.

During the National Day week, my family bought two life insurance policies. One was NTUC Income Limited Pay Revosave and the other was AIA Triple Critical Cover. The decision to strengthen my family’s protection and savings arose after a strategic life insurance review with my wife.

As a finance blogger, I always advocate my readers to do annual review on their life insurance coverage. This is because family situations often change, so the most prudent approach is to do timely review to ensure that the interests of your family are well-taken care of.

life insurance

In 2016, I wrote that I upgraded my family health insurance to private ward class and also bought full riders for the whole family. Boy, am I glad that I did so. Because in March 2018, Singapore government mandated the removal of full riders for new applicants of private health shields. It really drives home the importance of proactively managing my life insurance portfolio.

There are many who …

My insurance portfolio strategy

AIA Triple Critical Cover

There are a few battles you simply cannot afford to lose in life. While insurance would not enable you to avoid these catastrophic disasters, it can provide an important safety net for you to ride out these storms and gives you a piece of mind.

Notwithstanding the above, the recent announcement on major changes to the Integrated Shield Plan rider had thrown a spanner in the works to my insurance portfolio strategy.

My family’s journey

Very often, I look at my children and can’t help feeling how fortunate they are. At their age, they already had overseas holidays, get chauffeured to school in family car and live in a comfortable condominium. These are luxuries that I could only dream of when I was a young kid.

At some point, I even felt jealous of them because they don’t have an inkling [This is a premium article. The rest of the content is blocked and can be accessible by SG Wealth Builder Members only. To read the full content, please sign up as member.]

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Lending money to yourself through insurance loan

AIA Triple Critical Cover

Do you need cash? It may sound odd but you can lend money to yourself. Life insurance loan allows you to do so. Before you dismiss this as yet another click-bait article, I want you to keep an open mind and read on. Because this strategy may be extremely useful in your wealth building journey.

In various stages of life, we may face cash flow problems. Sometimes the money woe may be due to a loved one incurring unforeseen massive hospital bills due to an accident or it could be the purchase of a big-ticket item like a new house which requires substantial hard cash for down-payment and renovation expenses.

Whatever the case, we are likely to encounter phases of life whereby we may need some financial help. In this article, I would share how you can lend money to yourself through insurance loans.

As a general principle, I would not encourage readers to borrow unnecessarily. We should all live within our means. But recent events made me realize the vulnerability of many low-income families in Singapore. I read an article of a security guard who suffered from a massive heart attack and thereafter struggled to pay hospital bills amounting …

Eldershield defies logic?

Eldershield

In a couple of years, I am turning 40 and would be automatically enrolled in Eldershield. Launched in 2002, this national scheme is aimed at providing basic financial protection to Singaporeans who need long-term care. My late father was one of the beneficiaries of Eldershield payouts. Henceforth, in this article, I will share my views on this insurance policy.

According to the Ministry of Health’s website, it is estimated that 1 in 2 Singaporeans who are healthy at the age of 65 is at risk of having a long-term disability over their lifetime. However, not many Singaporeans are prepared for such a scenario. To meet this gap, ElderShield provides eligible policyholders a monthly cash payout for a period of time, in the event of suffering from severe disability.

ElderShield policyholders can choose to enrol in Eldershield 300 or 400. The former is for policyholders who joined between 2002 and 2007. The payout amount is $300 per month and duration is 5 years. My dad qualified for this plan back in 2005. Eldershield 400 is for policyholders who joined after 2007 and the payout amount is $400 with duration up to six years.

Eldershield

Enrolling in Eldershield is easy because by …

Important Things about Insurance Nomination

AIA Triple Critical Cover

Are you intending to buy insurance policies? If so, this is an article that you must never miss. And I want you to pay close attention to the message contained in this article. If unsure, do read it over and over again. Today, I am going to share with readers the Insurance Nomination Law promulgated by the Singapore government on 1 September 2009. I suspect many Singaporeans are not aware of this relatively new legislation. So, I hope readers will find this information useful in their wealth building journey.

Insurance Nomination

In recent years, many financial bloggers have been espousing the merits of direct purchase insurance products. However, most people may not be familiar with the insurance laws in Singapore. Without the proper advice from financial advisors, many consumers may end up buying the wrong insurance products that may not suit their needs. Hence, I always feel that financial advisors offer a value proposition even under today’s technology evolution.

Again, I must emphasize that this article is not meant to be a form of financial advice. It is for information only. If in doubt, please consult your financial advisor.

Making nomination

When you buy insurance, you are [This is a premium article.

Understanding the difference between Terminal Illness and Critical Illness for Insurance

SRS

In one of my previous articles, I touched on how to apply for exemption from CPF’s Home Protection Scheme (HPS). A reader wrote in and posted an interesting question on what I usually look out for when buying mortgage insurance. Today, I shall touch on the difference between terminal illness and critical illness. But before you proceed, it is important that you make the effort to understand my article before jumping to conclusion. Not understanding the thin fine line between terminal illness and critical illness could be financially fatal. And I do mean it.

Most people who do not work in the insurance industry are confused between terminal illness and critical illness. To be honest, I used to be one of those. But my understanding starts to improve a little bit over the years as I talk to many financial planners and they shared with me some useful tips. Of course, I don’t work in the insurance sector and is not a certified financial planner. So, what I am going to share here is based on the best of my knowledge and readers should not misconstrue it as a form of financial advice. If in doubt, always check with your …

Health insurance

health insurance

My mother-in-law recently got admitted into a public hospital for an operation and was warded in a subsidized Class B2 ward. For the past few days, she had been complaining about being unwell and in acute pain. On a few occasions, we informed the nurses about this but they appeared nonchalant and were not helpful at all. It was indeed a frustrating experience but it also vindicated my decision to upgrade my family’s health insurance to private medical shields since last year.

The follow-up appointment was an even worse experience. We waited for 7 hours before the doctor’s consultation. The nurse was also very rough in her handling and caused a lot of discomfort for my mother-in-law.

When Singapore government rolled out the Medishield Life in 2015, many Singaporeans assume that there is no need for private medical shield plans. After all, the coverage of the new Medishield Life seems comprehensive, covers everyone and protects you for lifetime.

health insurance

So why waste money on upgrading your health insurance to private medical shield plans? But then again, not many people realize the gaps that exist in the system.

Firstly, since Medishield Life covers everyone, it is really hard to imagine hospitals giving …

Dealing with cancer

financial destiny

Yesterday, my colleague shared with me that his mother was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. I was shocked to hear this news but really didn’t know how best to advise him. So I thought the only thing I could do was to listen to his story.

Apparently, my colleague’s mum went for a diagnosis after feeling a lump in her breast two months ago. The preliminary tests revealed that she had breast cancer in the early stage. However, recent tests showed that the cancerous cells had spread aggressively and doctor advised that surgery was needed. Thereafter, she would also need to go for chemotherapy.

Understandably, my colleague’s mum is now feeling very depressed. After all, being diagnosed with a late stage cancer illness can be daunting. When a person is at this phase of her life, there are a lot of uncertainties and fear. It doesn’t help that my colleague’s father is a small-time business owner and needs to travel frequently. Thus, during this difficult time, his mother lacks the emotional support from her husband.

financial destiny

Being the eldest son, my colleague is the pillar of support for his family. The mother is a full-time house-wife. He has two younger …

Lack of understanding on Medishield Life among Singaporeans

overseas properties

I came across the article by fellow blogger, Andrew Loh, on his recent medical bill. Andrew is a blogger whom I respected a lot because of his various quality articles in Yahoo Singapore website. Arising from his recent medical ordeal, I realized that there is a lack of understanding on Medishield Life among Singaporeans.

In his article, Andrew was very clear on the mechanism of Medishield Life. But several readers were puzzled as to why the Medishield Life payout was only $720 when the bill is $3959.19 after government subsidies of $6767.90.

Without verifying, many Singaporean readers took this opportunity to slam government policies and made baseless toxic remarks.

Firstly, Medishield Life has deductible and co-insurance portions that can be paid using Medisave or cash. Many Singaporeans thought that Medishield Life cover 100% of medical bill, which is untrue. The policy intent of the deductible is to keep MediShield Life targeted at large bills, and is only payable once in a policy year. Co-insurance ensures that policyholders are responsible for their medical bill.

insurance

Secondly, if you do not wish to pay the deductible and co-insurance fees, you can always opt for Integrated Shield Plans (ISP). Many of the ISP …

MediShield Life versus Private Integrated Shield Plan

overseas properties

MediShield Life was rolled out in November 2015 to replace the MediShield. Unlike its predecessor, MediShield Life is a mandatory basic health care insurance designed to provide better coverage for Class B2 and C wards in public hospitals. There is also no need for Singaporeans to apply for MediShield Life. Given that MediShield Life provides enhanced coverage, it is important to review the merits of MediShield Life versus Private Integrated Shield Plan (IP).

Features of Medishield Life

Before we look at IP, there is a need to consider the key features of MediShield Life. Firstly, MediShield Life provides lifetime coverage and even those pre-existing conditions can be covered. The lifetime claim limit has been removed and the maximum claim limit has been increased to $100,000 per policy year. Thus, with the improved benefits, most Singaporeans will fork out less cash amount for hospital bills.

Medishield Life

As a result of these enhancements, the premiums for MediShield Life have also increased. However, the premiums for MediShield Life can be fully paid using CPF’s Medisave account. To offset the premium increases, the government is also providing subsidies. Clearly, the policy intention is to provide an affordable health care insurance that is able to meet …

Insurance: Blood in urine

overseas properties

It was supposed to be one of his daily routine toilet trips in the night but to his utmost horror, there was a lot of blood in his urine. With much fear and worry, he could not sleep that night and the next morning, he went to see his family doctor. To his shock, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had to remove one of his kidneys.

That was 30 years ago and my insurance agent lived to tell the tale. I bought my first insurance from him when I was an eighteen year old army boy. Throughout the years, whenever I bought new life insurance policies from him, he often relate this incident to me. I guess he tried to reinforce in me that life can be very unpredictable. Using himself as an example, he don’t smoke or drink and live a perfectly healthy lifestyle. So until this day, he also don’t know why he suffered from kidney cancer. However, I was in my twenties and in the prime time of my life. So like many people, the possibility of death and critical illnesses seem so remote to me.

Now that I am in my mid-thirties, things are …

Shortchanging your health insurance may cost your life in Singapore

overseas properties

Two weeks ago, I upgraded my whole family’s health insurances to Integrated Shield Plan (Private Hospital)  to provide maximum coverage for medical expenses. As I also opted for the rider to cover the deductible and co-insurance portions, the amount of cash forked out was about $1,100 per annum after Medisave deduction.

The decision to upgrade our health insurances came about after a health scare that occurred to my colleague and my brother’s daughter who suffered a broken leg a couple of months ago. These incidents certainly really drove home the importance of buying health insurances when in the pink of health. With the kick-in of Medishield Life with effect 1 November 2015, you are still eligible for Medishield Life even if you have pre-existing illnesses or health problems at the point of applying for Medishield Life. However, do note that if your pre-existing conditions are very serious, you may need to pay additional premiums.

Personally, I am glad that the government has finally decided to provide coverage to Singaporeans born with pre-existing illnesses. This is the right thing to do, especially for new-born babies born with defects or chronic health problems. The Medishield Life will also offer protection for …

How to be a successful investor

CPF

Last year, during a meet up with the man behind BeMoneySavvyToday.com, Brendan Yong shared with me his insights on how to succeed in investing. Brendan works in the financial industry for 11 years and is a veteran when it comes to insurance matters.

First and foremost, most Singaporeans tend to rely on tips from friends and investment bloggers on when is the best time to invest and which are the best stocks to invest in. Most of them either are not financially savvy or have no time to do research. But to succeed in investing, there is no shortcut and you need to put in a lot of hard work. Half the game is won if you make the effort to analyse and take care of the downside risks.

Secondly, you must understand your character and priorities. Your personality and behavior determine the outcome of your investment decision, not the market. Over time, you would realize that your greatest enemy is yourself because managing your emotions is key to winning the investment game. On priorities, many of us have family commitments or hectic careers, so not many people can have the luxury of time to do stock research. For …

Frightening Truth about Investment-Linked Insurance Policies

life insurance

Last month, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched compareFIRST with Consumers Association of Singapore, Life Insurance Association of Singapore and MoneySENSE. compareFIRST is a portal that contains information on life insurance products offered by all the life insurers in Singapore. However, way before the website was launched, last year, SG Wealth Builder had an opportunity to meet up with Brendan Yong, of BeMoneySavvyToday.com.

Unlike me, Brendan has worked in the financial industry for 11 years and is a veteran when it comes to insurance matters. Nevertheless, both of us shared the same belief that insurance is a form of protection, and never meant for investment purposes. In that meeting, he revealed a frightening industry secret on investment-linked insurance policies.

When touched on the topic that there was an initiative by MAS to promote online direct purchase for insurance products, Brendan chuckled and commented “Of course I knew that as I work in the industry. As a matter of fact, MAS had a round of consultation with the industry players on the proposed move”. However, Brendan dismissed that such a move reflected that consumers are ready to purchase insurance products directly from the insurers.

He shared that financial planners and …

Traded Life Insurance Policies in Singapore

SG Wealth Builder

Singaporeans love to buy and sell properties and cars, and the secondary markets have been vibrant for these two big-ticket items. To source for the best deals, Singaporeans can conveniently log on to online websites like iProperty and SG Car Mart. But how about insurance policies? In US and UK, the secondary markets for traded life and endowment insurances are pretty robust. However, in Singapore, the market for traded life and endowment policies is still pretty nascent.

Traded life insurances exist because the existing policy holder decides to liquidate his life or endowment policies due to financial problems or when the insured person experiences a decline in life expectancy and hope to cash in on his insurance.

career

Usually the cash value would be low if the policy holder surrender the policy to the insurer, so a better option would be to sell to another individual at a higher price as offered by the insurer. Throughout the transaction, no new policy is created and only the existing policy bought by the original policy holder is used.

An important thing to note is that if you purchased a traded life policy or traded endowment policy, you are required to pay the …

(Sponsored article) Confused Now – a free-access forum to share and compare insurance plans

I do have a bad experience with a few insurance agents.  They are selling you plans which have a higher commission rather than a plan which you actually need. They attempt to hide some agenda and it is difficult to understand the plans through the web. I believe in asking people who have purchased similar insurance plans which you are looking for. Through questions and answers, you hold a better understanding which policy is right for you. Take those opinions and clear your doubts when meeting your insurance agent.
 
Because Confused Now is a collaboratively edited, free-access, free content community to share your experience of policies you have purchased. It is an open discussion platform, designed to make collaboration easy. It is a one stop portal where you are able to see all insurance plans in Singapore. Free free to add in any missing insurance plans in Confused Now.
I believe in honesty and simplicity. Collaborate and share your experience of buying insurance policies in a simpler way for free. Our tagline is “Making you smarter than your insurance agent.” Through Confused Now, you are able to be confident when meeting your insurance agent to discuss on purchasing a plan.

My late father’s experience with Eldershield

One of the readers of AK71 solicited his views on Eldershield in his blog, “A Singapore Stock Market Investor”. In his post, the author wrote that he don’t need the Eldershield protection but nonetheless, had not opted out of the scheme due to his “friend’s persuasion” (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) with Medisave accounts are automatically covered under ElderShield at the age of 40).

In his article, AK71 also downplayed the importance of Eldershield, stating that he don’t need disability insurance as he is a “Superman” with self-generating assets. After reading the article, I was unimpressed and thought it was ridiculous that a finance blogger could write such warped immature material on Eldershield without even having first-hand experience with the scheme. Such an article only serves to reinforce the ignorance among Singaporeans on insurance.

Make no mistake, I hope that none of my readers would ever suffer the ill fate of being eligible for Eldershield payouts. Neither am I trying to sell insurance policies from this article as I don’t work in the financial sector. But I feel that it is important that Singaporeans have the correct mindset on disability insurance. So today, I am going to share

Much Ado about Wealth-Building

Dear Gerald,
I must first of all confess to you that even as I write, I’m filled with scepticism on how this correspondence will go. So am seeking advanced forgiveness for any sort of offence I may unwittingly create, and I also seek your patience in reading this email.
 
I am a 9-to-5 desk bound office worker. Through years of being with the same company, I’ve managed to earn my seniority and experience in dealing with international environmental agreements. I am happy with my wage – After all, I’m duly employed and these days in this unpredictable climate, it is a situation that I’m very grateful for, being gainfully employed, that is. 
 
But everyday there is something nagging at me to do something to increase my resilience to the changing world where everything seems to get more costly and so quickly, and where, quite frankly, money helps to take the discomfort out of our lives where necessary. I’m not trained in any sort of financial discipline, nor have I ever had any mentor whom I could approach, but I see the need for me to start thinking seriously about embarking on building up my savings and eventually being able to

Insurance

financial destiny
Insurance should always feature in every investor’s financial planning. In fact, before you even attempt to make any form of investment in equities or gold, make sure you are adequately covered, in terms of unforeseen hefty medical expenses.
Because of my late father’s health condition, I started buying life insurances and protect my wealth with enhanced hospital shield plan. I see it as a form of responsibility to my family because I don’t want to be a financial burden to them when I am old and ill. I also urged my friends and blog readers to buy insurance policies when they are young and healthy. This is important because if you procrastinate, chances are, the insurers will likely to reject your application if you are not in the best of your health.
Insurance
Lately, I chanced upon a fellow blogger, Lee Chin Wai’s article on his health condition and medical insurance. His article set me thinking whether I had really plan for the unexpected. In his article, he related how he has encountered unforeseen risk in his medical insurance. He had bought a private “as-charged” Medishield Plan B but did not buy any riders for deductible or co-insurance potions. In

Shape your child’s financial destiny

life insurance
As a wealth builder, I considered it my duty to help shaping my child’s financial destiny. A few days ago, I bought an endowment plan after much financial planning with my wife. The policy was purchased under my name but eventually when it matures twenty years down the road, we plan to use the money for our daughter’s university fees.
We thought that since I am the sole breadwinner, the policy should insure me, so that in case if anything happened to me, the policy can still sustain and provides for my daughter’s education fees.
Beyond this saving plan, I hope that my daughter will grow up cultivating a good saving habit and develop prudent personal finance skills. This is important, especially so in an expensive city like Singapore. To this end, my wife and myself think that parents have a critical role in shaping their child’s financial destiny.
Insurance

Lead by example
Contrary to what many parents thought, toddlers by as early as 14 months, are masters at reading social cues. This means that children often observe and take the cues from parents’ life habits. If your financial situation is consistently in a bad shape, you are not going to

Importance of buying insurance when you are healthy

SG Wealth Builder
As 2012 is coming to an end, I am reviewing my financial health status. I got married last year and this year my baby girl was born. Therefore, one of the outcome of my review is to purchase the Aviva SAF Group Term Life Policy. I think it is one of the most value for money term policies in Singapore. For as little as S$4.21, applicants can be insured up to a maximum coverage of $1000,000. Of course, only NSFs, NSmen and personnel working for MINDEF are eligible for this policy.

The need to have adequate insurance cover really hit me hard twenty years ago when I was in secondary school. My dad, who was the sole breadwinner, suffered from stroke then and was unable to work. My family lost our sole income and to make things worse, my dad did not purchase any insurance covers. As a result, we went through a period of financial hardship. On hindsight, if my father had bought any life insurance policies when he was healthy, our family situation would definitely be better.

career

It is important that you insured yourself for the correct amount of protection. In addition, it is important that you buy

Tan Kin Lian Blog

trading

Tan Kin Lian used to be my hero and I started this blog after being inspired by his blog. I like his online work helping to answer Singaporeans’ queries on matters regarding insurance policies.

Recently, I was reading Tan Kin Lian’s blog and came across his posting “Consumers who deserved to be ripped off”. I was quite angry when he made that comment because most people would find it difficult to understand the mechanism of the various insurance policies.

In the olden days, there was a lack of information available to the public for consumers to make informed choices. Thus, most of us would rely on our insurance agents to help us make the best financial decisions. In today’s Information Age, we can obtain information from online easily.

tan kin lian

Make no mistake, I totally agreed with him that we should all buy term policies and hospitalization plan for protection purposes. The rest of the money can then be used for investing or consumption.

But what I am unhappy was that he made all these comments to the public after he stepped down as CEO from NTUC Income in 2008. I have been a loyal NTUC Income for 13 years and bought …