In recent years, many life insurance companies have introduced a life policy with annual recurring payment. The agents sold this product actively and earned high commisison. The policy gives a very low yield to the policyholder. and is worse than an endowment policy. It is easy for the agent to sell the attraction of the annual cash payment to a consumer who is not aware that that he or she is actually taking back a part of the premium.
A endowment policy already gives a poor yield, due to the high charges. The guaranteed return is about 2% per annum and the non-guaranteed bonus may add another 1% or 2% to the yield.
The insurance company design the annual cash payment by increasing the premium rate on the underlhying whole life or endowment policy and use the increased premium, less expenses, to make the cash payment to the policy.
Take this example. The endowment policy requires an annual premium of (say) $3,000. To make the annual cash payment, the insurance company increases the premium by (say) $1.000 and makes a cash payment of $900 to the policyholder from the second year. There is no payment for the first year, as the additonal premium is used to pay commission to the agent.
Why should a policyholder take a polcy that requires an additional premuim of $1,000 and pays back only $900 a year.? Surely, it is more sensible for the policyholder to keep the $1,000 in the bank account, rather than give it to the insurance company and receive back only $900?
This type of policy does not make sense to the policyholder, but the insurance agent loves to sell it, as they can earn additional commission on the additional premium.
The yield on this type of policy is lower than for an endowment policy. It could reduce the yield (which is already low) by another 1%. I undersand that most of these type of annul cash payment policy gives a guaranteed yield of only 1%.
The insurance agent is highly trained to sell this type of product to the customer, even though it gives a poor yield. Many of the customers are not aware about the true nature of the product and can be easily taken for a ride. How sad!
Tan Kin Lian
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