Life insurance performs two useful functions:
a) Provide financial security in event of premature death or disability through the pooling of risks
b) Provide a useful service for ordinary people to pool and invest their savings to get an attractive long term return.
If it is practiced fairly, transparently and honestly, it can bring tremendous benefits to ordinary people. This was how life insurance was practiced for a long time in the past. It was useful to society.
In recent years, life insurance has been changed to be a way for financial institutions to make large share of the gains, and to offer a poor return to the unsuspecting, trusting public. The charges taken away from the consumers to pay the high marketing expenses, salaries and profits are excessive - perhaps unconscionable.
I hope that the leaders of life insurance realize that they have a responsibility to offer a fair return to the consumers who trusted them to take care of their future. It is necessary to pay for the expenses and make a fair profit, but the charges should be reasonable and the interest of the consumers must also be protected.
I hope that the regulator will make it possible for the public to enjoy a fair outcome. This will make life insurance a good way for consumers to save and invest for the future.
Tan Kin Lian
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