Dear Mr Tan,
I'm a middle age man who had a heart bypass operation more than 3 months ago and had incurred quite a large medical bill. Fortunately, I have always believed in the importance of insurance and had bought numerous policies for critical illness over the past 18 years.
Is it a normal practice for insurance companies to assess claims of hospitalisation and various critical illness policies jointly, withholding all payments until they have done the necessary checks with my numerous doctors. Moreover, it's more than 3 months and I haven't had any indication from the company on how I could be compensated.
It is really frustrating because they seemed to be taking their "own sweet time" in assessing my claims. First, by sending various medical questionnaires to doctors who had attended to me during my surgery/ hospitalisation, followed by my GP and now to my other specialists. What is more frustrating is that the company continues to bill me promptly for my monthly payments, including for the critical illness policies that I'm claiming against.
Would appreciate your kind advice on whether the time frame and procedure used by the company are norms when claims are involved. Thank you in advance.
It is wrong for them to keep you in the dark for three months. They should communicate with you more actively. You can write a letter of complaint to the service quality manager and insist that they should give you a reply soon. If they do not, you can lodge a complaint with MAS for the poor quality of service and bad response.
Many policyholders have encountered difficulty and delay in submitting claims for critical illness. It is better to take only a modest amount of critical illness insurance and have personal savings, rather than pay a high premium for critical illness cover where you may face difficulty and uncertaintly in getting approval of the claim (for borderline cases).
This is explained in my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning.
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