Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bad explanation given by AXA

According to this report in Today paper, the insurer of the Ferrari involved in the fatal crash at Bugis took the view that their policy covers "accidents" and not "collision".

I find this statement from AXA to be ridiculous. A motor insurance policy covers damages and losses arising from collision between the insured vehicle and another vehicle or other object. This is the primary cover provided by a motor insurance policy.

AXA Smart Drive policy clearly states its comprehensive cover to be as follows:
"If during the period of insurance, your Motorcar and its original accessories and spare parts are lost or stolen, or are accidentally damaged by the operation of the following perils:
(i) fire, lightning, thunderbolt, explosion, collision
(ii) convulsions of nature, including flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption, hurricane,cyclone,typhoon, windstorm
(iii) self-ignition
(iv) riot, strike and malicious damage.
Collision is clearly stated to be a peril covered by the policy.

Under the "exclusion clause" of the policy, it is stated that the policy does not cover "any wilful act and/or wilful negligence" of the insured or an authorised driver.

"Wilful" is defined as "intent on having one's own way, headstrong or obstinate". AXA has to prove that the Ferrari driver intended to hit the taxi. While he may be driving recklessly, I cannot imagine that he had intended to hit the taxi or to take his own life. 

Learning Chinese

Gilbert Koh gave some tips on learning Chinese or any foreign language. It is enjoyable and effective.

Wrong for AXA to reject this claim

I met a senior person in AXA. He asked my views about AXA's rejection of the claims arising from the Ferrari crash. I said that the decision of AXA was wrong.

Read this letter in the Straits Times

Here are my reasons.

Motor insurance covers collision arising from an accident. The only way for AXA to reject the cover was if the driver had caused the accident intentionally. It would be difficult for AXA to prove this case. So, it is bad for AXA to reject the claim, on the grounds that the driver was reckless.

Component shares of the ST Index

SGX is removing NOL as a component share of the ST Index and replacing it by another share. Normally, when a share is removed from the Index, its price will drop as the index funds (such as the STI ETF) have to sell the shares). The new share that enters the index will see a price rise. I wonder if this will happen in Singapore?  It will be interesting to watch.

Core values or meritocracy?

Meritocracy is a sacred cow that may need to be slaughtered.

Friday, September 14, 2012

FISCA Talk - Priorities @ Retirement

The talk is fully taken up (100 people have registered). We will be arranging another class, tentatively for 20 October. This will be put up separately for registration.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

TKL Associate Facebook

"Like" this page and stand a chance to win books by TKL in the contests held each week

Financial news for consumers

Keep in touch with financial news for consumers in (Information).

Removal of Secondary School Banding

Here are some good news.

12 Sep 2012 :: MOE to remove secondary schools banding

The Ministry of Education (MOE) will abolish the banding of secondary schools by academic results with immediate effect. It will also remove the Masterplan of Awards (MoA) and reduce the number of school awards from 2014. Instead, MOE will place more emphasis on recognising best practices by schools in delivering a well-rounded education. These changes are in line with MOE's efforts to enable every school to be a good school in delivering a student-centric, values-driven education.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Financial Planning Talk for Near Retirees

I am conducting a 3 hour talk on financial planning for people who are
approaching retirement age.

The fee for this talk is usually $30, but it is now provided free as the
cost is sponsored by Singapore Lifestyle Planners.

The topics for this talk is set out in this brochure

Date: 29 September 2012, Saturday
Time: 2 pm to 5 pm
Venue: SMU Administration Building, Function Room 4.1

If you are interested to attend the talk, please register early here:

The advertisement for this talk will appear in the Straits Times this Friday
and also, so I like to tell you about it earlier before it goes
public, in case you are interested to attend.

Cheaper at Changi Airport

I visited Guardian Pharmacy at the airport, after passing through immigration. I asked the staff, "are your prices here higher than the shops outside the airport?". He replied, "We charge the same price here in all our outlets. At Changi Airport, we do not charge GST, so you get it cheaper here."

Give the same entitlement to all

I dislike the approach used by the Government to "differentiate" Singaporeans in getting different entitlements to the GST Vouchers and other top-ups based on arbitrary criteria and cutoff points. It does cause difficulty when some people felt that they have been "differentiated" unfairly.  Read this report,-practical

I prefer that approach adopted in Hong Kong where every citizen gets the same amount, regardless of their income level, age or type of house they live in. Hong Kong did not try to "differentiate" and "calibrate". They adopted a simple and fair method of giving the benefits.

Of course, the Hong Kong method gives the billionaire the same benefit as a pauper. Why begrudge the billionaire,who does pay a thousand of times more in tax anyway, and will probably donate this small entitlement to charity. By trying to "differentiate" the rich from the poor, there are many people who fell on the wrong side of the calibration and felt unfairly treated.

Yields on Singapore Government Securities

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shortage of manpower

I was at the check-in gate at Changi Airport 80 minutes before departure. The gate was supposed to open at that time. It did not. The security staff, under Certis, were chatting away. A long queue of passengers had formed. After 10 minutes, the security staff beckoned the passenger to proceed for security clearance.

I asked the security staff why they started the clearance 10 minutes after the scheduled time. He said, "shortage of manpower".

This answer is not acceptable to me. We have many Singaporeans who are unemployed. Why can't Certis employ them to meet the manpower shortage? They must be keen to make a profit on their contract, rather to spend more on manpower. As a results, the customer service deteriorated.

This is the consequence of the cost cutting, outsourcing practice of our government and quasi-government agencies. By being short-sighted, they have created a deterioration of service standard. Nobody seem to care about this deteriorating situation. (This is not the first time, as I had experienced a similar delay on my previous trip.

I hope that our government leaders are reading this post.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Survey results

Which government policy should be changed?

Should we offer discounted HDB flats?

Exorbitant payments for third party claims

Some motorists were surprised to learn about the large sums paid by their insurers for third party claims. In some cases, the third parties were also at fault, but the insurer paid anyway. In many cases, the amounts paid were exorbitant, e.g. $5000 or $10,000 for a minor damage. The high payments lead to high premium rates and loading on renewal.
Have you experienced this yourself or know of friends who suffered this fate? Share your views here. 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

National Conversation - a new name to an old practice

We seem to be having conversation with the people after every general election. I have lost how many times, we had this type of conversation. It is a big effort and usually ends up with the same strategy. We do have nice sounding slogans, such as the "shared values" and the "Swiss standard of living" generated in previous exercises.

Why does Singapore need to have this type of exercise? I do not see other countries putting in similar efforts. Well, here is the answer!

In other countries, there are active debates in Parliament. They hold their national conversations all the time in their legislature. Why can't Singapore follow the same approach, and have a more active Parliament?

Stop wasting money and time

5 September 2012 

Editor, Forum Page
Straits Times

Each year, i received envelopes marked "Important, need immediate attention" from 
several listed companies. It contain an option to receive the dividend in script. 

I do not intend to use this option and do not wish to be bothered by this invitation. There is 
no place in the option form for me to "unsubscribe" to this invitation.

I hope that Singapore Exchange will ask the listed companies not to waste money and 
time to send this invitation repeatedly to shareholders who do not have any 
interest to subscribe for further shares. 

The listed companies should ask their shareholders if they wish to opt in for this exercise, 
or give them an option to opt out.

Tan Kin Lian

Results of survey - Affordable HDB flats

87% of Singaporeans express support for a new category of HDB flats that are sold at a 30% discount, but have to be sold back to HDB. Half o the 49 respondents are existing HDB flat owners. Only 20% express "big concern" over the impact on the price of existing HDB flats.

Results of Survey on Government Policies

In this survey, 38 people replied on what they like to see as changes in government policy. The results are quite surprising.

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