Thursday, August 03, 2006

Incomeshield claims will be processed more quickly

NTUC Income has 800,000 people insured under Incomeshield.

We receive an average of 300 claims each day from the hospitals in respect of these insured persons.

We have to process the hospital bills to check on the items that are allowed to be claimed, and to apply the deductible and co-insurance. For example, for certain treatments, the insurance plan covers up to certain limits and the excess has to be paid by the insured person.

In the past, the processing of each bill takes an average of 10 minutes. But the large volume requires 8 officers to process the claim. On average, it takes 14 days to approve the claim.

We have recently introduced an automated processing of the bills. Phase 1 of the automation process will be implemented by mid Aug 06. We expect that 40% of the bills can be approved within 2 days of receipt.

Phase 2 of the automation process, which is expected to be ready by Oct 06, will allow an additional 40% of the claims to be approved by the system within 2 days.

The remaining claims are more complicated and will continue to take about 14 days to approve.

I wish to thank our policyholders for your patience during this initial period. I hope that the quality of service will improve significantly by the end of this year.

Many Agents wish to migrate to NTUC Income

We have good response from our advertisement "Soar in your Insurance Sales". About 100 agents have called our hotline or registered at our website. They are interested to find out about migrating to NTUC Income.

Here is my message to agents who now work with other insurance companies. If you are doing well, you should stay with your current company. If you find it difficult to meet their sales target, it is largely due to a "poor fit". This is not any shortcoming on your part.

Some agents are not aggressive and feel bad about pusing products to a reluctant customer. They will fit well into NTUC Income. Our culture is to look after the best interest of the customer. We do not have to push any product to them. They buy from us willingly.

We pay a fair rate of comission to our agent. They can earn well.

If you are interested to find out more, you can at We will contact you for a briefing.

A special needs child


Dear Mr Tan,

I enjoyed your blog very much, it still amazes me that you post messages in the wee hours! It says a lot about your dedication to Income and the policyholders. Personally, I benefited a lot from reading your articles on financial planning.

I have been an Income policy holder for about 15 years now. When my son was born in 2003, I bought him 2 policies; a living policy and an Incomeshield policy in the same year.

In December 2005, he was officially diagnosed with autism. Little do we know that such a 'label' is actually a frightening term for insurance companies.

We were approached by an agent from company P in May this year. We switched Incomeshield to their plan due to the higher coverage. We did not declare "Autism" due to genuine ignorance.

Two months later, we wanted to get another policy with company P for my son and declared "Autism". To my horror, not only did they reject this proposal, they even cancelled their shield plan. The agent came to collect the certificate back!

There was no official letter, no apology , no explanation. I am appalled by the way we were treated! They don't even want to look at his psychology report. My son does not have severe autism. He does not inflict injury to himself.

Mr Tan, I don't know if it's too much to ask you to help reinstate his Incomeshield policy but it means alot to my special needs kid.



I will ask my manager to see what we can do. Maybe, we can resinstate the basic Incomeshield cover that you had previously with us. I am not sure if we are able to upgrade into the enhanced cover. I will let him decide what is best. Okay?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why I like working in NTUC Income

Dear Mr Tan,

I have been working in NTUC Income since 1st Aug 02. Today is exactly my 4th year in this wonderful organization.

I am one of the fortunate ones to have this chance of job rotation.

I have rooted and enjoyed myself in working in NTUC Income because I love the organisational culture, such as M-E-R-I-T principles

Meritocracy: I just got a salary review based on good work performance
Entrepreneurship: CEO keeps educating and encouraging us to adopt this approach
Respect: We respect each and everyone's ideas irrespective of their position
Integrity: Given authority to handle claims
Teamwork: We work as a team to be first in our project

On top of the above, I love the 1-4-14 rule. It is such a wonderful approach. We will acknowledge to one's email on the same day. If it requires a straight forward reply, we will do so on the same day, otherwise we shall reply in 4 days time. If it is a more complicated issue, we will let the customers know that we will get back to them in 14 days time.

Customers will appreciate this approach a lot as they know that their queries are being attended to.

I am proud to tell my customers, relatives and friends that NTUC Income won the Gold Award for Singapore Call Centre of the Year! Customer calls are answered immediately by a person.

Last but not least, I truly admire the leadership lead by the CEO of Income, Mr Tan. He is very open, actively involved in lecturing courses, such as effective writing, staff briefing!

I am proud to be part of this organisation !

Policyholder is happy about the increase in bonus

The policyholder was unhappy that the bonus under this growth policy was cut in 2003. It was susequently increased in 2003 and 2004, but he was not specifically told about it. He asked why?



We increased our bonus rates for the growth policy during the past two years. We show the bonus in each year's policyholder statement.

We do not wish to show a revised projection each time that the bonus has been changed, as it will cost us $1 million to send this information. We wish to avoid incurring this additional cost. We wish to spend less, so that there is more bonus to be given to our policyholders.

Of course, for policyholder who wish to request for this information, we are happy to oblige.

I hope that you understand our intention.


Policyholder is unhappy with lower maturity value


My colleague informed me that you are unhappy with the maturity benefits you will be receiving under your Growth policies. The amount fell short of the projected figure.

Your two policies were bought in Aug 2001. At the time we sold you these policies, we gave a projection based on our best estimates. It was not possible for us to foresee the unfortunate events that followed in that year.

The investment climate had been extremely difficult and we had to cut our bonuses. Subsequently, we did better and were able to restore the bonuses, but only partially.

You invested a total of $110,000. You will be receiving $127,600. This represents a return of 3.01%. I think that is fairly attractive. It is higher than what you would have received if you have kept your monies in your CPF Ordinary Account.



Thank you for your feedback. I will ask my head of Life insurance to check that your policy has been treated fairly, similar to other policies of the same group.

Under our participating contract, we share our financial results fairly with all policyholders. If we earn more, we increase our bonus. If the investment climate is poor, we have to reduce the bonus, but it has to be applied fairly to everyone in the same group.

Be generous in settling this claim

A motor policyholder installed a car tracking device. His car was stolen in Johor. It was recovered due to the device.

He incurred a loss of M$1,000 in making various payments, and has to incur an Excess of $500. Despite this, he is very happy to get his car back. This is because his financial loss will be much greater if the car was not found back.

Some of the expenses are not covered under the insurance policy as there is no evidence of the payment. I requested my claim manager to be generous in settling this claim in full and to waive the Excess, if possible. Ny installing the tracking device, he has helped us to reduce the loss.

More insurance advisers wish to migrate to NTUC Income

Last evening, 19 persons attended our recruitment talks. 14 expressed an interest to join us. 7 are agents who now work in other companies. They wish to migrate to NTUC Income.

We have received 40 applicants who are attending our next recruitment talk in 1 week's time.

Since our advertisement on "Soar in your Insurance Sales", we are getting strong response. Many people are convinced that they have a better chance to do well with NTUC Income.

If you are interested, you can register with

Our growth policy still provide an attractive return

A customer invested her savings in two growth policies which offered a return of 3.55% over 6 years and 4% over 10 years. These rates were much higher than the prevailing interest rate from the bank at the time that the investments were made.

She saw that the short term interest rate has increased in recent months, and asked this question: currently, market interest rate is high, about 3.45%,are we adjusting
our returns to be comparable with the market?

Here is my explantion:


When a policyholder invest in the growth policy, we promise the guaratneed sum assured and a bonus that will vary accordign to the actual return from the investments in the fund.

We have to invest the money to achieve an attractive long term rate of return, but in safe investments. This is done in the interest of our policyholders.

Most of our investments are in bonds and a smaller proportion in shares. The actual return from our fund is quite different from the short term interest rate offered by the banks.

Generally, when the market interest rate has increased, we should see an increase in the return from our fund, but the increase will apply only to the portion of the fund that has not yet been invested. The impact will be smaller than the actual increase in the interest rate.

In recent years, we have increased our bonus rates on the growth policy to reflect the better return from our fund. Our growth policy still provide an attractive return, compared to other investments.

I hope that you understand and accept my explanation.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Culture of Openness and Transparency


I am also taking this opportunity to thank Mr Tan KL for his immediate response.

I wish to let him know that his "" website provides useful information of general interest in allowing persons (not only policyholders) to air their views on Income's business practices, and also allowing for policyholders to air their grievances, if any.

This culture of openness and transparency is not usually found wanting in general when financial institutions market their insurance and investment products.

Income has been very successful in its short history (compared with other older insurers) and its business practices are very focused on consumer interests and protection. It has shown itself to be a good corporate citizen in its support of the arts and sports (especially the huge financial support for the sleague to ensure its success).

Monday, July 31, 2006

This customer prefer to come to Business Center

Dear Mr Tan

I like this new way of seeking information from NTUC product specialist instead of an agent serving me. Agents tend to push products which earn them more commission than needed for me - the client. Agents are only good if they are my personal friend who truly care for me.

Unfortunately I've no such 'friends' with NTUC Income despite all my insurance policies are with Income.

Your specialist has been prompt in answering my questions about enhanced incomeshield and plus rider even over weekends.

All his answers to my queries are clear and now I can go ahead to change my incomeshield and add the plus rider. I really appreciate his service.

Customer enjoy our educational talks

Hello Mr Tan,

Just a little note to say thank you for all those informative educational seminars. I have been an income policyholder since 1984 and have had also bought several other policies since then.

I still remember the pighead story which you shared with the audience during one of your talks quite some time back. Not to worry as the good will always truimphs the evil! It always reminded me of the "sloggy" and "suspicious" counterclaims for my car insurance way back.

Thanks again for your busy time. Most of the time, when I prefer to buy insurance from Income, mainly due to your leadership for the co-operative.

Travel insurance covers loss due to closure of agency

Today Paper

We refer to your article, "Ananda suspends business, settles refunds", (TODAY, 26 Jul).

Travellers are encouraged to take up travel insurance plans whenever they go overseas to protect themselves against any unpleasant circumstances that might arise as has happened in this case.

People tend to buy travel insurance at the last minute, before departure. We advise that travel insurance should be activated as soon as the deposit is paid, as most comprehensive travel insurance would have a trip cancellation benefit. The premium is the same regardless of when the purchase was made.

This benefit covers the non-refundable portion of all travel costs prepaid in advance should the trip be cancelled due to circumstances stated in the policy terms. For example, serious illness or injury sustained by the traveler or his family members or bankruptcy or insolvency of the travel agent or airline.

NTUC Income's travel insurance covers up to as much as $10,000 for trip cancellation. To provide better peace of mind for policyholders, our affordable yet comprehensive travel insurance plans also cover terrorism and natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami and floods. Cover can be activated immediately with simple phone call to our hotline at 96INCOME (9646 2663).

Regular travelers, including those who make frequent trips to Johore and Batam, may also find it more economical to take up annual plans.

More information can be obtained from our website,

Freddy Neo
General Manager

Is it possible to buy direct and enjoy a bigger discount?

A visitor read my blog that the commission rates paid to our advisers are 30% to 50% lower than the market. He asked if it is possible to buy directly from NTUC Income and get a further discount?


Our premium rates are already much lower than the market for similar products. This is possible due to the lower commission rates paid to our adviser.

If you come directly to us, we still need to pay the salary of the consultants at our business center. This is barely covered by the savings in the commission. So, we are not able to give a further discount.

If we are able to enjoy further savings, we will use the savings to give a better return to all policyholders, through higher reversionary bonuses.

Some customers are willing to come to the business center for the same premium, as they feel more comfortable about talking to a salaried consultant. They do not feel under pressure to buy the product.

Actually, our advisers are also not pushy. They are willing to give advice to customers by e-mail and telephone, and to refer them to the internet website for information. This is just as good as visiting the business center.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

FAQ: The Right Insurance Plan

1. Why is it important to have life assurance?

Life is uncertain. If anything unexpected happens to you, life insurance can provide a sum of money to take care of the financial needs of your family.

You can also use life insurence to make savings for your future needs, for example, after your retire from work.

2. Who should I buy it from?

You can buy life insurance from any of more than a dozen companies. But, we recommend that you buy it from NTUC Income.

NTUC Income is a cooperative society. We keep our cost low and pay a smaller share of profits to shareholders. This allows our policyholders to pay a lower premium and can enjoy a higher return on your savings.

Many of our policyholders find that the payout from NTUC Income on the maturity of their insurance policy is 10% to 20% higher than similar products from other insurance companies. If the payout is $100,000, the difference can be more than $10,000. That is a lot of money.

3. What is the right life insurance plan?

It depends on your financial situation and your needs.

For most young people, their need is to have financial security for the family and to make additional savings for their future. A whole life or endowment policy is more suitable for them.

For older people, their need is to earn a higher return on their cash and CPF savings. They can invest in a fund to earn a higher return. But they have to be aware of the risk and learn how to turn risk into an advantage.

They also need insurance to pay for their medical bills and to cover losses due to accidents and other risks.

An insurance adviser can help you.

4. How do I find an adviser?

You can call 6877 3366, if you wish to have an insurance adviser to see you in your home.

You can also visit our business center at Bras Basah Road or Tampines Point to talk to our salaried consultant.

5. Can I get more information, without seeing an adviser?

You can visit our website at It contains a lot of information about our products and services. You will find it easy to search for the information that you need. About 10,000 people visit our website daily.

You can also visit an educational website called You can spend 20 minutes to learn about a common insurance products and to take a simple test. About 300 people visit daily.

You can visit this website to see a comparison of financial products:

You can also attend an educational talk conducted very week. Call 6877 3366.

Insurance Adviser wish to return to NTUC Income

Dear Mr Tan Kin Lian,

I shall be very grateful if you could approve my application for the post of an Organizer with NTUC INCOME.

I was with NTUC INCOME from .... to ..... as a Development Officer and moved over to .... to be a FA representative in Aug 2004. Prior to joining NTUC INCOME, I was with another insurance company from 4 years. In all, I have more than 17 years of experience in the insurance industry.

Sir, please give me an opportunity to come back and work as an Organizer.


We welcome you back. My colleague will contact you.

Happy birthday - Time to review your investments!


Hi Tan,

A big "Thank you" for the Birthday Wishes.

Who is the best in your team to teach me about various Unit Trust Fees structures in the Market ( like monthly Wrap Fees etc., ) ... also looking for some comparative note on how various Financial Investments companies operating here .. ( for example dollar-dex, fundsupermarket, IFAST, NTUC Income etc., ).

It is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, including my own, to find that somebody remembers me.
~Ellen Glasgow


Here are some links that you will find useful:

I will ask ........ to contact and advise you.

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