Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Insurance companies: commitment and transparency needed

Here is a letter printed in The New Paper:,4136,176036,00.html


C H Yak said...

Is'nt this the same as the much publicised Financial Guardian Plan (FG)which was sold by AIA.

Since then, what has the REGULATOR done? In the FG issue, the Insurer circumvent the issue by pushing it to the buyers and the Adjudicator who was appointed by the Insurer. I was a purchaser, and like many purchasers then, I am still unhappy.

Is it then an issue of "bad business ethics and industry norm" or "poor regulation"? Singapore emerged top as a "pro-business" country; does it means the REGULATOR is taking it "easy" with the Insurers; in similar line our country is coming out top as being "pro-businesses" in the whole world?

From my own past experiences, I believe our complaints to our so-called REGULATORS as a consumer often fell on "deaf" ears or simple in-action.

Just a comparison :-

Angered buyers of properties in Hangzhou (China)turned up and smashed up the office of a property developer who suddenly started to sell the same property units at 20~30% further discount from the initial price marketted.


A top destination (country) for doing business where exploited and aggrieved consumers have to listen with muzzled mouths to an Adjudicator who is appointed by the Insurer; while he is still called an "INDEPENDENT ADJUDICATOR", mind you "independent". If I did not listen and take up his proposed terms of resolution,I had to pay premiums till over 90 years old to earn a "reasonable" return or just to break-even.

It was a blessing I was not conned further to pay higher premiums for purchasing expensive plans with "reversionary bonuses" etc. I wonder what are these purchasers getting in return now. It should be amazing.

Falcon said...

I received a phamplet from NTUC Income about the infectious cum accident policy. It looks very good on paper. However, since I am now very wary of the conduct and intention of NTUC Income, I decided to go to their website and check further. Sure enough, after some searching which I will not do if the retired Mr Tan is at the helm, I found an exclusion which include a pandemic and an epidemic.
A check with the wikipedia for the meaning of an epidemic shows the following:-
"Defining an epidemic can be subjective, depending in part on what is "expected". An epidemic may be restricted to one local (an outbreak), more general (an "epidemic") or even global (pandemic). Because it is based on what is "expected" or thought normal, a few cases of a very rare disease like rabies may be classified as an "epidemic," while many cases of a common disease (like the common cold) would not."

So it seems that the moment more than a few cases of SARS for example surfaces, and the insurer has the right to invoke the exclusion clause. This is tantamount to covering you with an umbrella and when it starts to rain, take it back by saying that this is an exclusion, isn't it?
What is the point of covering oneself with this policy, thinking that if Sars or one of these rare diseases happen, one will be covered when actually it is not, since the definition of epidemic is subjective and a few cases can be defined as an epidemic. So in other words, after insuring 300,000 people, they need to pay only the first few and all others are excluded in the name of an epidemic. Most people will not be aware of this if I did not bring it up. I will not have bothered to check if I did not recently experience the unfair treatment from NTUC Income under its new CEO.

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