What You Need To Know About Insurance Premiums

What you need to know about insurance premiums

Written by Jing Xuan

Premiums are no stranger to a policyholder when one has to part with his money to get insured. However, the topic of premium payment usually surfaces only when you have sat through a long policy explanation by your financial adviser so by the time you have to select your premium payment method, you would probably just agree with your adviser’s suggestions, trusting that it would be the ideal choice for you. Well, that is true most of the time, but paying premium is not as simple as forking out money every month and here are things you need to know before agreeing to that monthly premium payment!

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, an insurance premium is the amount of money an individual or corporation has to pay for purchasing an insurance policy. In short, the cost of your insurance. For the insurers, it represents a liability that they must provide coverage for any claims made under the policy.

Mode of premium payment

The mode of premium payment determines the frequency and method of payment that the policyholder needs to pay to the insurer for the insurance plan.

Difference in premium payments – Single vs regular premium

Although the choice of single or regular premium payment may not be applicable for all policies, it is good to understand what each payment entails.

Single premium requires one to make an upfront payment – that is, pay the entire premium for the policy in one shot. This may be too overwhelming for some as they have to fork out such a large sum of money at one go. Most people are unable to afford such a hefty sum, especially when a longer policy term means more premium required in total.

On the other hand, as the name suggests, a regular premium would require payment at regular intervals be it annually, bi-annually, quarterly, or monthly. For regular premiums, you must be able to keep up with the payments over the long term. Otherwise, the policy may lapse and the policyholder may be at a disadvantage without the desired coverage at critical times. Hence it is always essential to ensure that you are able to upkeep the premium amount throughout the policy term.

Premium Payment period (sometimes dependent on policy terms)

Premium-paying term is the total number of years the policyholder is required to pay the premium. Usually, the premium-paying term would be the same as the policy term. However, some policies grant the policyholder some flexibility in premium-paying term. A shorter term would allow you to complete your premium payments earlier while a longer term enables you to fork out a smaller amount for each payment. Regardless of the term chosen, you will still enjoy the coverage for the entire policy term. However, a shorter premium-paying term means that the policy would be able to accumulate more cash value and hence give a higher surrender value.

Frequency of payment

The most common dilemma would be the frequency of premium payments. Does it matter if you pay annually, bi-annually, quarterly or even monthly? Of course it matters! As a general rule of thumb, a higher frequency payment entails a smaller denomination per payment BUT higher total cost. Paying annual premium helps to cut down on policy costs as annual payments have better rates than monthly payments. You can actually save up to 7-9% in total costs when you pay annually instead of monthly!

The rationale behind the cost difference is the uncertainty in cashflow for the insurers when payments are made in intervals as compared to a lump sum payment. The higher cost also includes the additional collection cost required to process frequent payments.

How to choose the frequency of premium payment?

While the argument for annual payment is appealing, there are other factors of consideration you should think about before making your choice.

Factors of considerations:

#1 Cashflow (liquidity)

If you are a student or fresh graduate trying to get by with your monthly income or starting salary, a large lump-sum payment would limit your cashflow significantly. Also you never know when you might need some additional cash after you have made your annual payment!

#2 Opportunity cost

If you can find a way to grow your money such that the returns are greater than the extra costs of monthly payment, maybe it would be wiser to go ahead and invest your money instead.

#3 Refund after termination

Most insurers would not refund your paid premiums so you might run the risk of losing your paid premiums after making annual payments (or even single premium) if you terminate your policy later on. As such, it is important that you are 100% sure that you need this policy before committing to an annual payment.

Other things you should know about

#1 Level premium vs flexible premium

Whether the premium is level or flexible is usually embedded in the policy so it would not be dependent on the policyholder.

Stepped premiums: insurance premium increases each year as you get older. Stepped premiums are usually cheaper at the beginning but the increasing costs may mean that level premiums are likely to be cheaper in the long run.

  • More suitable for those who intend to get a new plan as they age or those who are financially tight in the short term and prefer more economical premiums at the beginning of a policy.

Level premiums: insurance premium stays the same throughout the policy term. It is generally more expensive than a stepped premium in the beginning and may have slight increases due to inflation adjustments.

  • More suitable for those who would want a greater control of costs over time and those who would have the same life insurance for a long time.

#2 Failure to pay premium

What happens if you are unable to pay your premiums on time?

Grace Period

If you fail to pay your premiums, insurance companies typically have a one-month grace period with no interest charged.

Automatic Premium Loan (APL)/ Non-forfeiture Loan (NFL)

However if you exceed the grace period, the insurer will automatically take a loan against the policy’s cash value (if the policy has sufficient cash value) to pay for the overdue premium. While this keeps the policy in force, interest would have to paid on this loan.
If the NFL together with accumulated interest is more than the cash value of the policy, the insurance company terminates the policy.

Premium Holiday

As its name suggests, a premium holiday is when you take a break from paying your premium for a certain period of time (for as long as the policy has sufficient cash value to keep it in force).

Paid-up value / Reduced Sum Assured

A policy with sufficient cash value may be converted into a paid-up policy whereby you need not pay any more premiums and your policy would still be in force for a reduced sum assured for the rest of the policy term.

Reinstating your policy

After your policy lapses, you may choose to reinstate it within a given period, as long as certain conditions (as stipulated by the insurer) are met.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

5 Reasons Why You Ended Up With An ILP

Reasons why you end up with an IILP

Ah, investment-linked policies – or ILP for short. You hear them everywhere, be it online or offline. What is it, exactly? ILPs are policies with both investment and protection components. They’re flexible in the sense that they cater to consumers who want both at the same time. However, it’s not for everyone and sometimes you end up with one even thought you didn’t intend to. fundMyLife have written two case studies on users who have asked questions on ILP: here and here.

We must emphasize that we here at fundMyLife are not against ILPs. In fact, we believe that an ILP has a place in one’s portfolio. However, the reasons why it ended up in your possession may not be right. In this article, fundMyLife lists the most common reasons why you might have ended up with an ILP.

#1 You were supporting a friend/family/army buddy

This seems to be a very common reason why you’d end up with an ILP. A friend of yours joined the industry, and looked you up for coffee. Sheepishly, the friend divulges that he/she is in financial planning, and is wondering if you have your finances sorted out. Give him/her a chance to help you, your friend says. You realize you have not sorted out your finances anyways.

Before you know it, you’ve signed for an ILP, thinking that your adviser friend is recommending it in your best interests…until it’s too late. You can’t exactly fault them – these friends/family too might have been sold by the benefits of ILPs, and they sincerely believe in it.

Granted, people nowadays are quite savvy and read up plenty. However, peer and family pressure are still pretty strong. It would take a lot to say no. You should never ever use support as a reason to purchase insurance. If you find it hard to say “no” to every family or friend that approaches you to buy a plan, you’ll end up with a mountain of plans and nary an out in sight.

There is still a large percentage of the population that requires education about the finer aspects of personal finance. With blogs like DollarsAndSense and Budget Babe around, it’s much easier to know what you’re getting yourself into when you sign the dotted line.

#2 You didn’t know any better

The idea of investing, to you, is leaving your money in a bank where the interest rate hopefully beats inflation. Alternatively, you use those new-generation of bank accounts which have relatively high interest rates depending on how much you put in. For example, DBS Multiplier Account or OCBC’s FRANK (we wrote something about the former, by the way).

One day you’re walking in a shopping mall, when a well-dressed lady offers you a free gift in exchange for 5 minutes of your time. What was supposed to be a 5-minute affair became 50 minutes, when you were whisked to a cafe nearby. Another well-dressed individual buys you a drink, and proceeds to explain how you need to “start growing your nest egg now before it’s too late”. The individual also shares with you the pain of a family that loses its sole-bread winner, and rhetorically asks if you want the same to happen to your family.

You shake your head. Before you know it, you’ve an ILP in your possession.

#3 You liked the sound of investment + protection

Doesn’t it sound fantastic? It’s such a flexible plan that allows you to invest and get protected at the same time. We live in a time when we want to have our cake and eat it too. Furthermore, it is a hassle to learn to invest. However, do take note that as you age, premiums for your protection component increases.

It means you’ve less money to be directed at your investment component. It is important to constantly readjust the two components so that the premiums for the protection component doesn’t eat into your investments.

#4 You have no time to invest

You have a 9-5 job, and when you’re done with work you’d prefer to spend time with family or friends, or even binge watch that latest show that you’ve been interested in. As such, you’ve truly no time to invest. Or rather, you have no time to learn to invest. Worse still is when your interest is piqued and you see a seminar offered by a celebrity investor, whose course price ranges in the thousands. You attend the seminar, only to find very sensible advice that’s Google-able, and follow-up courses that costs more. Besides requiring time, investing can be a trying exercise on patience and emotions as well.

As such, when the opportunity to purchase an ILP, you were excited. Depending on the fund chosen, the returns can be high (like 8% high). However, the danger about having no time to invest and having an ILP is that you have no time to monitor your returns as well. Before you know it, you’re chalking up losses because despite the constant request by your financial adviser to meet up to review the performance of your fund, you simply have no time to meet him/her.

#5 You have a good financial adviser, and you know exactly what’s up

You have absolutely no financial discipline, and have a hands-off approach to anything that’s finance related. You are also terrible with money. In this case, you probably need either a savings plan or an ILP so that you save/invest regularly.

When you have an excellent financial adviser who can regularly keep you abreast on fund performance, it’s not a bad idea. A good financial adviser will sit down with you and discuss whether you need to reallocate your funds when your current funds are under-performing. The reallocation of funds is a luxury that other plans like endowment cannot do. Endowment plans are at the mercy of the funds that the insurance companies allocate to.


There we have it, folks! These are the reasons why you might have ended up with an ILP. We have four questionable reasons, and one that’s legit. Once again, we must emphasize that we’ve nothing against ILPs, only those advisers who prescribe this plan for everything and everyone. If you ever find yourself needing an awesome financial adviser who won’t suggest ILPs at the drop of a hat, why not head on over to fundMyLife? Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

My First Time Was Painful (When I Started Investing)

Why and how I started investing

[6 min read]

Written by Sherwin Chan, edited by Jackie Tan.

How I got lucky with boredom

Before you read on, what I have written below is more on how I got started with stock investing and some snippets of suggestions inserted based on my personal experience. It won’t be a long read but neither will it be short. Hopefully, I can provide prospective investors with some peace of mind of what to expect. I’ll follow this article up with another one that will help you understand the different types of financial opportunities and how some will not suit you.


I started investing due to boredom.

Now hear me out, it is not that I do not have the awareness that early financial planning would be beneficial in the future, but rather the reason why I first picked up a book related to investments was merely due to boredom. I started investing when I was in the army doing my national service; I was a clerk and was fortunate enough to stay out (go back home daily). Since my daily duties were not physically exhausting, by the end of the day, I had sufficient energy to engage in my hobbies – binge watching my favourite shows.

As time grew on, I got bored of the routine where I just “consume YouTube videos like there is no tomorrow” lifestyle and decided to read more educational non-fiction books instead. This led me to non-fiction books that eventually brought me to topics like economics and investments. I decided to pick up the book on “Stock Investments for Dummies” (I was a dummy then so I might as well start from the book designed for me) and was pretty apprehensive about it at first but still gave it a shot.

Me giving a shot at the book led me to spend the next four months intensely devouring its contents. I studied my book as if I was taking A Levels and learned lots of stuff from it. Now, I’m not promoting the book but merely telling you how I felt when I first dabbled in a topic that I did not know. I was like a caveman seeing the fire for the first time; everything was new and too exciting for me to pass. I’m sure that’ll be the case for you newcomers as well.

Suggestion #1: Your first book should give you the general idea of where to begin

While we are on this note about what books to start with, I suggest newcomers pick up a book that covers the different forms of investments. I started with “Stock Investing for Dummies” (more specialised to stocks) partly because I already knew I wanted to try stocks first before others, but also because I couldn’t find the “Investment for Dummies”, the more general one, and was lazy to go find it on other bookstores. For beginners, always know what choices are available to you first before picking one and going to learn more deeply about it. This means knowing what a bond is, what are ETFs, what are REITs and all the other possible investment products available out there for you. The more you know about each type, the better you can invest based on your needs. Ultimately, if you don’t know anything about investments, it’s best to start with the definition, scope and depth of it first! I will be covering more the different forms of investments in the follow-up article that will be so stay tuned!

Creating my first account

Apologies for the slight digression above but that’s how I am going to place my suggestions. They are all just snippets of useful information, that will be inserted wherever appropriate. Going back to my story…

I eventually got into the process of creating my first brokerage account with DBS Vickers Securities, and it was at this point that I felt that I should have done more. I was naïve then and just assumed that a good brand name for a company was all there is to a brokerage account; I’m not saying that my experience DBS Vickers is terrible, in fact, my experience so far with them has been positive. All I am saying is I did not do the necessary research properly before choosing my brokerage firm. I was lucky that DBS is an excellent firm with a strong reputation, but for other first-timers into the investment scene, I shall create a short to-research list about the brokerage account in the follow-up article (otherwise we would never end this article). For now, let me just share with you my experience when I created mine.

When I first wanted to create an account, I was not eligible for a full trading account (above 21 years old) and signed up under their young investor scheme (18-20 years old) instead. They explained to me what the benefits of having their trading account was and gave me a short risk-profile test and sizing my investment knowledge. Which basically went like this…

Well, the picture might have slightly simplified things but what I can say is that they do all the assess you in a natural flow of conversation that helps keep young, apprehensive investors like me at ease. They also informed me that the brokerage account is different from your usual bank account and how to top up money into it to start trading. They also explained the different avenues which they can help me improve my knowledge of investments. I eventually got my brokerage account and SGX CDP account (requirement if you wish to trade in SGX) created at one go in 15 minutes. With this, I finally had a powerful platform to start my stock picking.

Devouring information

Now doing all the above will only give you the platform to start investing. The other, more difficult portion is knowing what to buy. What I’ve learned over the past couple of years is the importance keeping up to date with industry, economic, political trends and random information off the news. During the whole course of the journey, it is essential that you know everything and anything about the stock you want to buy or already have. Only when you know the latest trends, predictions in the future can you be “in-the-know” about what stock to buy, whether the industry is expanding, threats to your company etc.

Suggestion 2: Start reading early

You don’t have to have an investment account to start knowing what is happening around the world. A lot of news event around the world occurs in a sequence of events; they don’t happen singularly. For instance, predictions you hear about quantum computing doesn’t just come from the wild imagination of a tech geek, these futurists often have seen information and news from around the world that gradually roll out. If you don’t expose yourself to this small but gradual steady stream of information, you will never be able to analyse trends yourself and must always rely on others. What I’m saying is if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t have the habit of reading news regularly, it’s difficult to follow what is happening in the world and that puts you at a considerable disadvantage over other investors in the market. You’ll always be behind the curve. So, start early!

Choosing the first stock

The first stock I picked was a company listed in SGX. It was G92: China Aviation Oil and getting to this stage where I decided my first stock took me two weeks of research. How I went about choosing my first stock was looking at things from a macro to a micro perspective. Firstly, I analysed the country and the sector that I thought had growth potential. In this case, I chose China’s booming aviation sector. After which, I decided on the industry within the sector, and this was the aviation fuel supplier business which China Aviation Oil was engaged in. I mean, planes need fuel to fly so being in the aviation fuel business would suggest that this industry would be part of the booming sector. After choosing the industry, I narrowed down to the different companies and set a price target to buy & sell. Once I felt the price was sufficiently low and had excellent earnings potential, I bought the stock.

How I chose my first stock may seem easy but trust me, it was tough. Firstly, there are many booming industries and stocks with high potential and narrowing it down to one was hard. It is always best to have a few shares in mind eventually and pick one with the most earnings potential based on the current and future market price. There is a reason why I took two weeks to do this because there were many considerations and it is okay to feel lost during all the research. After all, the companies and industries on the list are probably those that you never heard of so take your time to understand as much as you can!

Suggestion 3: Don’t limit yourself

You may have heard from your parents, investment gurus that blue-chip stocks (large established firms) are stable and provide excellent earnings. While it is true they are stable; they may not offer the BEST gains. Don’t just limit yourself to a particular type of stocks, countries, industries etc. Always keep an open mind and do your stock screening well. Always remember to do your research correctly and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! It’s better to make mistakes when your starting capital is small than make an error in the future when your wealth is more substantial.

Suggestion 4: Test whether your pick survives the different ways of picking a stock

My method of going from macro to micro can be a way which you choose shares. However, there are many other strategies which people employ. Pick an approach first and once you have a few companies narrowed down, test them with different strategies and see whether they survive the litmus test and is still worthy of a purchase. The stock doesn’t have to endure all approaches but the more the better. Also, don’t pick a plan that does not align with your goals and needs.

What’s next after you purchase your first stock?

Be patient. That’s the number one key. I know it is tempting to sell your stock when you see a sizable increase in its value OR a sudden decrease in value but always stick to your price objective. In the meantime, it is essential to check the value of the stock at regular intervals to monitor for sudden price changes. Sudden price changes might mean there is new information that may affect your stocks current and future value. During all these, never stop keeping yourself up to date with the latest trends and keep an eye out for the next opportunity. New information in the market can change your price objective and remember to re-evaluate the present and future value of the stock regularly.

My journey from picking up the first investment book to purchasing my first share took me a total of 4 months. It may seem long but in hindsight, the moments I had when I felt lost was invaluable because it taught me many things about how to do and not-to-do things. Trying to establish a sense of direction was arduous and painful, but I’m glad to have gone through this journey. I am now more financially independent and able to help my fellow peers. I am continually learning and from my experience, the critical thing I can share is TRUST YOURSELF.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.


fML Case Study: The Need For Needs Analysis

fundMyLife ILP case study

Financial planning can be a scary thing – it’s meant to chart your financial adventure for current and future life stages. This also means you’re more or less committed to this plan for years ahead, barring any changes in your life. Most of the time, the financial plan that a financial adviser provides works out well. However, when it doesn’t, it causes regret and feelings of being lost.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. That’s where fundMyLife comes in, to connect consumers with questions to the right financial advisers to answer them. In this case study, fundMyLife follows user Elsie* as she asked financial adviser of fundMyLife Roshan Belani of AIA for advice. In the previous fundMyLife case study, Roshan encountered a user who was in a similar quandary and helped resolve his troubles as well.

With their permission, fundMyLife presents to you a case study that highlights the importance of needs analysis.

To hold or not to hold?

Elsie is a young working woman who bought an ILP four years ago. However, a year after she bought the ILP, she had to go overseas to work. Despite that, she maintained the policy for the next three years. At that point, she felt that she can longer continue with the plan and came onboard fundMyLife to seek advice. Since she bought an AIA ILP, fundMyLife’s algorithm once again connected her to Roshan, where they corresponded for a while. She mentioned that she wanted someone unbiased, and thus came to fundMyLife’s portal.(Editor note: looks like we’re doing good on that front).

Roshan first started with a bit of fact-finding. More specifically, he asked about the kind of ILP she purchased. He explained to us that there are several kinds of ILPs in the market, and ILPs can either have both protection and investment, or purely investment. Elsie did not want to confront her original adviser to discuss her plan, which led her to use fundMyLife. Fortunately, he also found out that she had access to the AIA eCare portal, where she was able to examine her policies (and cancel them if need be).

Learning point

If there was a single learning point, Roshan summarized the case study into this: understand your needs for the near and long term. In the case that you are not sure of what your life will be in the future, it is crucial not to commit to long-term plans that take time to mature.

Roshan also stressed the importance of doing a proper needs analysis, as it can help people avoid encountering what Elsie did. If her financial adviser figured out that there was a possibility that she would go overseas for work, she might not have received the recommendation to purchase an ILP. (Editor note: we hope).

He shared that if you’re unable to foresee what your life path is in the near future, he suggests to get a term plan instead. There are 5-year term plans in the market, better suited for those people in transition between locations or life stages.

He also shared that ILPs are more flexible other plans, with stop-gap measures like premium holidays. However, this sort of measure is at best temporary, and should not be used beyond 6 months as it will eat into the value of the policy. Before engaging such plans, it is important to build up enough money to avoid cash-flow problems when paying premiums.


Needs analysis is important, and it goes beyond just calculating the sum assured for the consumer. Call us biased, but online needs analysis tools do not provide the human insights required anticipate possible future events. In needs analysis, uncertainty is as important a factor as certainty.

If you find yourself in the same situation as Elsie, or you’ve questions on financial planning, head on to our main site and ask our curated pool of financial advisers! Alternatively, you can also browse our individual advisers’ pages – just click on their profiles and you can ask them questions directly from their profile pages.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

*name was altered for privacy

The fML Direct Purchase Insurance Guide

Direct Purchase Insurance Guide

In our article, we discussed the benefits and potential pitfalls of getting direct purchase insurance. Now that we know what the pros and cons are, you might be wondering where to get it next.

“Get it online”

…is the most obvious answer isn’t it? Turns out getting direct purchase insurance is not as simple as it seems. You might be able to compare direct purchase insurance on compareFIRST, but…that’s about it. That’s where we come in, to give you a heads up. While it seems counter-intuitive on the surface to write about an adviser-less product, we here at fundMyLife believe in empowering consumers so that they can make informed decisions. As such, in this article fundMyLife parses the Life Insurance Association‘s list on where to purchase this plan, and attempts to expand on the list. This list will be full of links 😀

Think of it as a pretty nifty direct purchase insurance guide. Note: this information is accurate as of May 2018.

Insurance companies

AIA Singapore

Available for online purchase: No

Location to purchase: Customer Service Center, 1 Finlayson Green, Singapore 049246

Places to get information:

  1. AIA – Direct term cover
  2. AIA – Direct whole life cover


Available for online purchase: Yes, but only for Aviva Term Life

Location to purchase: 4 Shenton Way #01-01, SGX Centre 2, Singapore 068807

Places to get information:

  1. DIRECT – Aviva Term life
  2. DIRECT – Aviva Whole life


Available for online purchase: No

Location to purchase: Customer Centre, 8 Shenton Way, #01-21/22, AXA Tower, Singapore 068811

Places to get information:

  1. DIRECT – AXA Term Lite
  2. DIRECT – AXA Life Lite

Etiqa Insurance

Available for online purchase: Yes

Location to purchase: Customer Care Center, 16 Raffles Quay #01-04A, Hong Leong Building, Singapore 048581

Places to get information and purchase:

  1. DIRECT – Etiqa term life
  2. DIRECT – Etiqa whole life

Great Eastern Life

Available for online purchase: Yes

Location to purchase: Customer Service Counter, 1 Pickering Street, Great Eastern Centre, Singapore 048659

Plans available:

  1. DIRECT – Great Life 70
  2. DIRECT – Great Life 85
  3. DIRECT – Great 5yr Term
  4. DIRECT – Great Term (Up to age 65)
  5. DIRECT – Great Term (20 Years)

Great Eastern provides a variety of direct purchase insurance plan, and all of the information can be found on its website.

Manulife Singapore

Available for online purchase: No

Location to purchase: Client Service Centre, 51 Bras Basah Road #01-02C, Manulife Centre, Singapore 189554

Places to get information:

  1. DIRECT – ManuAssure Term
  2. DIRECT – ManuAssure Life

NTUC Income

Available for online purchase: Yes, for DIRECT – Term

Locations to purchase:

  1. Client Advisory Centre, 75 Bras Basah Road, Income Centre, Singapore 189557
  2. Ang Mo Kio Client Advisory Centre, 53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 #03-18/19/20/21, AMK HUB, Singapore 569933
  3. Raffles Client Advisory Centre, 16 Collyer Quay #01-05, Income at Raffles, Singapore 049318
  4. Eastpoint Client Advisory Centre, 3 Simei Street 6 #04-01/02/K7, Eastpoint Mall, Singapore 528833
  5. Tampines Client Advisory Centre, No. 2 Tampines Central 6, Income at Tampines Point #01-01, Singapore 529483
  6. Westgate Branch, 3 Gateway Drive #02-40B, Singapore 608532
  7. Woodlands Client Advisory Centre, 900 Woodlands Drive #05-06, Woodlands Civic Centre, Singapore 730900

Places to get information and purchase:

  1. DIRECT – Term
  2. DIRECT – Whole Life

Note: A little different from the other insurance companies which have only one location, NTUC has many locations where you can buy this plan from.


Available for online purchase: No

Location to purchase: Customer Service Centre, 5 Straits View #01-18/19, Marina One The Heart, Singapore 018935

Places to get information:

  1. DIRECT – PRUprotect life
  2. DIRECT – PRUprotect term
  3. DIRECT – PRUprotect term 5

Tokio Marine Singapore

Available for online purchase: No

Location to purchase: Customer Service Centre, 20 McCallum Street #07-01, Tokio Marine Centre, Singapore 069046

Places to get information:

  1. DIRECT – TM Basic Term
  2. DIRECT – TM Basic Whole Life

HSBC Insurance

Available for online purchase: No

Location to purchase: 21 Collyer Quay #02-01, Singapore 049320

Places to get information:

  1. DIRECT – ValueTerm
  2. DIRECT – LifeProtector

Note: If you have noticed, HSBC seems like the only bank that sells direct purchase insurance? Yes and no, it’s not the bank itself. HSBC Insurance (Singapore) is a subsidiary, wholly owned by HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings Limited, which is in turn owned by HSBC Holdings. HSBC Holdings is the holding company of the HSBC Group, based in London. Don’t let the layer-cake structure fool you – HSBC Insurance is a certified Tier-1 insurer by MAS.

Out of the ten of the insurance companies examined (excluding FWD and SingLife), you can purchase direct purchase insurance from only four of those insurance companies. It seems like not all insurance companies offer direct purchase insurance via an online portal. In fact, if you really want to buy it you’ll have to trek down to very specific offices from each company. This may explain the low adoption rates of the plans. However, it’s still too early to say if this really reflects consumer sentiments.

Online-first companies

These companies are exclusively online, and reflect a new trend of how life insurance is sold. Advisers are also optional, which explains the competitive pricing.

FWD Insurance – www.fwd.com.sg

Singapore Life – https://singlife.com


We hope that our direct purchase insurance guide gave you a better idea of where to get these plans. That said, if you’re considering life insurance, why not consider asking our curated pool of financial advisers first? The financial advisers of fundMyLife were carefully curated to ensure that you’re engaging an awesome professional who won’t let you down.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

Pros and Cons of Direct Purchase Insurance

Pros and cons of direct purchase insurance

As its name implies, direct purchase insurance is a kind of product that you can buy directly from insurance companies themselves. It encompasses term and whole life insurance products with total and permanent disability coverage with the optional of adding critical illness riders. What’s a site like us writing about the pros and cons direct purchase insurance, when we love our curated pool of credible and incredible financial advisers? We here at fundMyLife strongly believe that it is crucial to empower consumers with financial knowledge.

Also, it’s easier to ask questions when you’re sufficiently equipped with knowledge. Thus, in this article, fundMyLife presents the pros and cons of direct purchase insurance.


#1 It’s cheap

The most obvious advantage of direct purchase insurance is that it is cheap. Without financial advisers in the picture, it also means there is no sales commission nor processing fees. You can use those savings and put them to other places, e.g., investments, snacks, etc.

#2 No financial advisers are involved

As mentioned, it is cheap because there’s no commissions. Instead, your premiums now go directly to the insurance company. There is less chance of you encountering rogue advisers who just want to make a quick buck off you by selling high commissions products that you will not benefit from. That said, there is nothing inherently wrong about those products – there’s a right place and time for everything.

#3 Financial advisers must step up their game

It is not a direct benefit to you as a consumer. However, now that consumers can purchase their own life insurance, stakes are higher for existing and aspiring advisers. In theory, advisers now have to make sure that they do not fall behind the inevitable automation that occurs. Furthermore, these advisers will have to improve their financial planning game better in order to compete with direct purchase insurance websites like CompareFIRST and DIYInsurance.

Fortunately, we reiterate that we have those awesome experts in our list of highly curated advisers – hint, hint, hint.


#1 No financial advisers are involved

You might think us glib for repeating the same point as the previous section, but not having an adviser also puts you at a disadvantage. Firstly, you have to do a lot of research for yourself, which may or may not work out well. Advisers undergo rigorous examination and studying, which means from a knowledge perspective they might know a bit more about financial planning, and may spot things that you do not.

In addition, when you DIY your own insurance, you will also be DIY-ing your own claims if disaster strikes. It will be trying to wade through paperwork by yourself if you find yourself in trouble, and there is no one to service you. You have to contact the insurer directly, which is like a box of chocolates – you will never know what (service) you will get. At best, almost instant processing. At worst, it’s a nightmare.

#2 Sum assured

You can insure yourself for up to SG$400,000 per insurer, with a sub-limit of SG$200,000 for whole life direct purchase insurance. For example, if you bought yourself a term life DPI for SG$200,000, you can only buy an additional SG$200,000 coverage from either term life or whole life from the same insurance company. If you need more, you can only buy it more coverage from another insurer with declaration.

SG$400,000 of coverage is okay-ish for an individual, as this number arises from research in 2012 by the Life Insurance Association of Singapore. However, once you need to support a family, you will have to buy multiple products from different companies just to skirt that limit. Therein lies the limitation – you simply cannot go beyond $400,000 per company and it doesn’t make sense to buy the same kind of product from multiple companies.

#3 Limited range of products

While you can obtain a critical illness rider for your direct purchase insurance, you are unable to obtain early critical illness riders. The same argument applies in this case with respect to getting early CI vs regular CI. With technology improving over time, it’s easier to detect critical illnesses like cancer early. However, if there is no early CI protection in place, you will not benefit from early diagnosis (morbid as it sounds).

Furthermore, there are 30 critical illnesses in the rider, compared to the standard 37 critical illnesses found in critical illness plans. These 30 illnesses are the most commonly offered by insurers and account for about 98.5% of claims in Singapore, according to MoneySense FAQ. It makes sense, since several of the 7 diseases that were left out are exceeding rare, like poliomyelitis and apallic syndrome – we wrote about them here.


That’s all folks! We hope that this article clarified the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing your life insurance by yourself. If you’re considering direct purchase insurance due to distrust of financial advisers, why not consider the advisers of fundMyLife? The fML team spends considerable amount of time to curate a quality adviser pool, so that you receive quality advice when you ask on our platform.

If you have any more questions on life insurance, why not ask our curated pool of trusted financial advisers?

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

4 Things To Ask About Life Insurance

Things to ask about life insurance

Life insurance is one of the most, if not the most important plan to get as an adult. It is a plan that pays an amount to your family or dependents upon death and/or terminal illness. If getting a personal accident or health insurance is for your own sake, life insurance is bought for the sake of your loved ones. However, life insurance is quite a broad category, and we here at fundMyLife receives plenty of questions about it. As such, it would be good to write about these questions. In this article, fundMyLife talks about things to ask about life insurance.

#1 What affects my life insurance premiums?

Insurance is all about managing risks, be it from yourself or your surroundings. Unsurprisingly, age is a factor that determines your premiums since there’s a higher chance of you getting sick later in your life. Similarly, men have a statistically shorter lifespan compared to women, so premiums are higher for men too. An infamous factor for insurance premium increase – smoking status – is involved as well. There are smokers who lie about their smoking status, but it only results in an invalid claim later in their lives if it was found that they smoked. It is easy to detect smoking status via blood tests, or if cross-referenced with prior health checkups or doctor visits.

Other factors include health status as determined by your health checkup before purchasing the insurance, family history, and the job you take on as well. Personal accident plans consider your occupation as well, as different occupations have different risk classes.

#2 Do I need a medical exam?

A medical exam is almost always part of the life insurance purchase process. You need to take the medical exam to demonstrate to the insurance company that you’re not a risky customer. No-medical underwriting policies exist, but typically these policies have lower limit for sum assured to reflect the risk that the company.

On the bright side, if you undergo a medical exam you would know whether you’re health or otherwise.

#3 What if my employer/school already bought life insurance for me?

A very common question that we encounter, but the equally common answer is “no”. While your workplace offers life insurance as a perk, the payout is usually too little. Furthermore, there is the risk of losing your job at any point in time and with it, your life insurance plan. A good perk is that sometimes no medical underwriting is required, meaning even employees with health issues may benefit from group plans at the workplace.

How about students? A casual look at National University of Singapore’s group insurance plan reveals that the payout upon accidental death is only $30,000, which is too little as a normal plan. The payout other universities, polytechnics, and ITEs is similarly low as well. There is very little control you have as a student if you only subscribe to your educational institution’s group plan.

As such, it is recommended to get a private plan to supplement your existing ones.

#4 What kinds of life insurance are there?

There are two (or more, depending who you ask) kinds of life insurance, differentiated based on the term length. First is whole life insurance, which protects you over your lifetime. The second is term life insurance, as its name implies it protects you over a fixed time period. The last one is direct insurance products. It is different from the other two because direct insurance products do not involve financial advisers and are generally bought directly from insurance company branches or purchased online.

How about the pros and cons of each? There is an ongoing debate about the merits and demerits of both, with no clear winner in sight. The comparison is a whole different matter to be explore in another article, another time.


That’s all folks. We hope that this article shed some light on the things to ask about life insurance. We here at fundMyLife believe in educating consumers on insurance matters. However, if you have any more questions on life insurance, why not ask our curated pool of trusted financial advisers?

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

Basics of Insurance

Basics of Insurance

Written by Letitia Jinghui Lean, edited by Jackie Tan and How To Adult. This was a guest post for How To Adult.

Self-sufficiency, or in easier terms, being able to cover your own ass just in case. What else does this remind you of? Yup, you guessed it – insurance. Think about having insurance as the ability to build your house from the ground after it gets blown away by the big, bad wolf. With insurance, you’ll save yourself the monetary stress!