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 ūüėÄ

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

Aviva

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

AXA

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 РGreat Term (Up to age 65)
  5. DIRECT РGreat 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.

Prudential

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

Conclusion

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.

Pros

#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.

Cons

#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 Рwe wrote about them here.

Conclusion

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.

Conclusion

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.