Frequently Asked Questions

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Is there a duplication if I buy the Home Contents Insurance and Fire Insurance together?

No. Home Contents insurance is designed to cover your personal possessions that are movable such as furnishings, appliances, clothing, jewelry, cash, etc. whereas Fire insurance is designed to cover those things you would not take like fixtures and fittings.

How many types of Motor Insurance are available in the market?

In terms of coverage, the following types of motor insurance policies are available

  1. Third Party Only - it covers the liability at law for death, injury or property damaged to third parties
  2. Comprehensive - it is the type of policy with widest coverage and in general most expensive

What is NCB?

NCB is only for car insurance and means no claim bonus under the Motor insurance policy. Policyholder with one completed year of clean claim record will be given 20% NCB upon renewal of the policy and then the NCB will be increased by 10% for each additional consecutive year of clean claim record up to a maximum of 60%. The NCB is reflected in the renewal premium.

Do I still need to buy another Travel insurance policy for myself if my travel agent already have an insurance policy for me?

Most insurance policies effected by travel agents provide coverage to serious accidents or injuries and do not cover loss of luggage, delay or cancellation of trip, medical expenses, etc. Therefore, each individual should have his or her own policy.

How many day(s) in advance should I apply Travel Insurance for my trip?

As most travel insurance policy would have trip cancellation coverage, you are suggested to effect the insurance as soon as your itinerary is confirmed.

Is there any specially designed insurance policy for people who frequently travel to Mainland China?

Yes. There is a kind of China Medical insurance available in the market that provides the policyholder with hospital admission guarantee without worrying about the deposit in case of accidents or acute sickness in China. It also covers any medical costs where needed.

What is the difference between Domestic Helper Insurance and Employee's Compensation?

An Employees' Compensation Insurance covers compensation that the policy holder is legally liable to pay as an employer to his/her employee for his/her bodily injury by accident or disease arising out of and in the course of employment. A Domestic Helper Insurance is a specially designed insurance product that includes an Employees' Compensation Insurance cover and some extra insurance with options included that the employer may want to buy because of the employment of a domestic helper. Domestic Helper Policy is now generally regarded as Employees' Compensation insurance for employment of domestic helper.

What is Personal Accident Insurance?

Personal Accident Insurance Policy provides benefit to the insured person upon his death or disablement as a result of an accident. Many Personal Accident Insurance Policies available in the market provides other additional benefits such as Hospital Cash Allowance either as optional benefit of the policy or as added value.

Is medical examination required for purchasing Personal Accident insurance?

No medical examination is required.

How many categories of life insurance are available in the market?

Major categories are: Whole Life, Term, Endowment, and Unit linked. However, these are just the major categories and there are many other options.

What is the difference between Term Life insurance and Whole Life insurance?

Term life insurance are policies that provide life cover for a fixed duration or term and if the insured dies during this term, the insurance company will pay the sum insured. If the insured lives until the end of the term, no payments would be made and the policy expires. Normally the longer the term and older the person the more the premium charged.

Whole life insurance is the most common type of life insurance plan. It offers protection throughout the life of the insured and in addition there is normally an element of savings involved. Whole life policies are policies that build up a cash value. It is also normal for the policies to have dividends.

Is medical examination required for life insurance?

All applicants are required to complete a health declaration or health questionnaire. Whether medical examination is required depends on the answers to the health questions and insurance companies' guideline, and on the sum insured.

Why does the premium get higher as I get older?

There are very complex ways of describing this in the insurance industry but the simplest answer is as you get older so the chance of dying increases, and with this increased risk the premiums become more expensive.

Can I still keep my policy after migrating to other countries?

Yes, if the policy is a worldwide contract.

If I terminate my policy, can I get any refund?

It depends on different types of policy and insurance companies' guideline.

Why should I read this?

If you want to make provisions for the welfare of your loved ones after your death but find the subject of life insurance confusing or intimidating, read on. It's easier to understand than you think, and the rewards can be substantial.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a financial resource for your loved ones in the event of your death. You enter into a contract with an insurance company, which promises to provide your beneficiary(ies) with a certain amount of money upon your death. In return, you make periodic payments, known as premiums. The amount of the premiums generally depends on factors such as your age, gender, occupation, medical history and whether you intend to build up cash value in your policy. Some policies may require a medical exam.

Certain types of life insurance may also provide benefits for you and your family while you're still living. Such policies accumulate cash value on a tax-deferred basis that can be used for future needs such as supplementing your retirement income or helping provide for a child's education.

Do I need life insurance?

The ability to earn an income can be considered your family's most valuable asset because your income allows you to obtain other assets, particularly the necessities of life and, of course, the creature comforts. However, as we know, the ability to earn an income is not guaranteed. Yet, the need for income may continue for those who were financially dependent upon you. Consequently, your need for life insurance and the amount will depend upon your personal and financial circumstances. If any of the following statements apply to you, you probably do need to consider life insurance:

  • You have a spouse.
  • You have dependent children.
  • You have an aging parent or disabled relative who depends on you for support.
  • You have another loved one that you wish to provide for.
  • You have business or estate planning needs that life insurance can satisfy
  • Your retirement pension and savings are not enough to insure your lived ones' futures against a rising cost of living.

What are some other reasons you may want to consider life insurance?

In addition to the comfort of knowing that you have provided for your loved ones after your death, there are several other reasons you may want to consider life insurance, including:

  • If your policy has cash value, the cash value may be used to help with big-ticket items such as college education or a downpayment on a home. Most cash-value policies enjoy a tax-deferred status, meaning that you do not pay taxes on any cash value accumulation until you receive funds from the policy.

How can I choose the policy that's right for me?

Life insurance is a long-term commitment. Before buying any policy, ask yourself these very important questions:

  • How much insurance do I need? If I were to die, what would my spouse and dependents need in order to live comfortably?
  • In addition to protection, what am I trying to accomplish with life insurance? Am I accumulating funds for education costs? Providing away to pay estate taxes? Do I need some additional supplemental income for my retirement or emergencies? Remember that Term life pays a death benefit only, while Whole, Universal and Variable policies can supplement your income through withdrawals or loans against a policy's cash value.
  • How much can I afford to pay for a policy?
  • Is the insurance company I'm considering financially secure? Do they have a good claims payment history, good customer service and competitive prices? Independent companies such as Standard and Poor's, A.M. Best, Moody's, Fitch and Weiss rate insurance companies and their publications can be found in your local library.

What are my options?

There are four basic types of life insurance to meet your individual needs.

Term life insurance is the least expensive type of coverage, at least initially, and the simplest. These policies do not build up a cash value. Coverage is in effect for a fixed term or period of time - usually one to 30 years - and usually can be renewed. The policy pays your beneficiary a fixed amount of money if you die during the term of the policy. The premiums are lowest when you are young and increase upon renewal as you age. Be sure to check your policy for age or other renewal restrictions.

Whole life insurance provides protection as well as a cash value. The premiums remain at a fixed level for the duration of the contract. Over time, the policy generally builds up cash value on a tax-deferred basis. Many companies pay policyholders a dividend. Dividends provide both flexibility and increased value to your life insurance policy. They can add more coverage to your overall insurance benefit and can build a sizable cash value.You may prefer this type of coverage since the cash value can benefit you while you're still alive. You can use it to supplement retirement funds or help provide for a child's education - it's your money to use as you need. You should, however, keep in mind that life insurance should not be purchased solely for accumulation. Its primary purpose is protection. Also, withdrawals and/or loans will decrease the death benefit.

Universal life insurance is a flexible life insurance plan. These policies are interest-sensitive and permit the owner to adjust the death benefit and/or premium payments, within limits, to fit the owner's situation. Your net premium payments are applied to the accumulation fund, which earns a guaranteed interest rate. The monthly cost of the death benefit and policy administration is deducted from the accumulation fund. As with whole life insurance, the cash value is yours — you may withdraw it or borrow against it at any time. Read your policy carefully to understand how withdrawals may affect the death benefits.Since you decide how much premium to pay, within limits, some universal life policies even allow you to skip payments. If you skip a premium payment, the administrative and death benefit costs are deducted from your cash value. The policy stays in effect until your cash value can no longer cover these costs. Make sure you understand your annual statement so you know how much interest your policy is earning and how much cash value you have. Universal life insurance rates are subject to change, but the rate will never fall below the minimum rate guaranteed in the contract.

Variable life insurance is for those who want to tie their life insurance policy to the performance of the financial markets. You decide how your net policy values are to be invested. Your cash value may have the opportunity to accumulate more rapidly than with other cash value policies, but you incur additional risk. If market performance is poor, your death benefit may decrease, and you may have to pay higher premiums to keep the policy in effect. As with whole and universal life policies, you may borrow against or withdraw the cash value at anytime. Keep in mind that loans and withdrawals may reduce cash values and the death benefit. Read your policy carefully for any possible charges associated with these transactions. These policies are sold by prospectus, a valuable disclosure document, that you should also read carefully.

How can I conserve costs?

Here are some ways you can save money when purchasing the life insurance that's right for you.

  1. Don't buy insurance if you don't need it, and don't buy more insurance than you actually need to provide for your loved ones.?
  2. Shop for a competitively-priced policy while you are in good health. Don't smoke. Take care of yourself by exercising regularly and maintaining a moderate weight.
  3. If you buy term insurance, look for guaranteed renewable policies. That way you won't have to shop for a new policy (with higher premiums) when you're older.
  4. Buy additional riders, which are optional forms of coverage, only if you need them.
  5. Shop around and compare prices and coverage. There are over 2,000 companies selling life insurance policies. Get at least three quotes on comparable policies, and ask questions about the policy's renewal and withdrawal provisions.
  6. Participate in your employer's sponsored life insurance program, even if you have to contribute?or pay for it. This form of life insurance coverage, known as group insurance, pools good, average and poor risks to offer a benefit that can be less expensive than comparable plans offered outside of work. You may be able to obtain coverage up to a certain level without providing evidence of good health, a key advantage. Additionally, group insurance plans often provide for continued coverage during periods of disability. Many plans are administered through payroll deduction, a very convenient way to pay for coverage. And finally, many plans allow you to continue your coverage even after you leave employment by continuing payment of premiums or converting coverage to an individual policy.

What if I already have life insurance coverage?

Even if you have life insurance, keep in mind that life changes and, as it changes, so do your needs for protection. Your life insurance needs should be reviewed every few years. Any of the changes listed below should prompt you to sit down with your insurance agent to make sure your plan is still appropriate.

  • You have recently married or divorced
  • A child or grandchild has been born or adopted
  • Your health or your spouse's health has deteriorated
  • You have begun to provide care or financial help to a parent
  • A loved one will require assistance or long term care
  • You have recently purchased a new home
  • Your children or grandchildren are about to enter school or college
  • You or your spouse retired or will retire early
  • You or your spouse has been promoted recently
  • You have refinanced your home mortgage in the past six months
  • You or your spouse has received an inheritance

Can I trade or replace my policy?

You can trade or replace your policy, but it's not something to be considered lightly, regardless of whether you are thinking of switching policies within the same company or switching from one company to another. New policies typically have high costs the first few years and there is normally a new "contestability period" during which the insurer can cancel the policy and refuse to pay death benefits if an application was misleading. If you want to increase your total life insurance, it is probably better to keep your old policy and simply add a new one, or increase your specified face amount under the same life insurance policy. For example, suppose your objective is to have $100,000 of life insurance and you currently have $50,000. It maybe better to keep the existing $50,000 policy and buy a second $50,000 policy to reach your goal of $100,000. Your existing policy premiums will generally be less than those for thee new policy, because you bought it when you were younger and you won't lose any existing cash value. Be sure to ask your agent, financial advisor or insurance company about the best alternative for your specific situation.