Have Your Insurance Coverage Moved With The Times?
Not so long ago, when people talked about insurance, the image that comes to one’s mind is that of insuring against death or accidents.
There is a good reason for this. The jobs that people used to do were more physically intensive and the best paying jobs used to be the ones that put immense strain on the body, which meant they were risking their health for a good day’s wages. That was a world where the economy was far more labour intensive.
Today, in the information age, many of us don’t work like that anymore. The physical work has been replaced by machines. In fact, the highest paying jobs are not physically demanding but rather, they are mentally and/or emotionally stressful.
Simply put, many of us are being paid to handle stress—stress in the form of deadlines, working long and odd hours or even having continuous information flickering on the screens of our smartphones that require our immediate attention and decisions.
This has affected every area of our lives and most certainly, our financial planning. It has been my observation from working with clients that, while they are able to earn a fairly substantial income, their biggest concern is not being able to do the same work for the next 20, 15 or even 10 years. Gone are the 30-year “iron rice bowl” expectations.
This is not from the lack of confidence in the company or industry. Rather, they are worried that if they are handling the same amount of stress or more for a prolonged period, their health may decline and eventually suffer. The concerns have shifted from that of an early demise to the loss of good health. As a result of our increasingly stressful lifestyles and rich diets, we have become more exposed to health risks than before.
In addition, illnesses are no longer as straightforward as they used to be. The world is currently reeling from the effects of the COVID pandemic, and who knows what other variants are emerging from it. The same is true for all the other major illnesses we know about. We have no idea as to how they can mutate and grow. The problem is, our insurance plans don’t automatically reorganise themselves to cover these new risks that we are facing.
Hence, during every review with my clients, I always narrow my focus towards a few basic questions.
- Are you confident that you are adequately prepared if you ever lose your health?
- Do your current protection plans provide you with the funds to pay off your house mortgage in such an event?
- Are your costs, bills and monthly expenses fully provided for if you survive a critical illness like cancer or stroke?
- If you discover a critical illness in the early stages, do you need an insurance payout?
Ultimately, it’s not what the planner or the client knows, it’s what you have or can get when the need for money arises that truly matters. Because the needs of people have evolved with the development of society, it is also necessary for insurance plans to grow accordingly.
Traditionally, critical illness plans have covered a fixed number of illnesses. According to the LIA Critical Illness (CI) Framework 2019, an industry list covers 37 critical illnesses. However, a new type of critical illness plan has emerged, which covers for new diseases that we may not even have heard of yet.
Instead of simply focusing on the critical illness itself, the cover is provided for an illness or injury affecting the key body systems or organs. This is very advantageous to us as it future-proofs us, as well as allow us to be covered for a lot more possibilities. When it comes to insurance planning, what really matters is how much we are covered and what type of coverage we have.
One of the insurers in the industry that provides this coverage is FWD, but this introduction may very well set a new course for all critical illness plans in future. The last thing someone who has been diagnosed with a major illness wants is to be told that they cannot claim for it because it is not on the list of critical illnesses.
This type of critical illness planning helps to take the complexity out of critical illness coverage by removing the list of critical illnesses in critical illness policies and let us focus our energies on recovering.
If you have questions that you would like to ask about FWD Recover First, you can simply reach out to me by arranging for a 30 minutes complimentary discussion via zoom/call here:
As the year comes to a close, it is a time to review your insurance policies to ensure that not only are you covered in the present, you are also more knowledgeable about future-proofing your coverage at the same time.
Article by Lee Meng
The writer is an Executive Financial Services Consultant representing GEN Financial Advisory