Thursday, 22 May 2014

Why Buy Insurance?

My throat is dry.

For a change, I'll stop singing.

Those of you who have bought insurance (not sold to), what were your motivations?

It will be interesting to listen to beer buddies' viewpoints.


  1. Hi Jared, good question, do far the only insurance that I bought (not sold) is medical insurance as I deemed it as necessity!

    1. Thanks Richard!

      Great to have someone younger than me but still in the same generation here! Someone who knows the lingo and songs of the 80s!

      I'll be 47 years young end of this year :)

      I have the same view as you.

      Although I only have Medishield now; it''s still a medical insurance right? Plain like vanilla hor?

      I cancelled my hospital and surgical plans 9 years ago when I moved overseas. My expat medical and dental package were quite attractive.

      The bummer was when I decided to leave the corporate world... Opps! I found myself totally naked when it comes to medical and dental plans....

      (Newbie insurance salesperson, I've just given you a great sales hook as counter-argument to those who think their company will take care of them forever)

      Thank goodness my fears were allayed during the last 2 years - mom's two eye surgeries and one laser treatment were all quite affordable after deductions from Medishield.

      Of course that's if we are OK with Class B1 and below.

      I'm fine with it.

    2. Hahaha, I am not that far off (I am 42 years young now).

      Yes, Medishield is still considered medical insurance but you are advised to take up supplementary Shield Plan for two reasons :
      a. You can use your medisave to pay for your premium
      b. Basic Medishield is not enough to cover the medical costs.


    3. Thanks Richard!

      I have my own emergency fund.

      I'm good with Medishield ;)

  2. Real current case:-

    My brother-in-law who is a "Jolly Good Fellow " to anyone who knows him have lost quite lot of money through insurance sold to him. When he was 60 years old, his critical illness insurance expired. His insurance agent just buy for him a new ( or renew) critical illness insurance. Imagine how expensive the premium is at age 60. My brother-in-law being a "Jolly Good Fellow", just goes along with his insurance agent lol.
    Then just after he bought about less than one month or two, even before he has received his new policy, he has been diagnosed with 3rd or 4th stage colon cancer.
    Some cancer growth have even been spotted in his lung and liver.

    Of course, he thought that his days are numbered. Most friends & relatives who are doctors themselves, that after looking at his complete cancer diagnosis, think his days are numbered too.
    Then something "funny" happens. Because he is covered under insurance for his cancer to the tune of 500K per year, he can almost have immediate specialists care. He doesn't have to wait for his turn to see a specialist like people who are under Medisave Scheme. (i think plus God is on his side, his body response to cancer treatment surprising, quite well.) He still works and moving around as often as possible. (Aka he takes short 2/3 days holiday trip, quite often). In fact, he is a different person already. He is even more open & accepting and more a "Jolly Good Fellow".

    So without the critical illness insurance, i think he may have been "under treated for his illness" and may be gone already.
    His treatment has at least cost a few 100Ks already.
    Each time he goes for chemo-therapy, he tell his wife he is buying "extension of living in this world" He is still under treatment and his insurance cover is for life.

    So is insurance (critical illness) necessary or not?
    i still think it all depends.
    If you are rich enough, you may want to take a gamble. Self insured lol.
    And if you are poor enough, "No Money No talk".

    1. temperament,

      Thanks for your sharing. I wish your brother-in-law well.

      I think I'll share my mom's experience.

      After complaining of severe headache and blurred vision, we went to Alexandra Hospital A&E. Was referred to the eye specialist immediately.

      Found out it was Glaucoma. Tried medication and laser treatment. Still the eye pressure did not come down.

      The consultant at AH quickly arranged for her senior at NUH to take over my mom's case as the next available surgery slot at AH was at least a month away.

      The senior eye consultant at NUH took over and the first surgery was 2 weeks later on one eye. The 2nd surgery was 3 months later on the other eye.

      In our case, despite "only" using Medishield, I did not once feel we were "2nd class" patients.

      At our public hospitals, my personal experience it's the urgency of the medical case that decides the priority; not the amount of money we have. (Private hospitals I can't comment)

      There's a social services dept in each hospital; helping patients with financial hardships cases. The nurses were very helpful explaining the various schemes available.

      I believe in the compassion and angelic hearts of our doctors and nurses.

      And yes, I have no problem with paying doctors and nurses well.

  3. smol, your are 47? hey you only 4 years younger than me le?!

    insurance policies, both my wife and i bot a whole life when one of our friend turn insurance agent haha, we were around 22 back then, they since been cancelled.

    then we bot education policies when our children wree schooling, now they got matured.

    then i bot some term insurance, they expired. now i only left with some health insurance cover in the medisave account, seriously, i don't know anything about them, neither do my wife who is also covered.

    1. don't buy insurance for the sick of worrying, buy them if they are a neccessity!

    2. coconut,

      I cancelled my term insurance a few years back when it has outlived its usefulness - my net worth has exceeded the coverage.

      I'll probably cancel my wholelife end of this year since wholelife breaks even after 20 years - bought them when I was 27.

      I'm left with Eldershield, Medishield, HDB Home Protection Scheme (HPS) and one Personal Accident policy.

      I've no need for LIFE insurance anymore.

      I don't need to have a terminal illness to start living.

      I've "let go" of quite a few things. And getting younger and younger; rediscovering the "me" before I grew up...

      We are quite similar again.

      Insurance is bought because of LOVE. (Love of life; love of family)

      Silly insurance fishmongers always try to "sell" FEAR and WORRY.

      (There, cannot always poke my fellow snake-oil brethren; must give also mah)

    3. ofcos you no need insurance, you die gives to who?

      in fact i think you have too much already since you have no intention to pass it to somebody.

      one day my children will realise i do what i did cos i like it and want to prove i the can and they are the one who will be benefiting. thats a very good insurance policy already.

    4. coconut,

      I think I'll keep the Personal Accident policy as it's dirt cheap.

      If something happens to me while I am travelling overseas, it will incur some expenses to bring my body back (if still can be found). Treat it as reimbursement for the trouble I've caused my siblings.


      Pui, pui, pui! Dai gai lai si! (read in Cantonese)

    5. i don't understand why you want your body back? i had instructed my family to dispose of my body immediately and carry on with their lives. no wake no nothing!

      dead, death, one subject we rarely talk about but i'm interested.

      but it is such a sensitive issue that i always (try to) keep my bloody mouth shut.

    6. coconut,

      How can your family carry out your instruction to "dispose" of your body immediately if your "body" is not in Singapore?

      You mean you are OK with being cremated and your ashes left overseas? No need to bring your ashes back to Singapore?

      If I go, I am with the cosmos. I will not look back. Letting go.

      Returning my body back is more a ritual of closure for the living. Yes, to cremate and for my ashes to be scattered into seas.

      I know what you are going to say - scatter overseas and scatter in Singapore where's the difference?

      No difference to me; huge difference to the living.

      Can't always think about ourselves ;)

    7. actually not really an instruction but i told them what should be done.

      how you get rid of the body is just a custom. i'm a free thinker, freer than you think i am. my family can do whatever they want with my dead body.

      but i'm not going to say anything wait i got no more friend left in this world.

  4. Hey SMOL,

    I was have the same insurance plans as you, except I am not old enough for eldershield.

    I feel the motive of buying insurances really depend on people. Some people buy due to being recommended (hard selling) by agent, while other buy because they have too much money (reduce tax)

    For me, I bought insurances because I wish to protect myself while I am alive. I still do not believe in getting a term/life plan (selfish me) because I treated my CPF +DPS as a payout to my family if i die. I do not believe in buying too much insurances to cover this and that.

    but having said that, I am thinking of changing line to sell insurance lol. Talking about pot calling kettle black haha!

    1. Welcome to my eclectic blog!

      I think you would know the inspiration for my previous post on fishmonger and beer buddies came from the comment I made at your post:

      It's perfectly OK to switch line to the insurance industry. All the best!

      What you wrote is quite telling:

      1) "insurance really depend on people" - How much time did your agent spend on getting to know you, your family situation? Probably was like the fishmonger at your blog who jumps straight into: "this is good for you, this is suitable for you, this is best for you..."

      2) "changing line to sell insurance" - Exactly! Don't ever forget it. It's to SELL insurance. Cut the world peace crap. If you don't make it to the Million Dollar Round Table Club, your likelihood of remaining in the industry will be similar to traders if we don't money after 2 years trading with passion, full of hope and aspirations, and lots of X goals by Y datelines...

      I equate insurance and property sales with trading full time. It's 100% pure meritocracy.

      Have fun with your journey of self-discovery!

      P.S. If your clients ask if your fish is fresh? These are "easy kills" ;)

  5. I bought some, whilst I was sold others... Well it happened at different stages of my life so there's nothing to regret. Nevertheless, interestingly if you need to buy insurance and not be sold, there is no longer a need for an insurance agent :) on a separate note, can I just comment without an id? Kind of a hassle to need to login each time I want to post :)

    1. The requirement of an ID is a form of insurance / assurance?

    2. thepotatotimes,

      Now you know how I feel when making comments at your blog ;)

      I think Livejournal and Blogger are not "friends". Livejournal don't recognise my Blogger account either :(

      With blogs using Blogger and Wordpress, we don't have to register each time we make a comment.

      Try registering a Blogger user id? It will make your life much easier as most blogs in Singapore use Blogger and Wordpress :)

      "Nevertheless, interestingly if you need to buy insurance and not be sold, there is no longer a need for an insurance agent" - now that's an interesting thought for the day!!!

      Would the insurance industry support financial literacy in our schools? Hmm...

    3. Money Honey,

      It's not that.

      I got tired of responding to "anonymous".

      We can't build on a relationship if I can't recall what you said the last time we spoke ;)

  6. Oldest! :-(

    Teeth dropping soon.

    Next year last endowment matured.

    Self-insured with Medisave, Medishield, CPF RA, CPF SA and some emergency cash.

    1. We are mortals; unless there is really fountain of youth?

    2. CW,

      That's the price for "qian bei". Snigger, snigger.

      All of sudden, I feel quite mainstream!? You too? LOL!

      Now I am thinking... The force is strong in you!

      Either that, your insurance "friends" are quite mediocre? You got wife, 2 children in tertiary institutions. There's a lot that can go bump in the night!

      You just don't bite ;)

    3. Money Honey,

      There is a fountain of youth.

      It's called love ;)

  7. so 47 ah!

    do you remember this song was use for which commercial advertisement?

    1. coconut,

      Yes I do.

      But it's the Tracy Huang's version that I first heard this song ;)

      I grew up with Tracy's silky smooth voice.

      My favourite song by the Bellamy Brothers is Inside of my Guitar - sung by Tracy of course!

    2. you chicky fellow!!

      the first time we heard the song was on the "levis" advertisement, the song really catch one attention and my brother bot my first gean very soon after haha...

    3. you know you really bias when come to songs, if you know what i mean!

    4. wow haha, i think it was this one but not too sure.

      how can you not buy a gean after watching?! i was like p5 or p6 if you know what i mean.

    5. ;)

      When it comes to memorable commercial songs of the 70s, 2 comes to mind:

      1) Kodak's - Times of your Life by Paul Anka

      2 Coca Cola's - I like to Teach the World to Sing by New Seekers

    6. ya, i remember those 2 also, ofcos!

      but these 2 are common items, everybody know what it is.

      jeans however was a very new things in life, hardly anyone wear them on the street. and it was damn expensive for a pair at that time early 70s.

    7. it was my brother whom just came back from oversea studies, bot a pair for me. it was not at all fashion, only the west wore them. here at home we still stuck with the "la pa" pants!

    8. coconut,

      I think my first pair of jeans was when I at primary 3.

      Textwood - the apple brand. No longer around in Singapore...

  8. those that i bought:

    1) H&S for myself
    2) Higher aviva shield for my wife
    3) H&S for my kid
    4) 2 endowements plans for me and my wife. It has guaranteed yield of about 3%. worse than CPF, but i think it is one of the other forced savings I persuade my wife to undertake. True enough, the plan is out of the market a few years later, for seemingly too "generous" tem
    5) My son uni endowement plan,I scare squander my son uni fees (if he gets there la), by my silly investing or caught at the wrong market cycle just when you need money. So I have a piece of mind. Also, putting these money away gave me the real money left to invest.


    1. silly investor,

      I see mostly "keep us alive" and "save for tomorrow" plans.

      Not a single Life plan?

      Very interesting!

  9. U say bought, not sold to.

    I was sold to
    1) 1 life plan
    2) 2 endowment plans
    3) 2 CI term plans
    4) 1 accident plan

    1. Thanks silly investor!

      My old occupation disease.... I can sense when something is incomplete ;)

      I asked for "motivations" behind our buying of insurance; most described what they have bought.

      I went along with it; I not English teacher.

      Anyway, alert readers can deduce the motivations from the products we have bought ;)


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