InvestRound-Up

Safeguarding your family's health and wealth

The Sunday Times takes a closer look at three new insurance products: for kids, diabetics and high-net-worth individuals

KIDASSURE GIO RIDER BY TOKIO MARINE LIFE INSURANCE SINGAPORE

KidAssure GIO Rider provides coverage against death, 16 medical conditions commonly experienced during childhood, including autism, severe asthma, bacterial meningitis, leukaemia and major head trauma, as well as eight hospitalisation conditions like burns, choking, hand, foot and mouth disease and Zika.

Designed to provide coverage for a child up to age 19, premium payments are required for only five years. No medical underwriting is needed but the insurer requires a health declaration. The cover ceases when the child turns 19, at which point an 80 per cent refund on total annual premiums will be payable.

For example, the annual premium for a $50,000 cover for a child aged between six and 10 is $350, payable for five years. This works out to total premiums of $1,750 of which $1,400 is refunded when the child turns 19.

The child will be covered for a death benefit of $50,000, $10,000 for each medical condition and $500 for each hospitalisation condition. The medical and hospitalisation conditions are claimable up to five times.

Mr James Tan, chief executive officer at Tokio Marine, says KidAssure GIO Rider helps parents to plan ahead and ensure that they are financially ready to take care of their children's health.

The rider can be used to complement Tokio Marine's range of basic protection, investment and savings plans.

Plans that can be combined with KidAssure GIO Rider include TM Legacy LifeFlex, TM Retirement GIO, TM Retirement PaycheckLife (single life), TM Nest Egg (GIO CashBack), TM KidStart, TM Retirement Secure, TM Term Assure, TM EarlyCare, TM FlexiAssurance and TM FlexiCover.

AIA DIABETES CARE

Insurer AIA recently launched the first critical illness plan tailored specifically to the needs of Type 2 diabetics and pre-diabetics aged 30 to 65.

AIA noted that it is challenging for diabetics to buy additional cover once they have been diagnosed because applications are often rejected, or the insurance cover is subject to exclusion, or an extra premium is loaded.

To fill these protection gaps, AIA Diabetes Care offers coverage for five key diabetes-related complications - blindness, kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and coronary artery bypass surgery.

Policy owners will receive the full coverage amount, or 110 per cent of the total annual premiums paid, whichever is higher, if diagnosed with any of the five complications.

The policy comes with guaranteed level premiums that remain unchanged throughout the whole policy, up to age 80. There will be a 20 per cent payout of the coverage amount upon amputation of limbs as a result of a diabetes-related complication. This ensures the support the policy owner will need to adjust his lifestyle.

AIA says that people who have long-term Type 2 diabetes (five years or more) have a 50 per cent higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. As such, an optional cancer cover is offered, providing additional protection.

Upon a diagnosis of early- or intermediate-stage cancer, you will receive a 20 per cent payout of your coverage amount. If diagnosed with a major cancer, you will get a further 100 per cent of your coverage amount.

This is in addition to the coverage from the main plan.

The annual premium for a 30-year-old woman is $3,400 for a Diabetes Care and Cancer Cover plan with total sum assured of $200,000.

UNIVERSAL LIFE ALPHA BY TRANSAMERICA LIFE BERMUDA

Transamerica's Universal Life Alpha is designed for high-net- worth individuals who reflect a shift in mindset and wealth management priorities towards liquidity and returns, and who see insurance as a wealth creation tool.

Universal life policies are jumbo plans catering to the high-net-worth market and are sold to mass affluent and private-banking clients. They are typically positioned as an instrument for legacy planning and wealth preservation.

Mr Marc Lieberman, president and chief executive officer of Transamerica Life Bermuda, noted that receptivity towards universal life is higher among the new generation of wealthy people in Asia, with 40 per cent being more likely to purchase a universal life policy, as compared with 33 per cent of traditional high-net-worth individuals.

These younger people display a higher sensitivity to premiums and pricing, and are more likely to utilise the cash value of their insurance policy as leverage for loan collateral, he said.

The key benefits of the policy include lifetime coverage as long as a certain account value is maintained and premiums are paid. It offers flexibility in that the policy owner can decide the amount, within a certain range, and select the frequency of payments.

The policy owner can also decrease the amount of protection (the sum assured) and take money from the policy when needed, subject to conditions. The plan offers cash value from the first day of cover to facilitate premium financing and a loan can be taken from the policy when needed, subject to conditions.

Interest is accrued daily to the policy at a crediting rate declared by the insurer. This is guaranteed to be 4 per cent during the first policy year. The minimum crediting interest rate is 2 per cent per year thereafter.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 30, 2017, with the headline ' Safeguarding your family's health and wealth'. Print Edition | Subscribe