Insurance exclusion clauses must be reasonable

I am in full agreement with Dr Desmond Wai's concerns ("Do due diligence before agreeing to exclusion clauses"; yesterday).

A few years ago, I wrote to the Forum page about my frustrations with two leading insurance companies which requested that I sign an exclusion clause that relieved them of liability for death related to all respiratory-related causes ("Prey to insurance exclusions"; Forum Online, Jan 25, 2011).

In my discussions with them, I informed them that I was asthmatic. But that should not make them adopt the "kiasu" attitude of making me exclude them from all liability relating to death caused by respiratory problems.

Suppose I had the flu and it worsened and I died of pneumonia. If I had signed the exclusion clause the insurers proposed, it would mean that no compensation would be paid to my family.

I understand that insurers need to ensure that their business is viable, but they cannot do it at the expense of the insured.

Both the insured and insurers must be able to reach a reasonable, mutually beneficial agreement.

I hope the authorities will look into situations where the public is being "bullied" into accepting unreasonable exclusion clauses.

Peter Chan Teng Hong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2016, with the headline 'Insurance exclusion clauses must be reasonable'. Print Edition | Subscribe