Striking balance when it comes to protection

The exterior of the Institute of Mental Health.
The exterior of the Institute of Mental Health. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

We thank Mr Donny Ho for his letter (Unjust to exclude mentally ill people from insurance coverage, May 22) and agree with him.

Life insurers do not take this approach and have offered insurance to some individuals with such conditions.

Insurers exercise the same considerations for every insurance application received, and no application is rejected outright.

These considerations include medical history, any pre-existing conditions, duration and severity of the condition, an individual's risk profile, and others to arrive at an underwriting decision.

Such an assessment is critical to ensure that insurers can continue to offer insurance policies and provide affordable coverage to policyholders.

To this end, insurers seek to accumulate more experience and a greater understanding of mental health to be in a better position to provide coverage for more members of the community.

In fact, life insurers have introduced various forms of coverage for mental illness.

This includes Integrated Shield Plans which provide in-patient psychiatric benefit, a critical illness policy that provides coverage for mental health, and a disability income plan for policyholders unable to continue working due to mental incapacity.

Pauline Lim

Executive Director

Life Insurance Association Singapore