New insurance policy for sandwich generation

The new Great Family Care package covers individual policyholders as well as their children and parents. Policyholders can buy riders for aged parents under the age of 80 without any medical underwriting.
The new Great Family Care package covers individual policyholders as well as their children and parents. Policyholders can buy riders for aged parents under the age of 80 without any medical underwriting.PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN

An insurance policy that aims to break new ground by covering three generations of a family is being launched today.

The product will cover individual policyholders as well as their children and parents.

The initiative aims to tackle the growing financial burdens of what is known as the sandwich generation - those with children and ageing parents to care for while juggling housing loans, rising childcare costs and tuition fees.

Insurer Great Eastern is behind the new policy, called the Great Family Care package.

A policyholder can be insured against death, total permanent disability, terminal illnesses and critical illnesses for a sum assured between $50,000 and $3 million.

In addition, every child of the policyholder - including those yet to be born - automatically receives free coverage for various critical illnesses and juvenile conditions until the age of 18.

The lump-sum payout - which is 25 per cent of the sum assured - is capped at $50,000 per child.

On top of that, policyholders can buy riders for their aged parents without any medical underwriting, as long as the parents are under the age of 80 at the time the policy is bought.

The rider covers both the policyholder's parents until the age of 100, but is terminated once a payout has been received for either parent.

Major cancers are covered, as well as severe dementia and Parkinson's disease.

The premiums are also dependent on factors such as the purchaser's age and the sum assured.

Mr Colin Chan, managing director of group marketing at Great Eastern, said the company had hoped to simplify the process for individuals who want to get their parents insured.

"Buying insurance for your child is nothing new. But buying for your parent is not so easy," he said. "We are trying to make it easy for people to get the necessary coverage that we believe would help them."

He added that in Singapore, where the life expectancy is higher, there is a greater need for members of the expanding sandwich generation to have the means to provide for their parents.

Mr Nicholas Lee, 30, a senior practitioner with a financial advisory firm, said an individual policyholder might feel that he has done his part by getting his parents insured, but common afflictions among the elderly - such as heart attacks and strokes - are not included on the list of illnesses covered.

By 2030, about one in four people here will be aged 65 and above.

The Great Family Care policy is available from today.

For more information, visit www.greateasternlife.com/greatfamilycare

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2019, with the headline 'New insurance policy for sandwich generation'. Print Edition | Subscribe