Income Protection Insurance: A Must-Have for Everyone

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Our life is so uncertain. Despite all the planning and preparation one might make, almost no one can predict what may happen on the very next moment.

We are not being pessimistic when saying that life and existence are constantly fraught with danger, risk and uncertainty. You have been working so hard to build a strong financial footing for your future and your family, so you want to be sure that everything is protected.

Accidents and disasters can and do happen when we least expected it, and if you are not adequately insured, it could leave you with unexpected high medical cost.

There are plenty of choices of insurance that you can choose or purchase to provide you with the peace of mind. One of the highly recommended insurance that you should have is Income Protection Insurance

This type of Income Protection Insurance would generally provide a steady and regular income for a person who has suddenly taken ill or developed a handicap or disability.


When considering Income Protection Insurance, there are few factors which will affect the cost of the insurance premiums. The regular ones include your health, age, occupation, nominated income and your sex.

Do take note that Income Protection Insurance can be expensive if you are in a risky or stressful job, if you have health problems or you smoke.

Remember if it is hard to live with an income imagine how hard would it be without one. Therefore, without any delay get your Income Protection Insurance today.

Healthcare costs rise and rise

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THREE years ago, an appendectomy (appendix removal surgery) cost RM1,800. Today, it will set you back RM3,000. Potentially, this relatively simple procedure can cost up to RM20,000 in 20 years’ time. The fact is that the cost of medical healthcare goes up every year, and it usually outpaces the general inflation rate.

Dr Pawel Suwinski, Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s senior consultant of healthcare practice for Asia-Pacific, believes that healthcare costs in Malaysia increases about 10% every year – approximately double the inflation rate.

“It is something to worry about, as we can expect healthcare to become more expensive with every year. We are already at the point that only few can afford to pay for more complex and sophisticated procedures directly from their pockets,” he says, adding that the majority rely on other sources such as insurance, health saving accounts, or public care.

According to a former cancer patient, a standard radiotherapy regiment of 35 sessions cost RM2,000 in 1999. Ten years later in 2009, it costs a whopping RM35,000 – although it should be noted that today’s treatment is better targeted and more localised than it was before.

Dr Suwinski says there are four levels of therapy classification. In 2008, standard, basic-level breast cancer treatment in private hospitals costs RM20,000 to RM30,000, but this can go well beyond RM100,000 for the maximum level, which uses the latest-available therapeutics.

Affecting confidence

The AXA Life Outlook Survey 2009 (covering 2,707 Asians across key markets in Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) shows that the increase in healthcare costs is affecting Malaysians’ confidence in their health levels in their retirement years. It shows that only 29% are confident of maintaining it, down 11% from 40% at the last survey in 2007.

The survey also shows there is a dip in respondents’ confidence levels in maintaining their health over the next five years. Only 40% of respondents are confident of maintaining it, down from 49% two years ago.

According to Nicholas Kua, chief marketing officer of AXA AFFIN Life Insurance Berhad, fewer Malaysians believe they have sufficient savings for medical care, due to the escalating cost of hospitalisation and medical treatment.

“In 2007, 71% of Malaysians were satisfied with their medical conditions and savings but in 2009, this figure has dropped to 48%. Consumers are also worried about using up the lifetime limit of their medical coverage while they are still early in their retirement years,” he says.

However, the fact remains that medical costs will continue to rise, and the so-called “medical inflation” rate outpaces even the general inflation rate every year. This can be put down to the continuous and sizeable investments poured into research and development for the continuing advancement of medical technology. This is not only necessary but also essential – without it, there would be no new drugs, treatments or tools, and the standard of healthcare will not improve.

In light of the increasing healthcare costs, we can count ourselves fortunate for the system put in place by the Government for the benefit of all Malaysians.

Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia (APHM) president Datuk Dr Jacob Thomas was quoted in StarBizweek as saying there is only so much that the public hospitals can cope with as these hospitals are already overloaded with patients. Currently, there is a ratio of one doctor for every 1.3 beds for private healthcare, as compared to a one doctor for every three beds ratio in public healthcare.

Malaysians in general prefer private healthcare – but its escalating costs, combined with effects of the global recession, may drive patients to the public healthcare system.

Dr Suwinski says that where middle-class wage earners are concerned, savings alone may not be sufficient to pay lifelong medical bills.

“The funds for essential medical care need to come from other sources,” he says, citing national and commercial insurance, and health saving accounts as examples.

“Relying only on savings will mean rationing the care,” he says, explaining that this may preclude the use of latest advances in treatment as these tend to be more expensive.

Increasingly unaffordable

Dr Suwinski says the present economic situation affects consumers’ income, and make private healthcare increasingly unaffordable. He believes third-party payers (like insurance) will play a more prominent role in the future.

He also sees the possibility that people may spend less on healthcare. “The so-called discretionary care, which is non-essential, will suffer most as people will be less willing to dispose of their savings in bad economic times.

“However, essential care, mostly related to curative and life-saving, will be affected to a lesser degree. People will need to consume these services to become healthy. Also, this type of healthcare is paid mostly by third-party payors and does not affect savings,” he says.


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While health insurance premiums may not be large, it's never prudent to spend more money than you need to. So don't just opt for the most expensive health insurance. Be discriminate.

"Choose a level of protection that meets your expectations of service," advises Sonny S.H. Tan, acting chief executive officer of The Pacific Insurance Bhd. "Do you want privacy? Do you have any preference of hospital?" he elaborates.

"The most expensive product does not necessarily provide the best coverage," agrees Alexander Ankel, chief executive officer of Allianz General Insurance Malaysia Bhd.

Insurers will be able to provide you with some indication of the costs of hospital room and board and the costs of surgical procedures.

"We do our own research, but sometimes hospitals move too quickly in their own reviews," say Bernard Ong, head of business development at Aviva Insurance Bhd.

Insurers therefore say it is wise to do some of your own research.

"Determine your preferred hospitals and find out the costs of the services and facilities befitting your expectations. Only then should you decide the level of coverage," says Tan.

Choosing a hospital is not just about the cost of the facilities on offer.

"Sometimes the name precedes the person. Sometimes it depends on your own experience and also on information from your peers," suggests Ong. "But hospitals are usually quite transparent and will give information on room and board cover," he says.

"But be mindful that hospitals can increase their fees at any time," notes Tan.

Room and board rates are roughly consistent among private hospitals. A four-bed hospital room will cost between RM80 and RM100 per night. A two-bed room will cost between RM120 and RM140 per night and the cost of a private room is between RM195 and RM220. These prices include meals. If you are looking for deluxe accomodation, expect to pay much more.

"The cost of treatment varies from each hospital. It all boils down to the doctors and the treatment provided," says Ankel.

Tan says it is unlikely that the hospital administration would be able to help you forecast these costs in advance. "Your preferred doctor may provide better advice," he suggests.

"The insurer would also be able to assist the policyholder as the company can obtain discounted rates from the hospitals," says Ankel.

Hospitals are only likely to be able to provide you with a rough figure for the cost of surgery. The cost really does depend on the individual doctors and of course you can't know in advance whether surgery is likely to meet with complications and involve further expertise and a prolonged stay in hospital.

As an indication only, hospitals will say that charges for major operations such as heart surgery start between RM22,000 and RM25,000. An intermediate operation such as appendicitis will cost in the region of RM4,000 to RM6,000. Smaller operations such as the removal of a cataract or a lump would be between RM2,000 and RM5,000.


In order to control premium levels, insurers apply limits to various types of costs. You need to understand how and where the limits apply in order to be able to decide which is best for you.

Ankel explains that a plan with inner limits means that the cost is limited per item. So if your surgery coverage is RM5,000 and the actual costs are RM11,000, you will pay the outstanding RM6,000.

Plans on an as-charged basis with an annual limit means that you have a certain limit each year, and each time you are admitted the cost will be deducted from you total amount. If your annual coverage is RM30,000 and your first visit costs RM10,000, you have a balance of RM20,000 left for the year.

An as-charged plan with a fixed limit on a per disability basis means that if you are covered for RM30,000 per admission each time you are admitted you will have a coverage of RM30,000, regardless of how much is left from your previous admission.

Medical cost inflation is always at the forefront of any discussion of health care. Insurers say in Malaysia it is currently running at about 20 per cent a year. So when you take out a policy you should bear in mind that if you end up having to have an operation towards the end of your policy period, chances are the costs will be higher than they were at the start of the policy period.

"Policies are renewable annually. Companies cannot guarantee the costs down the line in five years' time," says Ong.

"But if you are purchasing a guanranteed renewable policy, you may wish to choose a policy with coverage higher than your present expected costs because you may not be able to increase your coverage limits in later years when inflation sets in," explains Tan.

"For yearly renewable policies, you should determine the level of protection based on the current cost of treatment," says Tan. "To ensure adequate protection, always choose a policy with a coverage level 15 to 20 per cent higher than your current expectations," he concludes.

Top 10 reason to buy life insurance

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We spend money to buy something for the satisfaction of possessing it. But life insurance is a product we can’t see, can’t touch, and probably can’t enjoy it either in our lifetime. Why should we buy life insurance then?

Protect your wealth

This is the main reason people buy life insurance. Nobody likes to see his hard earned money all swept away in diseases related disaster. We work hard in our whole life to increase our economy value. There is no guarantee that we can enjoy a long life to realize our economy value. Only two things are certain: tax and death. When death arrive sooner that we thought, life insurance will be our wealth creation tool to instantly generate the cash we could have earned.

Show your love to your family

“We love because it’s the only true adventure.” - Nikki Giovanni

Love is indeed an adventure. Our life is an adventure too. It is full of risk. We can show our love in a thousand ways when we are still around. But when we die, how are we going to love our family? At least, life insurance can take care of our family’s financial well-being.

Show that you are a responsible person

Did you ever notice that most of the victims who died in road accidents didn’t buy life insurance? I can say most of them have none or buy only a tiny sum assured. An irresponsible person drives recklessly and carelessly almost all the time. If you are a responsible person, you will care for others. Certainly buying adequate life insurance shows that you are responsible and trustworthy to your spouse, your children, your parents and the one you love!

Our health is deteriorating everyday

Do you know anyone who is getting healthier everyday? By the time he is 100 years old, he is at the peak of his health condition. He can live on forever! Gosh, people are getting older and this is an undeniable and unstoppable fact. Our health is deteriorating every minute. We never know the exact time a disease will strike us. Fear of illnesses motivates people to buy life insurance.

Practice the habit of forced saving

When we face the shortage of cash, withdrawing money from our life insurance policy is always the last resort. In the fear of losing the life insurance policy, we are forced to make the regular premium payment. In the long term, life insurance is a great saving tool. It forces us to save for the future, and also for the unforeseen disaster.

Funding a trust

A trust is an arrangement under which one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary. People create maintenance trust to provide regular income for family. The cheapest way to fund a trust is using life insurance. The cost of premium is only a few percentage of the trust fund we intend to create. For instance, paying premium of $1000 annually is able to get a life insurance policy worth $100,000 for a person below age 30.

Funding a business operation

An employer takes out an insurance policy insuring against loss of profits arising from the death, sickness or injury of a key employee. The beneficiary is the employer. The life insurance policy bought is known as key-person insurance. The insurance payout will be used as emergency fund for business operations.

Funding Buy-sell agreement in partnership business or corporation

Every co-owned business needs a buy-sell agreement the moment the business is formed or as soon after that as possible. Every day that value is added to the business without a plan for future transition, it increases its financial risk. What happen if one of the partners decided or forced to exit the business? The most common triggering events are dispute, death, disability and retirement. Life insurance can be used to fund purchases of the deceased shares in the event of death.


A charitable trust is a trust established for charitable purposes. Charities may take the form of charitable trusts, companies or unincorporated associations. Some wealthy entrepreneur buys insurance to fund their charitable trust.

Definition of 36 Critical Illnesses or Dread Diseases in Insurance Policy

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Most policy holder who bought the common 36 critical illnesses coverage (also known as 36 dread diseases), will have the definition clearly stated in their life insurance policy. Here is the definition taken from Great Eastern Life insurance policy. Other life insurance company also uses the same definition although some wordings might vary. Anyway, the general definition should be the same. Here is the list:

1. Heart Attack

The death of a portion of the heart muscle (myocardium) as a result of inadequate blood supply and being evidenced by:-
(a) A history of typical prolonged chest pain; and
(b) New electrocardiographic changes resulting from this occurrence; and
(c) Elevation of the cardiac enzyme (CPK-MB) above the generally accepted laboratory levels of normal.
Diagnosis based on the elevation of Troponin T test alone shall not be considered diagnostic of a heart attack.
Angina is specifically excluded.

2. Stroke

Defined as a cerebrovascular accident or incident producing neurological sequelae of a permanent nature, having lasted not less than six months. Infarction of brain tissue, hemorrhage and embolisation from an extra-cranial source are included. The diagnosis must be based on changes seen in a CT scan or MRI and certified by a Consultant Neurologist.
Specifically excluded are cerebral symptoms due to transient ischaemic attacks, any reversible ischaemic neurological deficit, vertebrobasilar ischaemia, cerebral symptoms due to migraine, cerebral injury resulting from trauma or hypoxia and vascular disease affecting the eye or optic nerve or vestibular functions.

3. Coronary Artery Disease Requiring Surgery

Refers to the actual undergoing of coronary artery by-pass surgery by way of thoracotomy to correct or treat coronary artery disease but not including angioplasty, other intra-arterial, keyhole or laser procedures.

4. Cancer

Cancer is defined as the uncontrollable growth and spread of malignant cells and the invasion and destruction of normal tissue for which major interventionist treatment or surgery (excluding endoscopic procedures alone) is considered necessary. The cancer must be confirmed by histological evidence of malignancy.
The following conditions are excluded:-
(a) Carcinoma in situ including of the cervix
(b) Ductal Carcinoma in situ of the breast
(c) Papillary Carcinoma of the bladder and Stage 1 Prostate Cancer
(d) All skin cancers except malignant melanoma
(e) Stage I Hodgkin’s disease
(f) Tumors manifesting as complications of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

5. Kidney Failure

End stage kidney failure presenting as chronic irreversible failure of both kidneys to function, as a result of which regular renal dialysis is initiated or renal transplantation carried out.

6. Fulminant Viral Hepatitis

This is defined as a sub massive to massive necrosis of the liver caused by any virus leading precipitously to liver failure.
The diagnostic criteria to be met are:
(a) A rapidly decreasing liver size as confirmed by abdominal ultrasound; and
(b) Necrosis involving entire lobules, leaving only a collapsed reticular framework; and
(c) Rapidly deteriorating liver functions tests; and
(d) Deepening jaundice.
Hepatitis B infection or carrier status alone does not meet the diagnostic criteria.

7. Major Organ Transplant

The actual undergoing of a transplant as a recipient of one of the following human organs:
(a) Kidney
(b) Lung(s)
(c) Liver
(d) Heart
(e) Bone marrow

8. Paralysis / Paraplegia

The complete and permanent loss of use of both arms or both legs, or one arm and one leg, through paralysis caused by illness or injury persisting for at least six (6) months from the date of trauma or illness.

9. Multiple Sclerosis

Unequivocal diagnosis by a Consultant Neurologist confirming the following combination, which has persisted for at least a continuous period of six (6) months:
(a) Symptoms referable to tracts (white matter) involving the optic nerves, brain stem and spinal cord, producing well-defined neurological deficits; and
(b) A multiplicity or discrete lesions; and
(c) A well-documented history of exacerbation and remissions of said symptoms / neurological deficits.

10. Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Means primary pulmonary hypertension with substantial right ventricular enlargement established by investigations including cardiac catheterization, resulting in permanent irreversible physical impairment to the degree of at least Class 3 of the New York Heart Association Classification of cardiac impairment, and resulting in the Life Assured being unable to perform his/her usual occupation.

11. Blindness

The total, permanent and irrecoverable loss of the sight of both eyes. Certification by an ophthalmologist is necessary.

12. Heart Valve Replacement

The actual undergoing of open-chest surgery to replace or repair cardiac valves as a consequence of heart valve defects or abnormalities that have occurred after the date of issue or date of reinstatement of this contract.
Repair, via valvotomy, intra-arterial procedure, key-hole surgery or similar techniques are specifically excluded.

13. Loss Of Hearing / Deafness

Total, permanent and irreversible loss of hearing in both ears as a result of disease or accident. Medical evidence in the form of an audiometry and sound-threshold test must be provided.

14. Surgery To Aorta

The actual undergoing of surgery via a thoracotomy or laprotomy to repair or correct an aortic aneurysm, an obstruction of the aorta or a coarctation of the aorta. For the purpose of this definition, aorta shall mean the thoracic and abdominal aorta but not its branches.

15. Loss of Speech

Total and irrecoverable loss of the ability to speak for a continuous period of 12 months. Medical evidence to confirm injury or illness to the vocal cords to support this disability must be supplied by an appropriate (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist.
All psychiatric related causes are excluded.

16. Alzheimer’s Disease / Irreversible Organic Degenerative Brain Disorders

Deterioration or loss of intellectual capacity or abnormal behavior as evidenced by the clinical state and accepted standardized questionnaires or tests arising from Alzheimer’s Disease or irreversible organic degenerative brain disorders excluding neurosis, psychiatric illness, and any drug or alcohol related organic disorder, resulting in significant reduction in mental and social functioning requiring the continuous supervision of the Life Assured. The diagnosis must be clinically confirmed by an appropriate consultant.

17. Major Burns

Third degree burns covering at least twenty percent (20%) of the Life Assured’s body surface area as measured by “The Rule of 9” of the Lund & Browder Body Surface Chart.

18. Coma

A state of unconsciousness with no reaction or response to external stimuli or internal needs, persisting continuously for at least 96 hours, requiring the use of life support systems and resulting in a neurological deficit, lasting more than 30 days. Confirmation by a Consultant Neurologist must be present.
Coma resulting directly from self-inflicted injury, alcohol or drug misuse is excluded.

19. Terminal Illness

The Life Assured must be suffering from a condition, which in the opinion of an appropriate Medical Practitioner is highly likely to lead to death within 12 months. The Life Assured must no longer be receiving active treatment other than that for pain relief.

20. Motor Neurone Disease”

Motor neurone disease of unknown aetiology is characterized by progressive degeneration of corticospinal tracts and anterior horn cells or bulbar efferent neurons. These include spinal muscular atrophy, progressive bulbar palsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and primary lateral sclerosis.
Diagnosis must be confirmed by a Consultant Neurologist.

21. AIDS Due To Blood Transfusion

The Life Assured being infected by HIV virus or AIDS provided that:
(a) the infection is due to blood transfusion received in Malaysia or Singapore after the commencement of the Policy; and
(b) the Life Assured is not a haemophiliac; and
(c) the Life Assured is not a member of any high risk groups such as but not limited to homosexuals, intravenous drug users or sex workers.
Notification and proof of incident will be required via a statement from a statutory Health Authority that the infection is medically acquired.

22. Parkinson’s Disease

Unequivocal diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease by a Consultant Neurologist where the condition:
(a) Cannot be controlled with medication; and
(b) Shows signs of progressive impairment; and
(c) Activities of Daily Living assessment confirm the inability of the Life Assured to perform without assistance three (3) or more of the Activities of Daily Living.
Only idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease is covered. Drug-induced or toxic causes of Parkinsonism are excluded.

23. Chronic Liver Disease

End stage liver failure evidenced by permanent jaundice, ascites, encephalopathy and portal hypertension.
Wernicke’s encephalopathy and liver failure secondary to alcohol or drug misuse is excluded.

24. Chronic Lung Disease

End stage respiratory failure including chronic interstitial lung disease.
The following criteria must be met:
(a) Requiring permanent oxygen therapy as a result of a consistent FEV1 test value of less than one liter.
(Forced Expiratory Volume during the first second of a forced exhalation); and
(b) Arterial Blood Gas analysis with partial oxygen pressures of 55mmHg or less; and
(c) Dyspnoea at rest.

25. Major Head Trauma

Physical head injury causing significant permanent functional impairment lasting for a minimum period of three (3) months from the date of the trauma or injury. The resultant permanent functional impairment is to be verified by a Consultant Neurologist and duly concurred by the Company’s Medical Officer and must result in an inability to perform at least three (3) of the Activities of Daily Living either with or without the use of mechanical equipment, special devices or other aids and adaptations in use for disabled persons. For the purpose of this benefit, the word “permanent”, shall mean beyond the hope of recovery with current medical knowledge and technology.

26. Aplastic Anaemia

Chronic persistent bone marrow failure which results in total aplasia of the bone marrow and requires treatment with at least one of the following:
(a) Regular blood product transfusion
(b) Marrow stimulating agents
(c) Immunosuppressive agents
(d) Bone marrow transplantation

27. Muscular Dystrophy

The diagnosis of muscular dystrophy shall require a confirmation by a Consultant Neurologist of the combination of 3 out of 4 of the following conditions:
(a) Family history of other affected individuals
(b) Clinical presentation including absence of sensory disturbance, normal cerebro-spinal fluid and mild tendon reflex reduction
(c) Characteristic electromyogram
(d) Clinical suspicion confirmed by muscle biopsy
No benefit will be payable under this Covered Event before the Life Assured had reached the age of 12 years next birthday.

28. Benign Brain Tumor

A life-threatening, non-cancerous tumor in the brain giving rise to characteristic signs of increased intra-cranial pressure such as papilloedema, mental symptoms, seizures and sensory impairment. The presence of the underlying tumor must be confirmed by imaging studies such as CT Scan or MRI.
Cysts, granulomas, malformations in or of the arteries or veins of the brain, haematomas, tumors in the pituitary gland or spine and tumors of the acoustic nerve are excluded.

29. Encephalitis

Defined as severe inflammation of brain substance, resulting in permanent neurological deficit lasting for a minimum period of 30 days and certified by a Consultant Neurologist. The permanent deficit must result in an inability to perform at least three (3) of the Activities of Daily Living either with or without the use of mechanical equipment, special devices or other aids and adaptations in use for disabled persons. For the purpose of this benefit, the word “permanent”, shall mean beyond the hope of recovery with current medical knowledge and technology.
Encephalitis as a result of HIV infection is excluded.

30. Poliomyelitis

Unequivocal diagnosis by a Consultant Neurologist of infection with the Poliovirus leading to paralytic disease as evidenced by impaired motor function or respiratory weakness. Cases not involving paralysis will not be eligible for this benefit. Other causes of paralysis (such as Guillain-Barre syndrome) are specifically excluded.

31. Brain Surgery

The actual undergoing of surgery to the brain under general anesthesia during which a craniotomy is performed. Bur Hole and brain surgery as a result of an accident is excluded.

32. Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis causing inflammation of the membranes of the brain or spinal cord resulting in permanent neurological deficit lasting for a minimum period of 30 days and resulting in a permanent inability to perform at least three (3) of the Activities of Daily Living either with or without the use of mechanical equipment, special devices or other aids and adaptations in use for disabled persons. For the purpose of this benefit, the word “permanent”, shall mean beyond the hope of recovery with current medical knowledge and technology.

33. Other Serious Coronary Artery Disease

The narrowing of the lumen of at least three major arteries i.e. Circumflex, Right Coronary Artery (RCA), Left Anterior Descending Artery (LAD), by a minimum of 60 percent or more as proven by coronary arteriography. This benefit is payable regardless of whether or not any form of coronary artery surgery has been performed.

34. Apallic Syndrome

Universal necrosis of the brain cortex, with the brainstem remaining intact. Diagnosis must be confirmed by a Consultant Neurologist and condition must be documented for at least one month.

35. AIDS Cover of Medical Staff

Infection by any Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) only if the Life Assured is a Medical Staff as defined below, and that such infection was considered by the medical authorities involved to be caused by a needlestick/sharp instrument injury or by exposure to blood or bloodstained body fluid which occurred after the commencement of the Policy. The accident must have occurred whilst the Life Assured was following his normal occupational duties and reported in accordance with the established occupational procedures for such accidents. The Life Assured must, within 5 days of the accident have undergone a blood test indicating the absence of HIV or its antibodies but a further blood test performed within 6 months of the accident must indicate the presence of HIV or its antibodies after the commencement of the Policy.
However, the benefit payable will not apply if any medical cure is found for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or the effects of the HIV virus or a medical treatment is developed which results in the prevention of the occurrence of AIDS.
“Medical Staff” is defined as Doctors (General Physicians and Specialists), nurses, laboratory technicians, dentists (surgeons and nurses), ambulance workers who are working in the medical centre or hospital or dental clinics/polyclinics in

36. Full Blown AIDS

The clinical manifestation of AIDS (Acquired Immune-deficiency Syndrome) must be supported by the results of a positive HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) antibody test and a confirmatory Western Blot test. In addition, the Life Assured must have a CD4 cell count of less than two hundred (200) and one or more of the following criteria are met:
(a) Weight loss of more than 10% of body weight over a period of six (6) months or less (wasting syndrome)
(b) Kaposi Sarcoma
(c) Pneumocystic Carinii Pneumonia
(d) Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
(e) Active Tuberculosis
(f) Less than one-thousand (1000) lymphocytes
(g) Malignant Lymphoma

Why do People Delay in Purchasing H&S Insurance?

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Many people are aware the importance of H&S insurance, however, some common beliefs / mental barriers still hold them back from taking up H&S insurance. The common beliefs are:

Belief: I do not believe in H&S Insurance

The fact is: Everyday many people who thought they are healthy admitted to hospital. Ambulances that drove past you on the roads are not just out there practicing.

Belief: I cannot afford it

The fact is: We never heard H&S insurance policyholders who admitted to hospital complained about having H&S insurance. If you cannot afford the premium, you certainly would not able to settle the hospital bills.

Furthermore, there are various H&S insurance products ranging from basic coverage which is cheaper to comprehensive coverage which is more expensive.

Belief: I need to think about it

The fact is: Procrastination is one of the biggest enemies in our life. Many companies allow applicants to submit their application form without paying the premium. You only need to make a decision when the application result is out and proceed with the premium payment if you satisfy with the insurance plan.

Belief: Do not need it

The fact is: You need to have H&S insurance when you do not need it. If you wait until you get sick or injured, then it is too late to buy. You need to have good health conditions when applying for H&S insurance.

Belief: I will never failed sick / I am always healthy / Accident will never happen to me

The fact is: Nobody knows what is going to happen on us tomorrow. We seldom use the spare tyre in our car boot but it must always be there for emergency purpose.

Belief: Never ending comparisons

The fact is: It is worthy to compare plans from various insurance companies, however, give yourself a deadline. Without deadline, you will never make a decision.


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While we are privileged to live in a wonderfully rich, peaceful and beautiful country we call home, we are faced with worrying medical statistics. The number of Malaysian needing medical attention is increasing. Attributing to the sicknesses are mostly overeating, more people smoking and not exercising! Meanwhile, the cost of medical and hospitalization is also on the hike! Based on recent statistics, the Malaysian medical inflation is between 10% to 15% per annum!

In 2005, according to survey conducted by BNM, it is estimated that only about 15% of the total population have Medical & Health Insurance (MHI) protection. A Genuine Cause of Concern! ADMISSIONS IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL YEAR 2005 1,842,688 CASES 3.5 ADMISSIONS per minute !!! Sources: Planning and Developmet Division, Information & Documentation System Unit,Ministry of Health Malaysia, July 2006

On our part, we still can make a difference! As responsible individuals and family figures, we should seriously address these worrying facts. Within our own control, we can decide to do a couple of VERY IMPORTANT things ...
  • Adopt Healthy Diet & Do NOT Overeat!
  • Choose to Stop Smoking or Do NOT Start Smoking!
  • Exercise Regularly!
  • Go for Regular Health Check Ups!
  • Ensure You & Your Family is Adequately Covered with Medical & Health Insurance! Transfer your Risk Away!

Health Insurance Coverage -Take care, take good health cover

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We all learn the hard way…especially when it comes to insurance cover. Many young people avoid buying any health insurance cover, thinking they are invincible and ‘nothing ever will happen’. While the positive attitude it perfect, it does help if it is padded up with some cover. Accidents and mishaps can happen anytime and body harm can change an entire life pattern for some. The only quantum of solace one gets is in some health insurance coverage. It is not a bad idea to look up some policies that can benefit not only the physical life but also earn some tax benefits. It’s this dual advantage that many customers gain from buying any health insurance coverage. Considering that so many health cover plans are available for people from all walks of life, ailments any cover should be done with some consultation. Policies are available tailor-made to suit individuals, groups, families and companies with flexible premiums. So it does not really tax one a lot to pick up at least one health insurance policy.

Health insurance works on the premise that medical expenses are cared for by an insurance company. This is a periodical renewable contract. Some health care policies are limited to a certain amount. The insured person is expected to pay any charges in excess of the health plan’s maximum payment limit for a specific service. In addition, some insurance company schemes have annual or lifetime coverage maximums. In these cases, the health plan will stop payment when they reach the benefit maximum and the policy-holder must pay all remaining costs. Health insurance coverage also depends upon kind of policy one opts for. Certain policies pay a certain proportion of the money each time there is a medical expense. For example, if your health insurance plan promises to pay 80% of the costs that will be incurred each time you visit the doctor, for getting the prescription or for any other treatment; you would bear just 20% of the cost each time. Other expenses are taken care the insurance company. Generally the insurance company sets up a fixed amount for particular health related issues. Also having a preferred list of physicians, experts and hospitals is another common practice.

Health insurance cover depends upon the treatment. In most cases, insurance policies cover physicians and specialist visit. Costs vary depending upon the kind of treatment needed upon hospitalization. But for serious or terminal illness the policy could have other terms and conditions. A comprehensive plan is also available to take care of every medical expense. These are generally very expensive ones and in most cases are obtained through an employer. Policies and plans for health insurance coverage vary in different places.

Save! Save! Save!

Nearing Retirement? Are You Ready for It?

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Last year, the retirement age for Malaysia’s civil servants has been raised to 58 years old. This is a personal choice for those who want to work for a few more years. For some people, it is not a choice but a must as some really need the income to live on. This situation is quite common as even retirees in the United States are facing the same dilemma.

A survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in the USA shows that only a small percentage of workers (13%) have confidence of a comfortable retirement. Only 20% of retirees believe that they have sufficient money for retirement which is down from 41% in 2007.

The above situation stems from the fact that more and more people have to depend on their own savings for funding their retirement. In the United States, the average amount saved by people in their 60s is only USD100, 000 in 2007. Do not be surprise to hear that people in this age group still have debts to pay where the median debt is USD50, 000 and 45% of them still carry balances on their credit cards.

In Malaysia, according to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the average savings of members are low. The average savings at age 54 is RM114, 402 as reported by the EPF in 2006. Members are encouraged to increase their retirement savings in order to have at least RM120, 000 in their EPF fund when they reach 55 years of age. This is sufficient to generate RM500 a month and would last for 20 years until the person is 75 years old.

The following ideas are gleaned from for those approaching their retirement. These are tips to get your finances in order and ensure a happy retirement.

1. Set a target retirement date

Having a target retirement date will enable you to plan how much money you need and how much money you have to fund it. Be flexible as you may end up having to work longer, part-time or otherwise in order to boost your retirement fund.

2. Determine where you are going to live

Where you live will have an impact on your expenses and how much money you need to cover for it. Are you going to live in a mortgage-free house, a small apartment, an expensive condo or holiday home? If necessary, you have the option of moving to a cheaper abode which also allows you to free up your home equity for other purposes.

3. Get the proper insurance coverage

Before you reach retirement, get enough health insurance coverage. As you get older, your health will deteriorate and your insurance will help to offset part of the medical or treatment cost.

4. Settle your debts

Ideally, you should not have any debts to deal with going into retirement. You may be relying mostly on your pension, savings or retirement funds which may not be sufficient to repay any outstanding debts or loans.

5. Come up with a retirement budget

Draw up your retirement budget and actually practice using it before you retire to get a good feel about it. Eventually, you can design a budget that is suitable for you upon retirement.

6. Time to review your estate plans or living will

As you get older, the risk of getting seriously ill or being incapacitated increases. Hence, it may be the right time to draw up a will if you do not have one yet or to review an existing will or estate plan. This is to ensure that your loved ones are properly taken care off. At the same time, you may also want to update your beneficiaries on your retirement, bank or savings accounts, investment accounts, life or health insurance policies, etc.

Malaysians less confident about preparing for retirement

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LOTS of working adults are paralysed when it comes to planning for retirement. Most people will delay this as long as they can, possibly due to their lack of knowledge about financial matters.

Generally, the more knowledgeable an individual, the more confident he is in taking control of his financial destiny, which usually is about securing a comfortable retirement.

A recent study by the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute in the United States found that only 13% of Americans said they were confident of a comfortable retirement – drastically reduced from 27% in 2007.

Figures in Malaysia show a similar sentiment. The AXA Life Outlook Index findings for 2009 indicate that Malaysians’ satisfaction with their preparation for retirement has dropped. In 2007, 23% were confident about their retirement years, but this has since dipped to 14%.

While many working Malaysians are reasonably financially literate, certain groups are less so and therefore less confident in managing their finances. This is a worry considering that the elderly make up an increasingly large proportion of our society.

Demographic and socio-economic forecasting provider Global Demographics Ltd forecasts senior citizens (those 50 years and above) to increase from 15% to 25% of the total Malaysian population over the next 20 years.

As the Malaysian population ages and retirement looms for many, the issue of financial literacy in a retirement planning context has become particularly salient.

Abacus for Money chief executive officer Carol Yip says that there is no single product or solution available to guarantee one’s comfortable retirement.

She notes that the main asset likely to be available to most working Malaysians upon their retirement is their Employees Provident Fund contribution.

Other assets may include property, shares, unit trusts, term deposits, inheritance, insurance, government pension as well as emerging private pension funds.

Yip asserts that individuals must increase their level of financial literacy so that they can go cherry-picking from the wide array of products available in order to ensure a comfortable retirement.

Besides the usual means of consulting financial planners and reading financial magazines to improve financial literacy, Yip calls upon employers to provide training to their staff in order to empower them with financial knowledge to plan their future.

Yip also encourages retirees who are in the early stage of retirement to equip themselves with financial knowledge in order to wisely invest their money so as to protect it from inflation as well as to provide recurring income over the medium term.

The senior citizen population of 50 and above in Malaysia as well as regionally is said to be rapidly expanding into a large, affluent market.

MasterCard Asia Pacific, in a study, estimates that the spending power of the retired population in Malaysia to exceed US$10bil (RM35bil) by 2015 – more than double the figure from 10 years before.

Madam Chong (not her real name), 56, who recently retired but is still an active investor with a moderate risk profile, was looking to diversify her portfolio.

The ideal product that she is looking for is one that can offer recurring income with double-digit returns annually, monthly or quarterly. It should also be capital-guaranteed as well as easy to liquidate with no penalties over five to ten years.

“I was prepared to consider regional investments with a slightly higher risk,” she says.

After looking around, she discovers that there are no such products that meet all her criteria except for two that offer returns between 6% and 7% per annum, but require high deposits of RM250,000.

“There are a couple of insurance companies that offer returns of about 4% annually with smaller deposits,” Chong says.

Given the current economic uncertainty and the absence of investment products specifically catering for retirees, Chong reiterates the need for retirees to be financially savvy instead of just depending on advice from third parties to manage their wealth.