As an employee, you are expected to work hard and smart.
To achieve profitability and reputational excellence for your firm.
In return, you are compensated not just by wages but via a remuneration package.
However, do you know the full benefits of your remuneration package?
It is not just about the number of annual leave, company trips or Dinner-and-Dance.
Part of your employee benefits includes insurance perks.
Group Insurance that is.
Missing out on them is like eating a peeled apple.
It is still delicious but contains much fewer nutrients and anti-oxidants.
Therefore the apple skin not only protects the flesh of the fruit but also reduces the chances of you falling ill.
Much like the group insurance which diminishes your financial risk exposure.
Be a smart employee.
Understand and maximise your employee benefits.
What is Employee Benefits Group Insurance?
The most common ones are the hospital & surgical (H&S) and the group outpatient policies.
The former covers for hospital bills while the latter pays or co-pays for your GP visits and/or Specialist consultations.
Most companies will have them so that you may recover and return to work quickly.
Other types of group insurance sold in the market include group term life, group personal accident, group critical illness policy, etc.
Basically what you can buy as an individual are also available as a group policy.
Have you check your employee handbook to ascertain what employee insurance you are entitled to?
It is about time that you do just that.
How can I benefit from Group Insurance?
First, it costs nothing.
Usually, the company pays the premium so that you may enjoy medical expense reimbursements, basic term cover and perhaps personal accident protection.
Those three are the more common ones that employers usually provide without any charges.
Beyond the free cover, companies often negotiate with the insurers to include an option for their staff and family to purchase additional cover at a discounted rate.
This is when you can voluntarily upgrade your sum assured for you and your dependents.
In many cases, the insurers will automatically accept the business up to a certain limit, without any medical underwriting.
Should you or your dependents have pre-existing conditions that life insurers have previously shunned, it is an excellent opportunity for you to obtain some coverage for them.
In short, you are able to obtain insurance coverage at a lower cost than a standalone individual life policy.
It is also convenient as your HR may deduct the premium from your pay.
Should you have an existing condition, group insurance may just be what you need.
You can only purchase the insurance coverage that your company agrees to.
That means you have no control over what type of coverage and how much sum assured you can purchase.
This may result in gaps in your insurance portfolio.
That is not the only concern.
If you rely heavily on group insurance for all your protection needs, you may risk having a huge hole in your financial planning when your company decides to cut cost on employee benefits or if you change jobs.
By then, your health may no longer be pristine and thus, insurers may decline to insure you as an individual.
This is particularly troubling when it comes to health insurance.
The solution is to take up an integrated shield plan earlier on.
However, it means that you are getting twice the coverage which is not optimal.
Lastly, you cannot make a nomination for your group insurance.
As the insurance contract is between your company and insurer, any claim will have to go through your company.
Thus, you will need to make a will to ensure that the proceeds from your group insurance go to the intended recipients.
People are no longer being employed at the same company from graduation to retirement.
We change jobs and do it quite frequently.
Depending solely on group insurance for coverage is too risky in this era.
Thankfully, the direction for employee benefit insurance is towards portability.
It means that even if you leave the company, you are able to continue your coverage with the incumbent insurer.
While it is yet to be popularised, we may see how things could move quickly.
Meanwhile, there is still value in group insurance for the employees.
You can get coverage regardless of your health conditions at a lower price as compared to buying it yourselves.
While you cannot rely on it, it is a good supplement to your existing individual policies.
So be smart about it.
Get yourself covered at a low cost and don’t forget to get your own insurance policies too.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.