This happens like clockwork every year.
You open up your letterbox to find more mails than usual.
Besides your customary bills, there are some nondescript envelopes in there.
Your annual policy statements.
The usual protocol is the straight bin protocol – they go straight to the bin, that is.
But this time, a question suddenly pops up in your head.
When do I actually use these things?
To utilize your insurance means you have to make an insurance claim.
That is usually not a good thing.
However, it is good to know what you can claim for, just in case.
Let us guide you through in what situation you can claim and which policy you can recover from.
Unlike the claim form itself, this is concise and easy to understand.
Technically you can never make a claim for your own demise.
You bought your policies for your intended beneficiaries.
All you can do is make a nomination and/or a will to ensure that your proceeds go to the right people.
And to inform them that you have covered them so that they will know where to look when you are gone.
Policies to claim from: All life insurance policies and not forgetting your group life ones too.
The definition of disability differs from plan to plan.
Broadly speaking, there are 4 types of disabilities.
It can be confusing.
But hey, that is why we are here.
We will break it down for your easy comprehension.
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)
A person who suffers from TPD is unable to engage in any occupation due to a disability that is unrecoverable.
You must be permanently paralyzed or have lost two of our limbs or sight on both eyes.
This is by far the most stringent type of disability and something you definitely do not want to be claiming for.
Policies to claim from: Most life insurance and Personal Accident (PA) plans. Disability Income Insurance.
Partial Permanent Disability
A more lenient definition is partial permanent disability.
Usually, there is a table to define the percentage of the sum assured you can claim for.
A person who has amputated a limb or has lost their sense of hearing usually may seek compensation for 50% of the amount that he or she insured for.
Policies to claim from: Personal Accident Plans and any policies with PA benefits.
Another type of partial permanent disability occurs when you lose your original job due to a disability, but is still able to earn an income from a lesser-paying occupation.
You can claim for the difference in the income.
Policies to claim from: Disability Income Insurance
Severe Disability (the inability to perform Activities of Daily Living, aka ADL)
This is mainly an Eldershield benefit although some policies may rely on the same definition.
If you are above 40 years old, have not opted out of Eldershield and are unable to perform some of these ADLs (washing, dressing, feeding, toileting, ambulating & transferring), you can ask your insurer to pay you a small income every month.
As science and technology develop, some previously impenetrable conditions have become curable.
New medical inventions may turn previously paralyzed legs to a working pair.
Or quite simply, you may be hurt but the disability is recoverable.
You just need time.
And the money may just come from insurance.
Policies to claim from: Disability Income Policy & PA plans.
Early Critical Illnesses & Critical Illnesses.
You have some ailment that seems to be more severe than your common flu or bruising.
And you have an early Critical Illness (CI) plan, take a look at the early CI definitions in your policy.
You may just be able to claim from it for conditions such as early stage cancer, major burns and severe asthma!
The same applies to Critical Illness.
There are usually 30-37 of them, depending on the insurer, the plan type, and point of purchase.
Do not have a CI plan?
You need to seriously re-look at your financial portfolio.
If you are hospitalized due to some necessary surgeries, injuries or accidents, you may make an insurance claim for an income for each day that you are warded.
That is different from your Medishield or Integrated Shield plan that will pay for your hospitalization bill.
Policies to claim from: PA plans, stand-alone hospital cash policies and Integrated Plan riders.
The whole point of having Insurance
When you buy any product, it is usually crystal-clear that you are exchanging your hard-earned money for some benefits.
You buy a drink – your thirst gets quenched.
Get a diamond ring for your other half and
regret enjoy your decision for the rest of your life.
For insurance, it may not seem obvious.
But the whole point of having insurance is to have the financial support when you need it.
Basically to make an insurance claim.
As much as we do not want bad things to happen to us, they are bound to happen sooner or later.
What we can do is to insure against them.
And make full use of your insurance when the unexpected comes knocking.
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.