3 Utterly dumb things that I have done with Insurance

Posted 24 June, 2018 by Surely
in Pitfalls to Avoid

Back when I was still serving National Serviceman, my right big toe began to swell up. It caused me pain when I walked around in my army boots. Thus, I had to make a trip to the Medical Centre to have it treated. After a long look at my swollen and smelly toe, the Medical Officer concluded:

“Your nail has grown into the flesh of your toe, causing it to be infected. This is what we called an ingrown toe-nail.”

“Alright. What can we do about it?” I asked.

“If you want, I could remove it out for you.” The Medical Officer answered nonchalantly.

I could not say no any faster. In my mind, I did not understand why they have to amputate my toe just due to some ingrown toenail.




With a cloud of confusion in my head, I returned to my building and related the story to my camp-mates. That was when they burst out laughing and did not stop until minutes later.

“You dumbass! They are referring to your toenail and not your toe!”


Why am I sharing my personal brain farts?


Everyone has done some utterly stupid things in their lives, including me. It may be due to brains, youthful exuberance or simply unexplainable like my above story.

Except for a few more hours of pain and 5 minutes of shame, that moronic moment of mine had no long-term impact. Thankfully I emerged with all ten toes in place. However, not everyone may be so lucky. A moment of folly may result in accidental injury, financial losses and even death.

What it makes me realize is that we have to talk about these dumb moments in order to learn from them. I am sure that somewhere on Earth, someone may somehow assume that the cure for ingrown toenail is the removal of the whole toe instead of the nail!

Seeing that this is an insurance blog, let me bear my financial soul and share with you some of the dumbest things I have done with my policies.


1) Not knowing what I am buying


It might surprise you but I had no idea what I was buying when I got my first policy. I was serving my NS when I received a call from a stranger. He was an insurance agent who had just sold a policy to my friend. He informed me that he had to meet me to verify certain details about my friend.



It looks like green is a common denominator to all the dumb shits that I have done.


I went down, listened to him and bought a policy. I did not know what I had bought at all. I told the man that I wanted to make sure my family had some insurance payout if anything untoward happens to me. On top of it, it would be great if it could help to save up for the future.

The policy, that was supposed to provide my parents with some money for retirement and give me some financial cushion, turned out to be an endowment policy with a maturity value of $6,000. Hardly enough for anything.


How to avoid committing the same mistake


When I made the mistake of buying a policy that served none of my intended objectives, there was no 14-days free look provision. There was no Know-Your-Client requirement and obviously, there were no independent insurance education portals that I could refer to.

How things have changed!

Nevertheless, it was still prudent to do your own due diligence before making any insurance purchase. Understand the different types of policies and what you need is the key to avoid stupid mistakes of buying the wrong insurance plan.


2. Taking a policy loan unknowingly.


When I returned to full-time study after NS, I encountered difficulties paying for the premium of my endowment policy. My parents decided to take over the payment until I graduated from university.

Yet I managed to spend the money that my Dad had passed for the insurance payment on a particular month and missed out on the first GIRO deduction. Feeling rather shameful about my lack of financial discipline, I chose to ignore the reminder from my insurer. To my delight, the insurer did not send any chaser after that!

I had assumed that the insurer had waived the payment automatically. Yes, I realised much later how retarded that sounded but at that time, it seemed to be the only reasonable conclusion.


CR7 must have thought that taxes are automatically done.


It was only when I reviewed my policies after I started working when I came to know that an automatic policy loan was activated to pay for that instalment. The insurer had taken the cash value of my policy to pay for my premium.

The problem with that is the interest levied on the amount. It was about 5% to 6%. Due to my overlook for at least a year, the premium amount of $75 had ballooned to a 3 digits debt. It was quite a considerable amount given that I was earning peanuts as a fresh graduate then.


How to avoid committing the same mistake


The automatic policy loan is a good thing. It prevents your policy from lapsing but the downside is the levied interest. Therefore, the best thing to do is to make sure there is always money in your account for your premium deduction.

A smart way is to schedule a fund transfer one day before your insurer deducts the premium from your account. That way, you can be sure that you will not miss out the day.

Since we are on this issue, let us share with you a secret tip on how to shave 5% off your insurance premium!


3. Changing my Integrated Shield plan without a care.


All the previous moronic acts could be attributed to youthful naivety. The next one that I am going to mention, is rather mind-boggling.

After working for a couple of years, I chanced upon a friend James who I had not met for years. We made arrangements to catch up and we actually did. It turned out that James was an insurance agent. He casually mentioned that the shield plan that was provided by his company was cheaper but yet more comprehensive. Thus, I switched over without any hesitation.

It turned out to be an expensive error in judgement.

The plan is not the cheapest one on the market. Neither it provides the best coverage. What was worse is that when I fractured my ankle when trying to do an impression of Leo Messi, it was not covered. This is due to the fact that I had previously injured the same ankle and agreed to the new insurer’s exclusion.


I assure you that I did not do a Neymar


What a dumbass move!


How to avoid committing the same mistake


If you happen to have an Integrated Sheild plan without any exclusion, never switch to another insurer if you have a pre-existing condition. In the event your hands are itchy and you want to try, read the terms offered carefully and make sure that there is no exclusion imposed.

Next, do your own due diligence whenever you are getting any insurance plan. Research on the plan benefits, compare the prices and decide if it is suitable for you.

>> Click here to start comparing Integrated Shield plans and other insurance policies. <<


Moving forward


We are not perfect. That is why we will always make some dumb moves that we regret.
What is important is that we do not repeat them over and over again.

Other from learning from your own experience and suffering the consequences, the smartest thing is to do that through other’s moronic actions.

Don’t do what I did.
Do what I have told you.
And you may just avoid looking like a total idiot when it comes to insurance!

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.

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