Where to buy Term Insurance?

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Much has been said about the benefits of term insurance.

However, even though I’m a proponent of term insurance, I find it hard to buy term insurance.

Why?

I’ll explain in a moment.

Meanwhile, did you read the recent Sunday Times article that was sort of promoting term insurance?

It’s a good article (read it here if you haven’t), BUT the author completely misses the mark when she said “changing mindsets (of customers) is not easy”.

Come on. It’s the mindset of insurance agents that needs changing!

When I asked about term cover, all my agents seemed uninterested in selling these low cost products. They either talked about the downside of term insurance (no return, temporary protection, blah), or happily ignored my queries and continued marketing their investment-linked products with high projected returns.

I literally had to force my agent to sell me term insurance. Why is it so hard?

Do you think these agents genuinely care for you when they say term insurance is not as good as life or endowment policies?

Come on. 9.5 out of 10 agents care about their commissions more than anything else. The other 0.5 will learn that naivety leads to nowhere.

That’s why term policies are still not common. People who don’t do their own research won’t get such info from their commission-driven agents, and these agents won’t volunteer such info unless forced to.

And Sunday Times writers wonder why consumer mindsets are so fixated…

You don’t believe that insurance agents are reluctant to sell term policies? Want proof?

Here’s a comment on the Sunday Times article from an ex-insurance agent (link):

“I once used to be an insurance sale rep.with one of the major American ins. company.WE were told to emphasize mainly on whole life ins. policy to our clients than term ins. policy even though the latter is much cheaper and has a higher coverage.This is because,we could have earned a much higher commission for myself if we sell more of the previous.After a thorough research and analizing the difference Btw. whole-life and term life,I myself and my family members are also sold to the idea of term ins.”

Want more proof? Try asking your own agent about term cover. 

If you know where to buy term insurance easily, let me know.

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73 Comments

  1. -Term (without rider): pay out if policy holder pass away, regardless the causes of the dead.
    -Personal accident: pay out only if dead due to accident only, not from illness alike, usually come with a little bit of out patient medical claim for accident related.
    -Premium can vary significantly from one to another insurer.
    -Buying from agent, you get agent to service you at home/convenient time. Buying DIY, you make a claim youself & there is hardly much diffierent from the premium, try calling the customer service hotline of those advertise DIY, let see how hot is the line.

  2. Bernard, it is always worthwhile having a discussion with an adviser so that your concerns can be addressed with the appropriate policies or combinations of policies. Premiums for personal accident policies are dictated more by job scope whereas premiums for term policies will depend more on age.

    Personal Accident Policies also cover some areas which are not covered by a Term Policy. What is really important is that the adviser needs to understand what you are concerned about. For example I have a client who cycles a lot and as such is worried that he might get hit on the road. In this situation both personal accident policies and term policies were suggested as they address different needs. I am always happy to provide more information over a coffee.

  3. Hi, I’m a S’pore Citizen, and US PR. Does anyone know if buying Term Life is cheapre bought in the US? It would seem so given the critical mass in the US. I’m looking for Term Life to purchase and would like to do some comparison.

  4. well well as the cost of living keep rising it will be a great idea to place some term insurance on your own life …it doesnt cost much but in time of need or crisis strike ..it pays much and alot more than your other policies …

  5. Stanley , are you residing in singapore or the US
    as there are some restriction for US citizen to
    obtain life insurance here , i advise you to find out from different companies for a better picture
    the premiums does not differ much for term insurance
    the important point is your country of residence
    as in the event of a compensation , it will be troublesome to file if you are living here and policy is in the US ..just a thought to share
    hope you dont mind , Sir

  6. basically , if you do not add some term insurance to your insurance , more than sure , you are under insured ..cos to cover a million dollars which spell to 50k per annum for 20 years is a average income
    family in singapore , imagine a widow recieve a cheque of a million , she need to carefully use the money for the next 20 years till child or children are independant ..but a million dollars whole life or endowment is definitely to costly to own one..
    but a million term coverage is within the reach of many …term coverage is cheapest to provide for a family financial security ..

  7. Hi, I hav diabetes and 42 years old. Will I be able to buy term insurance policy here?

    I am a PR here.

    Any suggestions or do you have any comparision table for different type of insurance policies and by different companies?

  8. well if you are aware of your diabetes , you can still apply for insurance but must declare and the the company decides , they may decline or counter offer as a sub standard case ..no harm trying ..

  9. Hi dear all .

    for life insurance when bought , what you have may not be what you need . so it will be good to talk to an agent or few agents to discover your needs and let the agent give you their recommendations and then you can decide on … be a better informed client …my email is [email protected]

  10. Term Specialist on

    Venkat,
    Diabetes can also be classified by types. Yes you still can buy, but your premiums will be higher for sure. If you wish to discuss this further, email me at [email protected] gmail.com.
    It is not possible to have an accurate comparison on the web as there is no many factors eg. Age, health, gender, claims experience, coverage amt, type of coverage, country of residence, occupation

    Thanks.

  11. Hi,

    I am 31 years, single. I am thinking to get additional coverage for my parents by buying a term insurance. To cover my parents for 500K upon my death anytime, on top of my savings and CPF, I need to get a term insurance of 10 years for 200K. As I am hesitating whether should I get an accident plan also, can I confirm that term insurance will also pay for death / TPD even if it is caused by accident?

    And as term insurance will also covers TPD till age before 65 and considering that the chance of myself outliving my parents is higher, should I extend my term insurance to 34 years so that at least I will be covered for TPD till the age of 65?

  12. Hi Synergy
    Financial Planning is not a point solution and to get the right policies do invest an hour of your time to discuss your needs in more detail with a financial adviser. The discussion might also uncover exposure to risks you might not be aware of. Buying the right policies is important so don’t base the decision on forum feedback alone. If you are afraid that you will be sold something that you don’t need get a second opinion and perspective before you buy.
    I am always happy to meet for a no obligations chat over a coffee to share my experience and suggestions. Doing your own research is a good thing too.

  13. Hi GS,

    Thanks for your advice! But somehow I dont feel comfortable meeting financial advisers as I will feel obligated (though they may not feel this way).

    By reading thru forums, I can get different opinions from different perspectives which I think is good for my decision making. Anyway, my life is simple and dont have much commitment. So I dont think I need much financial planning, just making sure that I am covered adequately for hospitalisation under enhanced shield plan.

    As long as I am alive and working, my cash, CPF and investment savings will be adequate for my retirement. And with the term insurance of 200K, all the monies and death benefits will be able to cover my parents upon my death.

    My only concern is if critical illness or TPD happens, I cant work and have to eat on the savings and TPD benefits from the term insurance which is supposed to be meant for my parents.

    It will be great if you could advise if there is any other term insurance selling in the market which covers critical illness and TPD with coverage decreasing gradually over the coverage period? Otherwise, do you think the Luv Term Insurance by NTUC Income is considered a cheap and good choice? Thank you.

  14. Hi Synergy,
    First of all never feel obligated and believe it or not most of us actually enjoy meeting people even if they don’t buy. The reason I suggested you meet and discuss is that you will get better answers and it’s also more effective for an adviser to deal with your questions face to face. However let me try to help with a few pointers.
    1. It’s good that you are looking at the more important components first. Enhanced Shield is a must if you have not already done something about it. There was a good pricing comparison in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago but that doesn’t tell the whole story as there is differences in coverage. I can email you that if you need it and do not have enhanced shield yet.
    2. Term policies for life will cover death for any cause even by accident. Accident policies have elements of coverage that life policies do not have. You should get a accelerated TPD rider for the policy which will accelerate the payment in case of TPD. You are right that this will eat into the death benefit which you are keeping for your parents.
    2. For Critical Illness there are two types riders that are available thou it will vary with different companies. If you buy the accelerated rider it will eat into e life policy payout. If you buy an additional rider it will cost more but wil leave the death benefit payout untouched. Prudential had such a policy. Personally I am not sure about the cost structure of e NTUC term policy and if the riders are additional or accelerated.
    3. In order to get pricing details you might have to check with a couple of people to get the numbers. Tied agents and I am one will not have access to other insurers costs. The Independent Financial Advisers also do not have access to sell any policy they want as the large insurance companies do restrict what they sell through the IFA’s.
    4. Dressing Term coverage is quite unusual in this market and typically only used for mortgage insurance policies.
    I understand our products inside out and a fair bit of other insurers products as well. We are ranked no 1 in many market segments however no insurer will be the cheapest in all categories and cheapest doesn’t mean the best either. Where I feel there are better options for my clients I work with friends in other companies or IFA’s I know well to check Om options out side what I can provide.
    The offer to chat over a coffee stands as I am sure I can provide a bettererective face to face but no obligation and no pressure.
    I hope this was helpful.

  15. Hi Synergy,
    Took a quick look at the LUV plan and this is what I can gather from the limited information provided online.
    1. It is structured in a way so that you dont have to decide on the term up front. This can be a good thing and be more flexible. However the premium are not guaranteed and do increase with age bands.
    2. It is not clear if the critical illness cover is additional or accelerated. I personally prefer additional. That’s am important question to ask.
    Cheers

  16. Synergy,

    I agree with what GST mentioned on that you do not have to feel obligated, you can always walk away from a sale when you find the meeting not beneficial for you. End of the day you still have to meet up with someone from the insurer to buy the policy. It is also not fair to your parents when they do not know who to look for when there is a claim. A good servicing financial adviser will make a difference in the ease of the claim.

    The Luv plan can cover critical illness and it is accelerated. It is cheaper if you are a Safra member. Since you don’t like to meet up with people, just sign up as a Safra member and purchase online thru Safra. No need to meet up with anyone and it is a very simple process if you do not have any medical condition at the moment.

  17. Hi GS and Cheng,

    Really thanks both of you for the valuable info! I didnt know about accelerated and additional benefits until both of you mentioned.. I actually have friends who work as financial planners but dont think I can “absorb” much info from them compared to thru forums here. hahaa.. But will definitely consider to speak to an advisor before I commit to any policy. Before that, let me do more research first to know about the options available in the market.

    Cheng: After reading thru the T&Cs in the NTUC LUV policy, I realise that it is meant for family with children as dependents so probably I will not be eligible to buy. 🙁

    GS: I read somewhere that additional CI as rider usually covers for a term only and have a survival period (e.g 30 days). That means I must survive thru the 30 days upon diagnosis of a CI before I can claim the CI benefits? And if I die before that, I cant claim. Am I right? If thats the case, the additional premiums that I paid for the CI coverage will be wasted?!!

    Whereas for accelerated CI, it does not have survival period and will cover thruout the term together with TPD/death. For some policies, we are allowed to claim CI as partial payout and the remaining benefit will be kept for TPD/death. Is my understanding right?

  18. Hi Synergy,

    You are absolutely right about the survival period of 30 days before the CI policy will pay out. You decide on the term of the policy upon purchase so in that sense there is no difference between accelerated and additional.

    Do keep in mind a few things.
    1. Terminal Illness means you are not expected to survive more then 12 months and the death benefit will pay out.
    2. The death benefit is for the use of your dependents. The TPD is usually there so that you will not be a burden to others and have funding to look after yourself.
    3. Critical Illness cover is also for your use. This would be useful if you have a critical illness and need to be treated over an extended period of time. On top of that you may not be in any shape to work and I have seen friends go through this while having chemo. The CI payout is to fund the possible loss of income during this period. The bulk of your medical costs should already be taken care of by the Enhanced Shield Plans.
    4. The expectation for CI is that many will recover after treatment, or will survive long enough that the CI payout makes a difference to their loss of income.
    5. Additional CI will cost a little bit more then Accelerated CI. For example you can purchase a policy with a death benefit of 500K and accelerated CI of 200K. In this scenario the CI will pay 200K and 300K will still remain as the death benefit for later.
    I suggest you run several scenarios with the the different options do your cost comparison so that you can decide which path to take. These can be easily done and emailed to you by a advisor.

    I hope this helps.

    Personally I have policies with both types of CI though I am biased to additional. However there are policies out there where you dont have the option to have additional so thats where I had no choice but to get accelerated. However I have had a higher death benefit then CI cover when I choose the accelerated version.

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