MAS clarifies insurer guidelines for fair practices towards PWDs

Firms are not prohibited from declining applications or setting higher premiums in view of certain risks

MAS clarifies insurer guidelines for fair practices towards PWDs

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

In response to queries regarding insurer guidelines for persons with disabilities (PWDs), deputy prime minister Lawrence Wong has reiterated the government’s commitment its commitment to uphold non-discriminatory practices, aligning with its intention to withdraw the reservation on Article 25(e) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Wong said that in December 2022, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released a consultation paper focusing on fair practices guidelines for financial institutions. These guidelines include provisions for customers with disabilities and mental health conditions.

Under the proposed guidelines, MAS emphasises that insurers should not reject insurance applications solely based on a disability or medical condition, including mental health issues. Instead, an objective assessment of each application should be conducted based on relevant and reliable information pertaining to the risks involved.

However, Wong also said that the guidelines do not prohibit insurers from declining applications, imposing higher premiums, or applying specific conditions when the applicant's risks warrant such measures. In the realm of health insurance, risk assessment is typically based on a customer’s medical history, current health condition, and any health risks associated with known conditions. MAS highlights that having a comprehensive and robust assessment framework is crucial for the long-term sustainability of an insurer's business.

MAS is currently reviewing the feedback received on these proposed guidelines. The authority plans to finalise and issue the guidelines by mid-2024.

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