Singapore workers fear losing their job due to illness or disability

Singapore workers fear losing their job due to illness or disability | Insurance Business Asia

Singapore workers fear losing their job due to illness or disability

Two out of three workers in Singapore are worried about job loss due to illness or disabilities and more than half (53%) do not have any disability income protection, according to the AIA Disability Income Survey 2022.

The survey was conducted in April with over 1,000 respondents, consisting of full-time working Singapore residents aged 18 and above.

The survey found there is sufficiently high awareness of disability income (DI) protection at 84%. However, only 42% of blue-collar workers and 29% of white-collar workers consider it very important to have such coverage.

The top two reasons for getting DI protection were “to have peace of mind should anything happen” (53%) and “to ensure that there is financial support for loved ones if unable to work” (51%). Younger respondents tend to cite the former reason, while older respondents chose the latter.

Simplicity and certainty of payouts were top priorities when choosing a disability income policy, with 90% of respondents saying it is important to have mental health conditions covered in disability income policies.

The key barriers to purchasing disability income policies were product complexity, complicated processes and high premiums. Among females, 25% said the cost of premiums was a reason for not having DI protection, versus 16% of males. This was the most selected reason amongst females. On the other hand, 22% of men said they did not have DI protection because they don’t think they need it – the most selected reason amongst males. Only 13% of women chose this reason.

“Losing one’s job and becoming dependent on others due to an unexpected accident or illness is painful and places heavy financial and emotional burdens on a person and their loved ones,” said Melita Teo, chief customer and digital officer of AIA Singapore. “Understanding the pain points of disability income plans allows us to better address Singaporeans’ concerns which range from affordability, to ease of getting insured and making a claim. These are key priorities which informed how we developed the AIA Pay Protector to make disability income protection accessible to even more members of the community.”

AIA Pay Protector is a disability income plan that offers lower premiums, fixed monthly benefits regardless of income fluctuation or any sources of income and simplified application processes.

Customers can set their desired fixed monthly payouts between SG$1,000 and SG$5,000, and benefits will be paid out for up to five years in the event where they are unable to perform material duties of their own occupation due to illness or disability, whether physical or mental.

“It is important for us to recognise and help people address their protection gaps with simple, innovative solutions,” said Irma Hadikusuma, chief product proposition officer, AIA Singapore. “The pandemic has accelerated the need for greater financial independence - regardless of whether you’re single or have a family to care for. AIA Pay Protector responds to this demand by promising continuity of this independence with certainty of income in the short term for the unexpected event of job loss due to mental illnesses or physical disabilities.”