AIA Singapore launches new proposition to address the critical illness protection gap

Country has a substantial 74% gap, especially critical amid both older and younger citizens

AIA Singapore launches new proposition to address the critical illness protection gap

Life & Health

By Kenneth Araullo

In response to the growing need for comprehensive critical illness (CI) coverage in Singapore, AIA Singapore has launched the AIA Ultimate Critical Cover (AIA UCC), with the proposition aiming to address the substantial 74% CI protection gap in the country, especially critical amid increasing cancer incidences among both older and younger populations.

The AIA UCC features coverage of 150 medical conditions, including 73 critical illnesses across various stages. It also has the market's first unlimited reset benefit, allowing unlimited claims till the policy term ends. The policy includes a maximum claim limit of 500% sum assured for early and intermediate CI stages, and a one-year waiting period is applicable. An accidental death benefit is also part of the package, offering 100% sum assured.

Customers can combine their AIA UCC plan with AIA Vitality, a wellness program that offers a 10% discount on the first year's premium. Continued engagement with the program can lead to further premium discounts annually. The plan aims to offer affordable and adequate CI coverage, with an example annual first-year premium of S$630 for a 25-year-old non-smoking male, providing coverage until 65 years of age with a sum assured of S$100,000.

Many underestimate their CI coverage needs, study says

A study commissioned by AIA Singapore uncovered that a significant portion of the population underestimates their CI coverage needs. Specifically, those without CI plans, smokers, and younger individuals were found to have a substantial gap in understanding.

Many in this demographic believe a median CI payout of $100,000 suffices, which is considerably lower than the Life Insurance Association (LIA) of Singapore's recommended minimum of $300,000, or 3.9 times an individual's annual income.

The rise in CI cases in Singapore is paralleled by high recurrence rates. For instance, one in three heart attack patients may face another cardiac event. Stroke patients have a 5% to 15% annual chance of a stroke recurring. Furthermore, common cancers like glioblastoma and ovarian cancer show high recurrence rates, with nearly all glioblastoma patients and 85% of ovarian cancer patients experiencing a recurrence. Bladder cancer reoccurs in 50% of cases.

The financial burden of critical illnesses can be overwhelming for patients and their families. The same survey indicated that one in four respondents with a family member suffering from cancer did not have a CI plan to fall back on during such times. The main reasons for not purchasing additional CI insurance are affordability issues and the perception of high insurance premiums.

“Critical illnesses, including cancer, are no longer seen as a death sentence with today’s medical advancement,” said Irma Hadikusuma, AIA Singapore chief marketing and proposition officer. “However, with rising healthcare and treatment costs, adequate CI coverage is no longer optional, but is essential for patients in getting prompt treatment when needed without having to burden their loved ones financially. We hear the concerns amongst Singaporeans, and this is why we are introducing AIA Ultimate Critical Cover to make CI coverage even more accessible, encouraging young adults to be financially and adequately protected against CI as early as possible.”

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