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Monetary Authority of Singapore presses for greater insurance product transparency

Posted on Mar 04, 2010 by Sergio Ulloa ()  | Tags: Life Insurance Association of Singapore, Monetary Authority of Singapore

The Executive Director of Insurance Supervision at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Mr. Low Kwok Mun, said insurance products need to be more transparent to consumers in an address to the Life Insurance Association of Singapore at their annual general meeting on March 3rd. In his address Mr. Low said that while members of the Life Insurance Association (LIA) have done well in addressing consumer education on their products, more remains to be done, such as making a clearer distinction between insurance and savings products. He also noted that many insurance plans do not spell out what portion of premiums paid by consumers goes towards providing coverage, meaning that consumers are unable to make a cost-benefit analysis of their policies. The executive director also pointed to complaints made to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) about consumers' ambiguity over what medical procedures are claimable under health insurance policies. The MAS also urged insurers to focus more on individual consumer's needs with more life and health insurance plans, rather than investment linked products which are notably more complex and riskier. Mr. Low said "Compared with 2008, health insurance sales in 2009 grew by 31 per cent to S$146 million while regular premium non-participating new business, which consists mainly of Accident and Health and Term Policies, grew by 13 per cent. While this is encouraging, I would like to urge all life insurers to keep this momentum on sales of protection plans going instead of being driven only by business considerations." The Life Insurance Association also appointed a new president, Mr. Tan Hak Leh, who is also a managing director at Great Eastern Life.
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