Singapore Expats Forum

Referral to an insurance agent

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.

Sponsored by:
Image
AE Logistics - Movers & Storage

brian_singapore
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon, 29 Jul 2013

Referral to an insurance agent

Postby brian_singapore » Sat, 26 Jul 2014 9:02 am

Would someone be able to kindly PM a referral for an insurance agent, preferably a broker? Preferably someone with deep knowledge of insurance products?

My wife and I are looking for life / savings products in the short-term as we now have children. We need to balance out our portfolio a little better as well as plan / mitigate for risks in the future. Note we already feel well served on the medical side of things by an agent and aren't looking for further product / advice on this front.

I'm sure I'm about to receive a lot of soliciting PMs directly from agents, but we're looking for a referral and won't respond to direct solicitations.

My wife and I just sat through the worst sales / insurance presentation ever from a truely incompetent agent referred to us by the broker who helped us organize our medical insurance (and who was very good).

I have very little knowledge and experience of insurance products, but don't think I should be explaining to an insurance agent what linking/indexing to inflation means on the pension products he was trying to sell us.

ComingSoon
Regular
Regular
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue, 03 Jul 2012

Re: Referral to an insurance agent

Postby ComingSoon » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 2:06 pm

brian_singapore wrote:My wife and I are looking for life / savings products in the short-term as we now have children. We need to balance out our portfolio a little better as well as plan / mitigate for risks in the future.


Hi Brian,

In the quoted part above it sounds as though you are looking for a combination investment and life insurance product. Perhaps I misunderstood?

With few exceptions, most people are much better served by splitting their life cover and investments into separate vehicles. You can get low cost term life from a life company and invest separately using a securities firm (or your bank) to purchase low cost index ETFs. This will work out much better for you than ANY life product that an agent will recommend (Agent seldom recommend term life as the commissions are low).

If you will live in Singapore short term then one of the online term life providers will be a good solution. These policies renew annually so the total cost over 10+ years will be much higher than a regular term policy.

If you are planning to stay several years then a regular term policy from one of the life companies should be fine. NTUC works with foreigners and the premiums aren't too painful.

Good luck!

Beeroclock
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 718
Joined: Thu, 31 Oct 2013

Re: Referral to an insurance agent

Postby Beeroclock » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 3:03 pm

ComingSoon wrote:With few exceptions, most people are much better served by splitting their life cover and investments into separate vehicles. You can get low cost term life from a life company and invest separately using a securities firm (or your bank) to purchase low cost index ETFs. This will work out much better for you than ANY life product that an agent will recommend (Agent seldom recommend term life as the commissions are low).

+1 ... I always steer well clear of the hybrid insurance/investment policies. Seem to have massive agent commissions and looks to me like the worst of both worlds.

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5239
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010
Location: Midgar

Postby the lynx » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 3:43 pm

Why is life insurance advisable to be low cost? And why is combined investment-life insurance policy is bad? I don't understand the mystery behind insurance policies despite trying to do so for many years. And probably a reason why I shy away from insurance agents - you can't fight a battle without understanding the terrain.

Beeroclock
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 718
Joined: Thu, 31 Oct 2013

Postby Beeroclock » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 4:52 pm

the lynx wrote:Why is life insurance advisable to be low cost? And why is combined investment-life insurance policy is bad? I don't understand the mystery behind insurance policies despite trying to do so for many years. And probably a reason why I shy away from insurance agents - you can't fight a battle without understanding the terrain.

1. Obviously lowest cost isn't necessarily a good thing (and many times is a bad choice), but my logic is that life insurance should be a relatively clearcut policy, certainly compared to other areas where there is much more grey area / exclusions etc. So I would rather have the lowest cost for a specific payout policy. If you pay less money on the premium it is more money for you to spend, and/or leave in your inheritance.

2. I think you answered it yourself. a) it's a complex product mixing together insurance and investment, b) there are agents involved taking a commission which may trail for years or even decades.

User avatar
maneo
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat, 15 Mar 2008
Location: Titik Merah Kecil

Postby maneo » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 6:15 pm

ComingSoon wrote:With few exceptions, most people are much better served by splitting their life cover and investments into separate vehicles. You can get low cost term life from a life company and invest separately using a securities firm (or your bank) to purchase low cost index ETFs. This will work out much better for you than ANY life product that an agent will recommend (Agent seldom recommend term life as the commissions are low).


the lynx wrote:Why is life insurance advisable to be low cost? And why is combined investment-life insurance policy is bad? I don't understand the mystery behind insurance policies despite trying to do so for many years. And probably a reason why I shy away from insurance agents - you can't fight a battle without understanding the terrain.

"Low cost" when referring to term insurance does not mean you are getting less.
It means only that you're paying for the basic mortality risk, just a little bit of insurance company profit and nothing more.

The combination products hide significant commissions & extra profit for the insurance companies in much higher premiums.
Most, if not all of what you pay in the 1st year or 2 goes to this overhead.

The difference is huge. Premiums of those combination products are typically an order of magnitude higher than level term.
You should get better long term results prudently investing the difference in low cost index Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Maybe Suzy Orman can put this in perspective for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzgtWfQngII&hl=en-GB&gl=SG

Life insurance in SG is expensive enough as it is.
Keep it simple, invest wisely and you should do much better in the long run.

brian_singapore
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon, 29 Jul 2013

Re: Referral to an insurance agent

Postby brian_singapore » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 10:59 am

ComingSoon wrote:
In the quoted part above it sounds as though you are looking for a combination investment and life insurance product. Perhaps I misunderstood?

With few exceptions, most people are much better served by splitting their life cover and investments into separate vehicles. You can get low cost term life from a life company and invest separately using a securities firm (or your bank) to purchase low cost index ETFs. This will work out much better for you than ANY life product that an agent will recommend (Agent seldom recommend term life as the commissions are low).

Good luck!


First off, thanks everyone including those who have PM'd me for the advice and referrals. I particularly appreciate the referral to the online marketplace for cheap insurance products.

In answer to your question, I agree 100%. My primary, long-term investments are via ETFs. These are steps I took after poor experiences with financial advisors a number of years ago. After these experiences I came to the conclusion I was going to have to do it myself and spent some time educating myself.

As you've pointed out, we are looking at 2 things primarily. The first is standard life cover to ensure our kids are looked after if one of us suffers an accident. We've had this via employers in the past, but now with 2 small children we feel it would be wise to have substantially more to cover them in case of a serious issue.

The second is an insurance 'savings vehicle'; this isn't meant to be our primary investment vehicle, we are just looking at balancing our investments over a number of different asset classes with a number of different risk thresholds. Part of this may include a small monthly investment in an insurance policy with a defined payout. We recognize these can be poor choices for retirement planning due to fees and the hidden costs that come in terms of guarantees in principle and lost returns used to pay these out. But they can be useful for other things like tuition planning for our children when they head to university, or other expected 'major life expenses / purchases'.

We don't have any real interest in purchasing a pension product at the moment, but given in the past we haven't had any insurance products other then the standard cover offered by employers we are looking to thoroughly understand everything an insurance company has on offer. We are keen to further our own knowledge and evaluate them against our desire to have a balanced portfolio.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest