In the many visits my relatives and friends have made, I always use my case to emphasize the importance of insurance (especially medical plans) to them. Most of them thought that I was lucky to have bought a hospitalization plan which helps to pay off the bulk of the expensive hospital bills. I did not think that was luck. It was a choice that I had made and a step that I had taken to plan for financial security. I was not given a choice for leukaemia, I was unlucky then.
Insurance is a product that you buy and hope (pray hard with fingers and toes all crossed) that you will never ever need to claim during your lifetime. This intangible product may make you feel like you are giving away your hard earned cash for nothing.
When I entered University as a freshman, I terminated the one and only term life policy (Aviva-SAF) I had, bought when I was doing my national service. It cost only S$12.80/month for a coverage of S$100,000. But I thought that being young and healthy, and as a student, I had low risks, what could happen to me? I was also partially under my mother’s nag: “don’t waste your money, you are not earning now”.
In 2009, my late father was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. Following that, the stack of tax invoices for chemotherapy treatments and regular follow-ups were getting thicker with days. I recalled some chemotherapy drugs cost a few thousand dollars. The treatment was drying up his years of savings and medisave account. This prompted me to start financial planning.
I was not sure how and where to start my financial planning. I had saved up a bit from the temporary jobs I had done during school holidays. Investment was the only idea I had and I decided to look up a friend who just started as a financial adviser for advice on unit trusts. I was presented with investment-linked policies (ILP) which provide both insurance coverage and investment features. The benefit illustration was very attractive to a newbie but people around me advised against mixing insurance and investment together. I dropped the ILP idea and bought back Aviva-SAF term life policy with a critical illness rider.
In 2010, I happened to know that Linda, my HI! Club friend, is also a financial adviser. I made an appointment with her for a second opinion. Linda assessed my situation and explained in length the different tiers of financial planning. That was when I first learned about medical insurance. I appreciated the fact that Linda did not throw high commissioning polices at me, but instead, she patiently started me with the basic. I bought an integrated shield plan Aviva MyShield, one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life.
Today, I am still surprise to meet people who have joined the workforce but have no basic hospitalization plan. Savings from monthly income do not guarantee financial security for the future. I have seen for myself how critical illness such as cancer can wipe out one’s savings. Take action NOW to review your financial plans or get yourself covered for the unexpected, if you have not. Make a choice and not leave your life to luck.
P.S. I am not endorsing Aviva products. Please seek a financial adviser for recommendations.