Four months after the five Integrated Shield Plan (IP) insurers agreed to freeze the top-up portion of all IPs for a year following the implementation of MediShield Life, Prudential Singapore is the first to raise its rider premiums.
The increase for one of its riders that cover from the first dollar for hospitalisation up to private hospitals ranges from 5 per cent to 35 per cent across all age bands.
The move comes after the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA Singapore) said last June that the five IP insurers - AIA, Aviva, Great Eastern, NTUC Income, and Prudential - were unable to keep premiums of rider plans unchanged as their claims experience has been higher than expected over time.
The Business Times reported on March 15 in an article about rider premium increases in Singapore. Prudential then said it had raised the total premiums for its IP (that covers up to private hospitals) and rider by 3-14 per cent across the different age bands.
At that time, Tay Jin Li, vice-president and head of product management at Prudential, explained that "the quantum of increase is based on actual claims experience for the different profiles" and that "our combined premiums remain competitive in our core age segment, even after the price increase".
As to why Prudential included its base plan (in this case, the IP) in the calculation of rider premium increases, Ms Tay said on Wednesday: "The rider, PruShield Extra A Premier, cannot be purchased in isolation. For a more accurate comparison, the base plan is included in the calculation as this will be the total premium for a customer."
The insurer added that whatever percentage increase one looks at (whether it is 14 per cent or 35 per cent), the absolute increase to the customer is the same.
Ms Tay also pointed out that its premiums for its three other riders remain unchanged.
This article was first published on March 17, 2016.
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