If you’re a Singaporean, statistically, cancer is the most worrying cause of death. And although medical technology has greatly increased our chances of surviving cancer, the impact on our finances can be dire.
Here’s why you should seriously consider getting cancer insurance: The average Singaporean has a critical illness protection gap of over $250,000.
But since critical illness insurance can be prohibitively expensive, cancer insurance is a way to get protection against the highest-probability critical illness at a relatively low price. Getting it is almost a no-brainer — especially if you have a history of cancer in your family.
But there are several cancer insurance plans you can choose from. And not all of them will be the ideal fit to your individual circumstances. So, to help you make the optimal choice for yourself—and to save even more money on top of that—here are the best cancer insurance out there today.
FWD Cancer Insurance: Best and most unique benefits
What sets FWD’s cancer insurance plan apart from the rest is its free medical second opinion. Policyholders are entitled to obtain a second opinion from Mediguide, where a team of expert physicians will review your medical records. Considering the gravity of a cancer diagnosis, this can offer huge peace of mind.
That aside, the nuts and bolts of FWD’s cancer insurance plan stand up well against the market. Basic coverage starts as low as $50,000 but goes all the way up to $200,000 — the upper limit of the market. Furthermore, it pays out a full 100 per cent of the sum assured even for early stage diagnoses. There’s also a smaller and separate death benefit.
Its premiums are priced slightly above the market average, but if that is not a big issue for you, this is a great ‘all-rounder’ plan that has one of the best benefits on the market.
MSIG CancerCare Plus: Best value for money
MSIG’s cancer insurance plan is a little more rigid than others. The sum assured is fixed at $100,000, with no flexibility given. On the surface, that can seem to be a drawback, and we’re not denying that — all things being equal — most people would prefer to have that flexibility.
But all things are not equal, because MSIG CancerCare Plus may be one of the best value for money plans on the market. For the same premiums you would pay for a plan that gives you $50,000 of coverage, you get the full $100,000.
That said, the plan does have a couple of other drawbacks to note. For one, early stage diagnoses are only eligible for 50 per cent of the sum assured (the remaining 50 per cent can be used for any non-early stage diagnoses down the line). There is also no additional death benefit. However, if this is not a major concern and you just want to maximise value in your cancer insurance plan, look no further.
TIQ Cancer Insurance: Great benefits plus yearly savings
To be honest, TIQ’s cancer insurance plan is very similar to FWD’s. They are both solid ‘all-rounder’ plans which pay the full 100% sum assured regardless of the diagnosis stage. They also have the same smaller lump sum death benefit, and their coverage sums also range from $50,000 to $200,000. Premium-wise, they are also within a few dollars of each other. You really can’t go wrong with either option.
The salient differences really only come down to two main points. FWD has the unique benefit of getting a free medical second opinion from a team of expert physicians. Whereas for TIQ, you can enjoy 6 per cent off your annual premiums so long as you haven’t made any claim. This is essentially the ‘No Claim Discount’ model you see with motor insurance.
If you are looking for a good ‘all-rounder’ cancer insurance plan, either TIQ or FWD will serve your needs. It just depends on what you value more—a second medical opinion or a 6 per cent annual discount.
Great Eastern GREAT Cancer Guard: Most convenient plan
Great Eastern’s GREAT Cancer Guard plan is designed to give you the maximum convenience and consistency possible. For one, the premiums don’t increase with age—this consistency gives you the ability to plan your finances with much more clarity. Second, there’s no medical examination required, just a simple health declaration with a guaranteed renewal until age 85.
Its sum assured starts at $100,000 and goes up to $200,000—it’s rather standard. It pays out 100 per cent of the amount regardless of the diagnosis stage, although it doesn’t include a death benefit.
That said, its premiums are definitely on the higher end of the market—a necessary trade-off for maintaining it for the entire term of the plan. However, if you don’t mind bearing higher premiums (and the absence of a death benefit) in exchange for this convenience and consistency, then this is one plan worth looking into.
SingLife Cancer Insurance: Best for those on a tight budget
Truth be told, cancer insurance is one of the more overlooked insurance types in Singapore, despite the sobering statistics. And if you are one of those with a ‘some is better than none’ mindset, SingLife has a very affordable cancer insurance plan for some measure of cancer protection.
Starting at about $82.52/year for a 20-year basic plan (the lowest on this list), its sum assured goes for $40,000 for late stage cancer only, with a death payout of $5,000. An upgrade to the SingLife Cancer
Plus plan would see complete inclusion of early and intermediate stages; in the event cancer strikes, you are entitled to a 25 per cent and 50 per cent (of sum assured) payout respectively, all without having your policy lapse. Yes, it does offer multiple claims, whether or not it is a case of relapse or the occurrence of a new cancer.
Two other great features are that you won’t have to undergo any medical examination, and getting covered is a simple matter of pre-filling an online form using MyInfo. It makes the SingLife Cancer plan one of the latest entering the fray of fuss-free digital insurance offerings, one that you can get quick coverage on the go.
NTUC Income Cancer Protect: A fuss-free plan with added benefits
NTUC Income’s Cancer Protect policy is fuss-free in every sense of the word. Policyholders enjoy an automatic renewal for the same contract term and sum assured every decade if a claim isn’t made. Fortunately, this excludes the event where you make a claim for an early stage of a major cancer.
However, this policy is subject to medical underwriting and may require the applicant to undergo a medical test. Furthermore, it will not pay any benefits should a claim arise from an existing medical condition that was not communicated beforehand. The sum assured is not as competitive too, starting at $50,000 and capping out at $100,000.
On the bright side, the premiums are affordable and coverage is comprehensive. The monthly premium starts at $14.40, but you have the flexibility to make your payment quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly too. Additionally, you receive up to 125 per cent of your sum assured should you be diagnosed with an advanced stage cancer.
Prudential PRUCancer 360: Features the longest coverage across all stages
Prudential’s PRUCancer 360 policy boasts the widest coverage on this list, including infants who are a year old to senior citizens up to 100 years old. Additionally, it covers all stages of cancer and provides a 100 per cent payout of your sum assured upon diagnosis for any stage.
The sum assured starts at $10,000 and goes up to a maximum of $300,000. This translates into a maximum monthly premium of $46 (based on a 25-year-old female who is a non-smoker). However, applicants age 1 to 16 are restricted to a maximum sum assured of $100,000 and the maximum age of renewal is 95 years old. There is also no death benefit included.
Fortunately, signing up for this policy is extremely easy because you only need to answer a single health question when applying. You do not need to jump through multiple hoops just to get on board.
This article was first published in SingSaver.com.sg.