Insurance companies releases commission-free products. Here’s all you need to know. (Part 3: Direct Critical Care)

By now, you should know all about Direct Medical Card and Direct Term Life Insurance from my earlier articles.

Now, let us explore the Direct Critical Care plan that you can purchase directly from all 14 life insurance companies in Malaysia.

Direct Critical Care

The structure of a direct critical care plan is very much like a term life insurance. If you do not know what is a term life insurance, do read my earlier article before you proceed, as I will not be explaining the basic structure here because they are the same. The only difference is event covered. A term life insurance covers Death and TPD whereas a critical care plan covers, well, something else.

Notice that I used the word Critical Care and not the commonly used Critical Illness?

That is because not all 14 companies have a full Critical Illness package, in fact, only 2 companies offered the full critical illness package online.

Yes, only 2 insurers offer the full critical illness package online. The other companies have different Critical Care plans, and I have categorise these Critical Care plans into 3 groups:

  1. Critical Illness
  2. Critical Illness (Partial)
  3. Cancer Care

So, what is partial critical illness and cancer care, and how is it different from a full Critical Illness plan?

(Note: These information are obtained directly from the insurer’s website. Best effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of these information. However, these information may change without notice. The purpose of this article is to provide a bird’s eye view on the direct insurance landscape, should you choose to purchase any of these plans, please read all the T&Cs and Product Disclosure Sheet from the respective insurers.)

1. Critical Illness

Let’s start with the one that we are all familiar with – Critical Illness.

If this article was written in 2018, I would call this the 36 Critical Illness plan. However, in 2019, most insurers have upgraded their “36 critical illness plan” into “more than 36 critical illness plan”

Insurers have included additional illnesses into their existing 36 critical illness list. However, not every insurer offer the same number of critical illness protection.

In the case of direct critical care, only 2 companies offers the full critical illness package. They are AIA and Great Eastern.

AIA – AIA Critical Illness Cover

GE – Great Critical Care Direct

Here is the full list of critical illness covered by these plans, do not that non of them cover early stage cancer:

Source: AIA
Source: GE

2. Critical Illness (partial)

As the name suggest, critical illness (partial) does not cover the full list of critical illnesses that was mentioned earlier.

These plans covers only just a few from that long list. However, it doesn’t mean that these ‘partial’ plans are less favourable and we should only look at the 2 ‘full’ critical illness insurance above.

Most of these partial critical illness plans covers the commonly seen unfortunate events such as Cancer, Heart Attack, and Stroke. Some of these companies also cover Coronary Heart Disease and Kidney Failure.

Statistically speaking, the chances of claiming for these illnesses is higher than the other illnesses shown in the list in the full plan above.

If you are in your early 20s and you could not afford a full critical illness plan, you may want to consider this. (Do note that, even the premium may seem the same in my comparison below, the sum assured for some of these plans are double the amount of sum assured in the full plans.)

If you’re someone that already have a full critical illness plan, these partial critical illness plan can also complement your existing plan to cover the more commonly seen illnesses.

The companies that have a partial critical illness plan are as follows:

Gibraltar – i-Protect

Gibraltar – i-Protect Plus

HLA – CI Shiled – 5

MCIS – MyCritical Cover

SunLife – eCritical Shield

Tokio Marine – CriticalDefender

Zurich – 3asyCare-Silver

Zurich – 3asyCare-Gold

3. Cancer Care

This plan is very straightforward. A cancer care plan covers, yes you guessed it – Cancer.

Before you skip this section and ignore this plan entirely, most cancer care plan covers an event that no plans from the earlier 2 groups cover, and that is the Early-Stage Cancer.

If you spend the time reading the policy contract of the earlier plans mentioned in this article, even-though most plans cover Cancer, they only cover the advanced-stage cancer.

This means that if cancer was detected rather early, you may not be able to claim the insurance purchased from the earlier 2 groups.

Unlike the partial critical illness plan that offers a lower premium, a cancer care plan have a relatively high premium probably because that the chances of claiming an early stage cancer is rather high.

I personally think that this plan should only be treated as a complementary plan to a full critical illness package as you may want to cover as many events as possible first before increasing your coverage on just cancer only (note, this is my general advice for people without a family history of cancer).

The insurers that have a Cancer Care plan are as follows:

Allianz – i-Cancer Care

AXA – 200 CancerCare

Etiqa – e-CancerCare

PRU – PRUdirect Cancer

4. Waiting Period

There are plenty of terms to go through when you read a insurance policy contract. However, the Waiting Period and Survival Period (see below) are two of the most important clauses in the contract that I would like to bring to your attention.

Just like what we have seen in the direct medical card and direct term life, insurance companies included a Waiting Period exclusion clause in the contract to protect the company.

If you are diagnosed with any one of the covered events during the waiting period, the insurance company is not liable to cover you.

This is because you are not required to go for a medical check up during the application of this insurance.

After comparing all insurance companies’ direct critical care plan, the waiting period is the same across the board, i.e. 60 days.

5. Survival Period

This may be new to some of you. Most insurance companies also includes a Survival Period clause in their policy contract.

The survival period is the length of time the insured person needs to survive after being diagnosed under one of the covered illnesses before the benefit will be paid out.

In other words, if the insured died within the survival period, say within 30 days, the insurance company is not liable to pay any benefit.

If you see my comparison table below, the survival period for some of these companies are as long as 30 days. So this is also one of the factor you may want to consider when you purchase a direct critical care plan.

Also, do not think that this clause can only be found in direct critical care plans. I will not be surprised if some of your plans have this clause as well sitting somewhere in your policy contract. Hence it is important to review your insurance policy to understand your rights.

Final Verdict

Click to Enlarge

So this concludes the 3 types of insurance you can buy online, (i) Direct Medical Card, (ii) Direct Term Life and finally (iii) Direct Critical Care.

However, while I was consolidating these information, I realise that it may not be as easy for a layman to buy a complete set of insurance online.

Yes, the purchasing process becomes a lot more streamlined.
Yes, you do not need to go for a medical health check to purchase these insurance.
Yes, these plans are generally cheaper than what you can get from an intermediary.

But, look at my comparison, there are so many factors to consider, every company have their own uniqueness. The comparison is by no means a straight forward, apple to apple comparison.

To make matters worse, you are forced to read a document called the “Product Disclosure Sheet” and sometimes the “Policy Contract” that is filled with technical jargon before you can make a purchase.

I want to know how can I help you better by making an informed decision while choosing which direct insurance is suitable for you. If you don’t mind, help me complete this simple survey, it should take no longer than 1 minute.

Till then, I would probably write a PART 4 or a completely new series on how to choose an insurance. Cheers.


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