一种米养百样人

Sometimes I’m so fucking pissed with “their” customer services. The moment they know they’re speaking to their agents instead of customers, their tones/faces changes as fast as lightning and as different as day and night. What the fcuk? I’m ALSO your policyholders lor. I owned more than a dozen policies. I’m ALSO your customer lor! I dont see why they have to give me that sort of attitude when I’m polite all the way. Until I’m riled, that is.

And I’m so disgusted with some of the agents. Once I called wrongly into the marketing product line, wanting to know some stuff about a particular product, the guy who was at the other end of the phone was so polite UNTIL he knows I’m the agent. Guess what, he said “I also dont know lor. You got to check it out yourself. I’m also an agent.”

Then I realised that number is for the LEAD’S department, where agents give tele customer service to gain leads.

But also no need to be so rude to own company staff right?

Dearie is in the LEAD’S department too and sometimes he heard worse. Like, “GO check it out yourself lah! Dont you know this number is for customers only and not agents. I’m also an agent, dont waste my time!” and cupped the phone.

*shake head* Sometimes, some of this people are actually top sales. Sometimes they really make me sick and feel like puking.

I finished with a sarcastic tone to that guy named PATRICK that he better check it out himself too, otherwise when customers called this hotline and he everything also dont know then it reflects soOooo badly on the company. But again, he might be be the fool as he looks and might be hiding from me because he just dont wish to do me a favor and wants me to check it out myself.

I feel “their” agents really come from all sorts of family background as well as all sorts of upbringing. Some of them can bang table infront of the underwriter or yell at them. Some can be so kiasu to come out from the seminar earlier so that can have the buffet faster without having to queue much. Otherwise, some can even jump queue just infront of you without batting an eyelid.

And I guess it’s this long-term tension between such agents and customer service which further make the relationship between every agent and customer service officer sour.

Like;

rude agent give attitude to CS –> CS buay song and frustrated –> CS give attitude to nice agents –> Nice agents became riled and slowly became more assertive/rude.

And the cycle repeats.

I dont like making friends from other agencies because they always pester me about how we do our sales and how we got our leads. Dont they know all this are business and we’re not supposed to reveal because my brilliant manager wouldnt be that dump not to put it in the contract?

And when I do give sommmmeee little humble advices, I encounter jeering laughter and rolling eyes.

“huh? You went all the way to XXX just to close a $10,000 fixed deposit/medisave-approved shield plans? Lol. Enough to cover transport lah but left peanuts. What for?”

Sometimes they dont understand it’s not the money. It’s because you want your client to have the coverage or you just dont want them to put it elsewhere because you believe they can earn more interest in your safe hands.

OR

“huh? They buy 1 or 2 policies only, you also do a policy summary for them? Is it necessary or not?”

If whole family only 1 simple A&H plan which doesnt fetch cash values no matter how long you pay, then perhaps no need lah. But if the whole family got 2 or 3 or more policies…well it’s better if there’s a summary so that they know what they got and also, it’s lesser chance that they misplaced the policies.

I dont know how their agencies educate them lah. But they expect money will just drop from the sky without effort.

Ya. It definitely will, or sort of, when you reached director level and have clientele of more than a thousand or so. Then when your base is big enough then clients will CALL you and “order” from you.

So stop hounding me for new or more closing strategies if you’re so lazy to even do the basic services already.

Of course not all “their” agents are like that. Some still work for the passion and not for the money. There’s no need to deliberately show, the attitude just exudes.

Effort=rewards

I’m really pretty sick yesterday. Besides sorethroat and cough, a new member joined; Miss Running Nose. I was sneezing like mad when I was talking to 2 friends cum clients. It ended as late as midnight where I rushed to meet Eil at Yewtee to return her the uniforms which I loaned from her for the stupid, disgusting buffet at M hotel. Upon reaching Xinwang HK cafe, I digged into my dinner-cum-supper; century egg congee and dian xin, har gao(prawn dumpling) because I was so damn hungry.

Rain, that’s why replied you late.

Sigh Really felt like dying yesterday. I haven been this sick for very long though minor illness still bothers me time to time. Heard many people said having mirrors reflecting the bed is not a good thing. Will affect health bla bla. Hopefully the fengshui audit on Monday can improve all this. Though I know my own maintenance of health is also important lah.

I almost bought a dress from SL’s blogshop, http://ilovebeingreal.wordpress.com/. But because Dressy hounds is only available in 1 piece and it has been taken. =( Nevermind, I’ll wait for the 2nd collection which will be coming in end Jun or early July. I will show my support de!

SL is very sweet to offer me discount on my purchase but I declined. Duhz, give me discount then she earn what right? Nono. She definitely deserve all those earnings as she has taken effort to contact supplier and hire photographer at a cost to take nice, bright pictures by modeling the clothes herself so that they’re true to pictures. And also the set-up of her blog which obviously took alot of time and effort.

On a side note, I also dislike friends who bargain for rebates when they buy policies from friends who are their agents or try to negotiate for free gifts. I mean, it’s so unglam. Most of the time, I will give a treat, dinner or lunch in appreciation for friends’ business. You dont have to ask, I will auto one. In some way or other, I will express my gratitude and appreciation but it’s not in the way of rebates. Not many people know that is actually illegal in our line of business. YES. Giving rebates to solicit business is ILLEGAL in the insurance industry.

I think somehow these kind of people just exists, especially in Singapore. But fortunately, dearie and I dont have alot of these friends.

Back to topic about blogshops. Some people merely ordered them from other taiwan websites, plucked THEIR pictures, plucked THEIR dimensions and simply put a BIGGER price tag on their blog and attempt to sell away at a much higher profit. To each his own la but I’m really not a fan of such blogshops. Because most of the times, products are not true to their highly-processed pictures.

I truly feel SL deserves what she’s getting. Her prices are very reasonable so I also hope whoever is buying from her dont expect discount just because they’re her friends. I know the feeling, so well. Especially when I feel effort is equivalent to rewards. We did put in effort(see my sorethroat and you’ll know. =P) We deserves it. =)

Twilight, Book Review

I’ve been undeniably busy. Lately I have been dropping hair like mad. Going botak soon. Just a note of precaution, beware the shampoo “Tsubuki”. It’s a white bottle shampoo recommended by Nu Ren Wo Zui Da and sold in SASA. In contrary, I feel the shampoo from “Sexy Girl” is pretty good. Although it looks bimbotic in a shocking pink bottle and a bimbotic airhead brand name, it’s actually not bad. At least, it’s not too drying for my haysack hair nor too rich for my oily scalp. Definitely more economical than “Tsubuki” too, which costs like $23 odd.

I’m just so so so tired, both with work and study. Great Eastern has recently launched a new product E.P.C.C which means Early Payout Critical Care. As the name suggests, the plan pays out either 25% or 50% of the sum assured(subjected to conditions) at the early stages(as early as stage 0, carcinoma-in-situ) of critical illnesses respectively according to their own definitions. Unlike normal critical illness plans which only pays out at the last stage of cancer where cancer cells and tissues have spread.

GE is the only company in Singapore who launched this kind of product, i.e, early pay out. It’s the first in Singapore and probably the first in the insurance industry too. It’s only available starting from April. It’s a term plan, can be a standalone as well as attached as a rider. I wont elaborate more here in case of misrepresentation. However, interested parties can always call me to check lah.

I had finished “Twilight” yesterday. Fast huh, yeah I’m a fast reader. Hmm…But I have to drag back the purchase of the sequel because I’m afraid it will hinder my study. Lol. Erm…reviews huh…

Ok it will not be a fair review being, I’ve watched the movie BEFORE I read the book, which denoted that the movie has probably ruined all the fantasies that I can conjure prior to reading the 1st page. I do notice some differences though.

In the movie, I would say Bella was pretty much a mature(from the way she behaves), cool, reserved and stay-out-of-the-scene kind of girl.

In the book, yes, she’s pretty much the girl which was portrayed in the movie, reserved, avoids attention etc. BUT the movie seemed to miss the fact that she’s such a lovelorn, giddy little 17 year old in the book who was so hopelessly in love with Edward for no other special reasons except that he’s gorgeous.

ZZzzZzzzZzz

It’s imminent in EVERY sentence the author wrote. I cant read a single sentence without Bella gushing over Edward like a puppy adoring a movie star.

It goes like, “Oh whenever he looked at me, my knees go weak. Oh and when he touched me ever so slightly, I forgot to breathe! Oh my heart will simply stop if he kissed me. Oh I cant believe someone as gorgeous as him is for me to have!”

Wah lau.

It’s quite disgusting to me actually, frankly speaking. Especially I’m not really the type of girl who will go jelly-like at the sight of a mere nice face. Instead, sharp wit, intellect, charm and manners seduced me more than a cold, hard, nice face. Okie lah, meant no offence with the “cold” just because he’s a vampire. But I pretty much meant, Edward was terribly cold to her at first acquaintance. Surprisingly, Bella actually got abit of spunk and character you can call it(when she’s not so obsessed with Edward’s godlike features) when she’s holding her stand. Can be obstinate too.

The difference of Edward in book and in movie. Oh Edward’s certainly more interesting in the book in fact. Hmm, he’s meaner(at first impression) and more sarcastic in the book and nothing like the cool, collected, sinister Edward Cullen in the movie.

Definitely in favor of the changes the producer has arranged. It makes the whole movie much more appealing, attractive and definitely more suitable for mature audience.

And 1 thing I wish to..comment is that…hmm..Stephenie Meyer has really mediocre writing leh. It was written like some…primary school book. I think Enid Blyton can write an even better suspense and thrilling scene better than Stephenie Meyer. The last suspense scene I remembered reading off her book was in “The Wishing Chair” where it almost flew away without the kids who were escaping from a terrible fairy land.

That was decades ago. Oh Okie not a fair assessment. But, I just have to say that..I cant feel any emotions..just any…while I read the book.

I feel a good book should be able to EVOKE feelings in you..like..love…compassion…empathy…indignation…
displeasure…ire..suspense..surprise etc. And I assure you I’m definitely not cold-blooded. Just ask Adrian. When I read romance novels, I WEEP.

I think even Francine Pascal who wrote the Sweet Valley series can concoct a much more suspense and touching story in her style. Of course not her normal Sweet Valley High series, it’s in her those “thriller” series. I used to read them when I’m in secondary school.

You know, a GOOD book, or a good writer for that matters, will be able to EVOKE emotions in you. Other than that, descriptions can come alive in your brain despite reading words off a page. It’s like, vivid images forming in your brain. It’s just like a movie! Think Judith Mcnaught…my ultimate favourite, till now. You will get what I mean when you truly read a good book.

Then when am I still buying the sequel?

Because it is still engaging to read. Why? Because all the vampire legends and myths all that are up to the author to concoct. And it’s intriguing and interesting to me, no matter what she wants to assume in her book, I will follow. Like,

E.g, vampires can come out in the daytime (unlike the normal story that they will burn), just that their skin will sparkle in sunlight. They dont eat, dont sleep, dont breathe on top of their immense strength, speed. Alice can see into the future, Edward can read minds. They’re the best predators because their looks, their smell, their voice, everything will draw you to them. Etc etc.

It’s interesting to me perhaps because I have never read a book about vampires. I have to give her credit that some parts of the book are funny too.

Stephenie Meyer, she got interesting little ideas here and there but her writing style dont appeal to me. And sometimes I just cant get past some words she used.

“noiselessly”?

“aloneness”?

Interesting choice of words…

Oh well, perhaps language in her country are taught pretty differently from us.

And that is why the speed which I read her book is even faster than my usual..because…I’m eager to know how the story turns up but not very interested to linger with her dully constructed sentences. Kinda boring lah. And mostly because the book was written in the 1st person language, something like a narrated version of Bella Swan. WAH! Makes it even more boring.

So all in all, it’s not too bad a read for the 1st try…just go easy on the writing. But I probably wont read a second time that is.

Book Title: Twilight
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Ratings: 3/5

For a book to be written in 1st person language, I tell you the author must be damn good lor, or else sure cant carry off.

Sigh. I think I’m very mean. But since she’s making so much more BIG bucks than me, I guess it wont harm her in any way~

Things which you must know

Haiyo! Lately I’m so fearful of calls from my clients. So many bad news. =(

One called up to make a death claim, which I’ve mentioned earlier on. Cause: Pancreatic Cancer. Eh I re-read then realised something is very wrong with previous sentence. Okie. I meant the husband of my deceased client called up to make the claim, not the deceased herself.

Haiz! When I looked through her medical report, bills and all that, it’s really disheartening. Previously she was at Tan Tock Seng Hospital where she received chemotherapy treatment. Initially, at stage 2, per chemo session is $1500. She had 15 sessions of that, which came up to $22,500. She was better for a while….until the doctor advised her for stronger chemo at a later stage…at $3000 per session. She only went for a few sessions before she gave up going altogether…as it was costly as well as unbearable…because she kept vomiting. =( Nevertheless, her chemo sessions had came up to total of more than S$30,000.

Looking at her last bills, she has switched to Mount Elizabeth. And for her 9 days there, bill had came up to S$28,965.06 instead of the estimated S$16,000+.

Amount claimed from her company: S$231.03.
Amount claimed from MEDISHIELD: 1,922.50.

Payment from MEDISAVE: S$8,600.00
Balance to be paid by CASH.

Oh for your info, there’s a limit on how much you can use your MEDISAVE for your bills, DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT’S OUR MONEY FROM THE START. Hng! So the balance has to be paid by CASH.

I’ll just paste it here for the benefit of all.

Medisave can be claimed only if the patient stays in the hospital for at least 8 hours (unless the patient is admitted for day surgery).

The claim limits are as follows:

* Medical / surgical inpatient cases
S$450 per day for daily hospital charges. This includes a maximum of S$50 for doctor’s daily attendance fees.

* Approved day surgeries
Up to S$300 per day for daily hospital charges for surgeries done

* Surgical operations (inpatient and day surgery)
A fixed limit – depending on the complexity of the operation – according to the table of surgical operation, as given below :

table1

# Psychiatric treatment
Up to S$150 per day for the daily hospital charges including a maximum of S$50 for the doctor’s daily attendance fees, subject to a maximum of S$5,000 a year for treatment received

# Stay in approved community hospitals
Up to S$150 per day for the daily hospital charges including a maximum of S$30 for the doctor’s daily attendance fees, subject to a maximum of S$3,500 a year

# Stay in approved convalescent hospitals
Up to S$50 per day for the daily hospital charges including a maximum of S$30 for the doctor’s daily attendance fees, subject to a maximum of S$3,000 a year

# Stay in approved hospices
Up to S$160 per day for the daily hospital charges including a maximum of S$30 for the doctor’s daily attendance fees

# Day Rehabilitation at Senior Citizens Health Care Centers
Up to S$20 per day for day rehabilitation charges, subject to a maximum of S$1,500 a year

# Inpatient medical treatment in approved day hospitals
Up to S$150 per day, including a maximum of S$30 for the doctor’s daily attendance fees, subject to a maximum of S$3,000 per year.

# Outpatient treatments of approved chronic diseases
* Up to S$300 per Medisave account a year (subject to S$30 deductible and 15% co-payment by patient) for diabetes

* Up to S$300 per Medisave account a year (subject to S$30 deductible and 15% co-payment by patient) for hypertension, lipids disorders or stroke

* Up to S$300 per Medisave account a year (subject to S$30 deductible and 15% co-payment by patient) for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (with effect from 1st April 2008)

# Renal dialysis treatment (Only the patient’s Medisave may be used. For patients age of 18 and below, the parents’ Medisave may be used)

* S$450 a month

# Radiotherapy for cancer patients

* For External Therapy, S$80 per treatment
* For Brachytherapy with external radiotherapy, S$300 per treatment
* For Brachytherapy without external radiotherapy, S$360 per treatment
* For Superficial X-Ray, S$30 per treatment
* For Stereotactic radiotherapy, S$2,800 per treatment

# Chemotherapy for cancer patients
Includes analgesic medication and suppressive treatments (neuro-endocrine and nuclear medicine treatments).

* S$300 for 7-day treatment cycle or S$1,200 for 21/28-day treatment cycle

ETC. (Please refer to website)

I dont see why there should be a limit when health condition is critical. It might be the LAST chance to use medisave already. And FYI, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to withdraw MEDISAVE. You only can use it TO PAY for your own hospital bills or else your family members’ bills. Cant withdraw out to use one. If die leh? Okie lor, then let you transfer to your family member. Otherwise, dont even dream of touching your money. Stupid GOVT.

You know it’s so sad to…to think/know that there’s low chance of recovery even with lots of chemo..and it’s very helpless and…antagonizing to stop the treatments because of the high cost and unbearable misery… It’s like totally..giving up life! One shouldnt give up life no matter what! But we know it’s easier said than done. Total expenditure came up to around S$60,000 but still…she left…

She left earlier than I’ve expected…It’s only 1 year plus upon her diagnosis. I wonder will she have survive longer if she undergo the advanced chemo sessions. Sigh.

Sometimes some people say major illness protection are useless as it’s difficult to cure cancer. Ultimately one will go…despite how many treatments he/she undergo..and after one passed on, how much wealth is redundant. But, the point is, you have the CHOICE to gamble with fate by using MONEY given by a 3rd party, to give a try whether you can change your destiny. Miracles are not impossible, it depends whether you believe in them.

And at least one need not feel guilty is the whole bill is being paid for by insurance instead of using own’s or spouse’s savings. If one is really restless to carry on…fine..the money can be left for the family and kids. Okie, you’re single, with no kin whatsoever…but you think funeral no need money? Hell, you need money for every single thing in Singapore.

So,
1) Stop thinking that MEDISHIELD is enough
2) Stop thinking that MEDISAVE can be used to pay for ALL your medical bills
3) Stop thinking that your company group insurance is enough
4) Stop thinking that the government will step in to help

They’re simply not enough.

I cant harp enough of that.

For major illness, to be really sufficient, you need at least S$250,000. Because after you fell sick, you cant work anymore. Besides from regular treatment sessions and operations, there’s a need to cater for living expense for oneself, and more so if one is a breadwinner. E.g, for the spouse and kids.

Then, another client of mine called up, to tell me he’s hospitalized. Appendix, but it’s 慢性 one. Haiz. He’s a long-time client of mine. Our usual corporate florist has increased their prices, hence I searched online for cheaper ones. And I was appalled at the pricing. (=.=)”” A simple fruit basket costs more than S$50. I dont mind a $50 hamper if they’re really worth it but looking at the sparse amount of fruits…really not worth it loh.

All costs $48 after GST. Chop carrots ah…few apples and oranges and 1 bunch of grapes want $50. =P

But finally I found 1 which is better.


Flowers with 6 bottles of bird’s nest with white fungus & rock sugar & 3 bottles of essence of chicken.

Ya lah no fruits inside, but definitely more worth it than others mah, since they’re the same price. While I’m browsing, I thought of sending Mummy some flowers too at her office because she’s sick. But looking at the prices made me sian 1/2.


Few stalks of roses + 1 stupid-looking bear, after GST is $48+.


Few stalks of tulips, also $48+


ZzZz Around $45 maybe

And they’re supposed to be best buy leh!

It’s either I’m damn sua-gu or inflation is getting real bad now. Or both. Why I never know bouquets are so expensive leh? Oh man..I should have really appreciate all those bouquets I had before while they’re alive. Especially tulips, they’re so much more expensive than roses! I wonder how much will 30 stalks of tulips cost like 5 years ago?

No wonder dearie has cut down on bouquets for me le. =(

Of course if I have the time, I will use that money, put it to better use and bring it down myself. But no time loh, I still got to go office later to settle another client’s death claim and do some work.

New Product by Prudential & Great Eastern

Prudential has come up with a new product; Pru Multiple Crisis Cover(PMC).

Interestingly, it works differently as compared with other term plans in the market. As the name suggests, it’s a term protection plan specially designed to cover major illnesses. On top of that, the special feature includes one can claim up to 3 times, subjected to the terms and conditions.

They have categorized the different types of insurable major illnesses into 7 big groups.

Group 1: Major Cancers
Group 2: Major Organ Failure (kidney/liver failure)
Group 3: Heart-related (heart attack, by-pass)
Group 4: Neuro-Muscular (stroke, Alzheimer’s, coma)
Group 5: Infectious (bacterial meningitis)
Group 6: Accident related (burns)
Group 7: Sensory Loss (loss of sight/speech)

As mentioned, the max number of claims is 3 times. It’s subjected to a max of 2 cancers claims, including relapses of the same cancer with a 5 year waiting period in between. Meaning, if the relapse happens within 5 years, it’s not claimable. Also, any other 2nd claims must come from other different groups of major illness(only major cancers group can claim twice), also subjected to a 1 year waiting period. Death benefit is a flat $3000.

When I first got to know this plan, a cynical smile uncontrollably spreaded across my face. For I’m sure this plan with it’s “can claim up to 3 times” undeniably will stir quite a lot of attention, especially from kiasu Singaporeans who always think “more is good”.

Let me do an analysis for you. I’ll be fair, I promise. Pros and cons included. =)

Pros:
Pro 1) Usually after one is diagnosed with a major illness or is undergoing treatment, he/she cannot buy any more insurance plans because they will mostly be rejected.

PMC provides protection against other major illnesses even after diagnose of any major illness.

Pro 2) There’s a waiver of premium right after the diagnose of any major illness. Meaning, one need not continue to fork out extra costs to maintain a term policy but still enjoys the protection.

Pro 3) One can claim up to 3 times, assuming one is really that suay to kanna major illnesses again and again. And cancer claims can claim for a max of 2 times, including relapses.

Here comes the cons, in conjunction with the pros

Cons:
The cons are in fact all related to how the claim can be approved.

For a 2nd and 3rd claim if any, the major illness MUST come from a different group of major illnesses and they largely lowers the probability and possibility of successful claims. Because it’s like, if you suffered a Heart Attack under Group 3(heart-related) and did a 1st claim, subsequently, you cant claim 2nd time for any by-pass surgery or heart valve surgery etc because they’re in the same group. And we know usually the virus loitters around the same area huh because it’s all inter-connected.

What’s more, even if one contracted major illness from different groups, they also have to be subjected to a 1 year waiting period. So it’s like, if one contracted liver cancer(group 1 major cancers), did the first claim, but within a year was involved in an accident and hence lost his sight, i.e, became blind(group 7 sensory loss), the claim also wont be entertained. That will again, further reduce the probability of a successful claim.

And another thing is, it’s very low chance that anyone can contract TWO major illnesses in his life bah. I mean, ONE is enough to take your life. Usually GOD wont be that…you know. Unless you’re very sway…just my personal opinion. Though illness+accident got higher chance..

Although there’s a max of 2 claims in Group 1, major cancers group including relapses of the same cancer, there’s a 5 year waiting period. So if after the first claim of cancer, subsequently one contracted another kind of cancer or suffers a relapse of the same cancer within 5 years, it’s still not claimable.

So in conclusion, the slogan of “can claim for a maximum of 3 times!!” really doesnt appeal to me, after reading all the footnotes.

Like I said before, insurance plans do have their loop holes so sometimes you need to buy a few plans to complement each other economically so that to ensure full coverage. However, another con is, PMC as a term plan in comparison with the market, the premium is considered very expensive(almost 2 times).

And even after I multiplied the coverage by 2(or dividing the premium by half) to ASSUME that YES, Guy A really contracted cancer and suffered a relapse only after 5 years, hence he claimed twice, the premium is still considered more expensive than what’s offering in the market. Despite how I have multiplied the coverage even though it might not be easily claimed with all the conditions thereof.

Many people have the wrong impression that major illness plan can only buy 1 because one can only claim from 1 insurance company or only from 1 policy. That’s a misconception. You can buy as many life plans or major illness plans as you like, depending on your need and how much you like your beneficiary to inherit because they’re all payable as lump sums and NOT on a reimbursement basis. For hospitalization and surgery plans, YES, they’re on a reimbursement basis, meaning you cant claim more than 100% of your bill. But for life and major illness plans, how much you buy, how much we pay.

Lastly, I dont really heart term plans because they got no cash values. Very simple. I’m just someone who prefer to pay monthly housing installments so that I can OWN the house in like 10-20years time INSTEAD of paying rental expenses every month without any holdings to the property in the near or far future.

But because for hospitalization and surgery plans I got no choice, they’re all term. But for life and major illnesses plans, we have a choice. We can get a life plan and hence get all our premiums back with interest.

Great Eastern, my company is coming up with a new plan too in March. I dont have much details about the real thing but I’m real excited about it. Because it works differently from all other products in the market too. Generally, all major illnesses plans only pay out when cancers striked the 3rd stage where cancer cells has spreaded. But this new plan, pays portion at different stages of a cancer.

FOR EXAMPLE:
1st stage of cancer diagnosed, 10% of the sum assured(e.g, $100K) a.k.a, $10K can be claimed FIRST.

When 2nd stage is diagnosed, another 20%, a.k.a, $20K can be claimed again.

When the final stage is diagnosed, then the remaining sum assured a.k.a $70K will be paid off by the insurance company.

As I still dont have the details, I cant elaborate more. But I think it’s pretty clear cut bah. As in 1st stage is 1st stage, 2nd stage is 2nd stage because all these cancer stages are determined by doctors and not GE itself. As for the percentage of the pre-payments, yet to be confirmed.

But it really sounds great. Gonna buy it myself when it’s launched after I check it out. So stay tuned~

Hmm….no offence to any Pru fans and well, if I sound offensive and biased, it’s not intentional because they’re purely based on my personal opinions.

Disclaimer: All information stated are in no reflection to the actual product stated and are purely illustrated as the author’s own personal opinions and in her own perspectives. Author assumes no responsibility for any miscommunication or inaccuracies of info for any losses that might be incurred.

Funny people

Just now I met a prospect who openly declared her distaste for insurance and said she’s not a believer. What’s interesting was, she was actually underwriter previously for 10 years, of 3 different insurance companies. And she said she knew all the “loopholes” and all the “bad stuff” with insurances and that it’s not easily claimable. Not even 10 years of association in that industry can change her view. Additionally she was sick with the politics and gradually quit that line.

Hmmm….interesting. By the way, ANYWHERE also got politics lah. I repeated that umpteen times to people. Want a place without politics? Sorry, cant think of any. Hmm…Unless work in zoo lor. Face the animals, sure no politics. Unless you’re rich enough to publish your own books, then yeah, no politics.

You know once in awhile I will meet this kind of clients. What kind?
The kind who thinks they-know-it-all, and know-it-best. But the fact is, they dont.

“Wow. 10years. Oh I see.”

“How about you? How many years you worked as an advisor?”

“Coming 5 years. My hubby, coming 7 years.”

“orhhhhhh 5 years only huh, I 10years. *smug*”

Despite how much I’m mentally rolling my eyes at the back of my head, Okie I know I’m very bad but I cant help it. Just listen to my explanation.

Firstly, she said she worked 10 years as a underwriter. A underwriter is one who underwrites a case, and determine whether it’s acceptable, if so, with what conditions, limits and exclusions. It’s dependent on the client’s health, policy amount and policy type. So she is the one who ascertains the risk involved and worked out quotations and loading rates etc. So dont blame me with any strict loadings or liens ah, because it’s all the underwriter’s decisions. =P

With her 10years as an UNDERWRITER, I would assume that she’s competent in risks analysis, good in maths, familiar with either big or small illness as concerned with her job and know what kind of people with what kind of illness will die how early. That’s it.

I cant be fully convinced that she’s as FAMILIAR as me in terms of knowing the “loopholes” or “bad stuff” etc or understanding how insurance works and how they can help people because

1)I’m the one who delivers the policy contracts and well-versed enough to explain to the client(of course I’ve read them umpteen times too)

2) I’m the one who do claims for the clients. So with experience, I will know why some claims will be paid while some cant, etc. Though for more complicated cases, companies will request for medical reports. And that is up to the CLAIMS department to access already.

So I would THINK I will understand how insurance WORKS and how insurance can help in our lives BETTER than someone who spend 10 years behind a desk to calculate about the probability of how early and easy can one die because of some silly illnesses and the qualitative and quantity risks involved in claims payment.

If she worked 10 years in the CLAIMS DEPARTMENT instead. Ahh…probably I will give her more credit. Because she would have admitted more claims than I would have experienced. And she would have know the percentage of people who have successful claims.

But I tell you, even if she really work 10 years in the CLAIMS department, she also cant give me that face. WHY? Because it’s not the “Insurance” fault that one’s claims cant be paid. The prospect might not have bought the IDEAL TYPE of policy to suit her needs. Problem might lies with, 1) she has not enough budget, 2) her application was denied because of any health conditions, or 3) the advisor did not do a good job by giving the right recommendations.

It’s very difficult to get one fully covered because it involves quite a percentage of one’s money. Normal beings like us still need liquidity. The richer one is, the easier it is to get himself fully covered since he dont need that much liquid cash. But again, when one is rich, he has more to lose, and has more to consider, and thus need more coverage.

I’m a believer of insurance and that’s why I’m in this line. I truly believe it can help people. Because of 1 simple fact. That is, we’re not immortals, and life is not an absolute. Life is unfair, and we’re all humans reincarnated to go through birth, aging, sickness and death(生,老,病,死). The Buddhists say we’re incarnated as humans to repay debts(还债), the Christians say we’re repaying our sins. Whichever way you call it lah. I just know nobody can live forever and nobody can guarantee anyone that he/she wont fall sick for all his/her life.

So if the money you pay every month generates you an interest higher than what you normally can get from banks, and where major illness or death occurs, you can get an even bigger sum of money, then why not?

But while we’re at the topic of insurance, I have to be frank about Mrs “Know-it-all”‘s statement. True. “Insurance” are not perfect. They have their loopholes. Not every claim will be paid. Not every case will be accepted. Not every sickness can be claimed. Again, it’s the same logic. Life is not an absolute. It’s utterly impossible to cover every little aspect or pay up the cost of every tiny minor illness when the probability is 99.99999999%. How many many of us never see doctor even once in their lifetime? I’m sure everyone of us sees doctor now and then for tiny minor stuff.

SO if every little nitty gritty stuff can be claimed, then they can never be enough pool of money for the catastrophic, needy people who genuinely needs them. And not to mention, there wont be any company who wants to do a business which 100% will fail. Confirm “toh” one lor.

There should be a win-win situation and not a one-sided win-lose situation. Insurance is a risk-transfer tool and it’s something which we can contribute together to form a pool of money to help one another in times of need and NOT a tool to let trashy, greedy and stingy beings take for granted and take advantage of.

I do understand there are different products in the market. While we remain competitive, it’s up to you to access and compare. Some will be better, some will be more inferior. Most of them have the basic features.

Sometimes dont understand the things which some people are thinking. They expect to pay a $20+ per month and the company would pay everything including every outpatient trip to their family doctor because of a mere flu or fever outbreak.

Common lor………..

Or they expect to pay only a $100 every month for 10 years but yet expect a $100K coverage with a 20% growth at the age of 45(not young leh..)

Can! Can be done. Regular Investment-linked, via dollar cost averaging, tentatively in a positive climate(not a guarantee). Traditional plans cant give that high a return in 10years because mostly are fixed investments in bonds. Bonds cant give you that high a return at such a short time. And definitely not that high a coverage for middle-aged people of 45 and above. Want asset accumulation AS WELL AS high protection? Only via investment-linked.

Then they complained about the low guaranteed amount and that everything is uncertain for investment.

Sometimes really is cough blood, I tell you.

Give peanuts, expect to get dragon.

There is another way to achieve high coverage and a considerable amount of asset accumulation. That is by buying term and investing the difference. But to achieve a good 20% growth in 10years, besides a good eye in investing, you also need a bigger capital for unit trusts, shares, ETF(exchange-traded fund), etc.

$100 a month.

HOW TO INVEST??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Such a small capital…..unless buy Warrant. But is also dependable on investment climate and need abit of luck. It’s like buy big or small. And needs constant lookout on pricing and STI..and to do that for 10years?? ZzzZzz

Funny lah some people. All sorts of different people on earth.

Dignity OR Charity?

Im awake at this ungodly hour because of intense cramp pains again. :( It’s so hard being a woman sometimes. When we asked Jy about how painful was her delivery, she said it’s 10times more than normal menses cramp. Since my cramp is more serious than normal people, I suppose it should be around 4 to 5 times for me. *faintz* I already cant really tahan my cramps already, will I just die of pain during pregnancy? *horror* And if you’re like me who have intense cramps, try “Nurofen” instead of the pink Panadol. It’s much more effective and works faster. Available at Watson.

An update from the last gynae checkup. When I reached GynaeMD at Camden, the softly furnished clinic largely put me at ease. Staff were polite, prompt and rather businesslike. The doctor who did my checkup is Dr Christopher Ng. While I expect a reasonably white-haired man who looks like 40years old, I was both surprised and dismayed that he looks nothing like the sort. It seems most SG men maintains pretty well these days huh? He dont look a day over 32years. =.= While his chiseled face was a comfort, Im not entirely comfortable with all the checkup procedures. Im more awkward than shy. However, he is pretty experienced and was prompt with all the checkups to shorten the duration.

Im largely OK I assume, since I did not hear from him regarding my Papsmear. But when he did asked me about my monthly ordeal, I told him frankly about the cramps. He then introduced me Yasmin, an oral contraceptive which can regulate hormones cycle and reduce menstrual cramps. After asking if Im trying to conceive to which Im shaking my head wildly, he added that it’s an excellent contraceptive coupled with other benefits like better skin, weight maintenance and it reduces the risk of getting some cancers.

After assuring that no weight gain and no side effects to fertility even after stopping of the pill, I’ve decided to heed his advice and try for 3 months. He also prescribed some vanilla flavoured iron tablets to replenish the blood level which may run low during menstruation, especially since my blood pressure is on the low side. I can sense that he is trying hard to close me as his client rather than simply honouring a F.O.C medical checkup and then saying bye-bye. Since what he’s proposing suits my needs and he solves my problems, I dont see the harm to take up. He also explained alot to me and gave me lots of advices. I paid for all 3 months supply of Yasmin and iron tablets at around $110+. Sorry, dont quite remember since it’s like 1 month back. I started on this pill yesterday as it was my 1st day of menses.

I suddenly thought of my own job when he’s trying to close me as his client. One can certainly feels when she’s a “prey”. Lol. Anyway, my point is, although I know his intention, but if what he’s proposing suits my needs and solves my problems then why not?

Some people can be that kan4 bu4 kai1. Like whenever an insurance agent tried to approach them and propose either savings, life and critical illness plans etc. They starts to back off, thinking, “hng, another agent trying to earn my money. Im not that stupid to let them earn big bucks out of me!”. We very well know that our higher percentage of commission(as compared to normal sales people) can be a drawback to how people may perceive us; gold-digging maybe. But let me tell you, one might be so and desperate to clinch a sale when he or she is around the first year of sales. When an agent like me who has been in the business for more than 3 years(around 4 years actually), it has become more of a passion and obligation of wanting to make a difference to people’s lives by trying to propose solutions to deal with unforeseen circumstances.

Do you know how much would a $100,000 or even a $10,000 cheque might mean to different people when dealt with a challenging situation of losing a loved one who is the breadwinner in the family or losing their job or losing their limbs? You dont know. In a hospital, all friends and relatives will come with fruits basket, looks of sympathy in the eyes and warmest wishes, but think of it, is that what the patient really wants? He wants money! He wants people to pay his gastronomical medical bills! He wants his family expenses to be taken care of! And who delivers that promise? Insurance.

And if you never have that thought running through your head, that is, nothing bad will befall you then probably you can think again. For all of us; humans are all at the mercy of God. Some vegetarians can contract cancer and some regular joggers can suffer a stroke. Nothing is certain. I understand that nobody likes to think of such terrible ultimatum, but you have to. If you think you’re rich and can afford to pay your own bills, then fine. But again, why would you prefer to pay with your own money instead of letting a company to take care of it? Doesnt make sense.

And stop having the thought that your parents can pay for you or the government can save you. Your parents, any surplus should be for their retirement. And if you’re filial enough and has more to spare, you should plan their retirement. That’s only reasonable when they have spent more than half their life taking care of you. Im guilty as charged, when my laundry and my dinners are still done by Mummy.

If you’re over 21, then start getting responsible for your own life. And if you’re married, then start getting responsible for your family members as well. Instead of waiting for things to happen then panic, you can try to plan for it offhand. As for pinning your hopes on the government, that’s all the more…wussy. Im shocked with some Singaporeans’ thinking whereby they thought in the event of misfortune, the Govt will help. Yes they will, like in a hundred years.

A simple task like dearie wanting to get season parking at my place can be so tedious already. Despite explaining that he is my hubby living together with me till we find a suitable flat with the show of the marriage cert, HDB requires him to change his IC address to my address. In additional, his dad need to delete his name as “occupier” in his flat and my mum need to add him as “occupier” in mine. When we tried to do so via SINGPASS in hdb web, dearie is required to fill up a fleet of questions right down to the detail how much he earns.

Since he’s a self-employed with no fixed salary, he need to go down to the HDB and do a statutory declaration. And he was like, “huh declare how much? We every month different leh and 08′s income tax assessment haven come yet. Wait till April?” Because self-employed’s income is applicable for deduction of business expenses etc. And even if he really did go down, I was told a minimum of 2 months is needed to process the application. As there’s not enough season slots here, one has to resort to illegal parking. Each fine is $100! And yet they need 2months to process this bloody stupid thing. How much they can earn via our summons in that 2 months?

Back to topic, if the govt can get so troublesome with such a small thing, do you think you can easily be subsidized with a substantial sum of money easily and promptly? Most probably by the time one gets it, he will be in the coffin already. Singaporeans always feel they’re the poorest(except some) and deserved to be helped. Always complaining when they cant get the latest LV bag or the need to take the public transport. Think about it again, we’re very fortunate already. They dont know how poor is really poor by Singapore’s standards. Familes who earn less than $300 or $500 are then considered poor.

I had a prospect with more than $100K in his CPF telling me that he is POOR and if he’s striked with illness or any other misfortune, he will apply for Govt subsidy. I really feel like slapping him for Govt’s subsidy should go to more needy people and not people like him who is so stingy that he is not even willing to take up a $5 per month accidental plan to safeguard he and his family.

Live with DIGNITY OR CHARITY. Your choice.

SanLu Milk – AIA – GEL

Sigh. It seemed there are not much positive news when one open the newspaper nowadays. All the market figures have been a sea of red with an occasional green. It’s really quite depressing. At this period of time where I feel all of us must stand together to survive this crisis, there are more depressing news such as the toxic Sanlu Milk products from China and natural disasters here and there. Is this really a bad year for all of us? I’ve read that 52,857 children has been hospitalised, 4 children have died and 104 are still in serious condition, with symptoms including kidney stones. It suddenly struck me deadly that so many products have milk in it, which might cause the contaminated products to flow into Singapore unknowingly.

The follow items have been recalled due to the possibility of containing the toxic milk.
-M&M’s
-Snickers
-Mento’s yougurt bottle
-Oreo wafer sticks
-Dove chocolate
-Monmilk
-Dutchlady sterilised milk
-Wall’s All Natural Mango
-Mini poppers Ice-cream
-Magnum Icecream
-Moo Sandwich Icecream
-Mini cornetto
-Youcan Icecream

Please avoid consuming them and spread this to everyone you know.

China….What are you doing???? The overpopulated country who always prided themselves on their achievements but hardly sorry for the heinous catastrophes they have caused! Incidents like that are not the first time already! And this time we’re talking about babies. Innocent and fragile lives who step into the mortal world with a fresh start. They cant choose what to drink, only to consume whatever their parents gave them. The parents must be heartbroken, to think they fed poisonous milk which harms or take away their babies’ lives by their own 2 hands! How would you feel?? This is not an issue whereby money can make amends.

Many people especially my clients have been asking me what will happen to AIA and should they surrender their policies with them given the current situation for AIG. Yes, Im from Great Eastern, you forgot again, dont you? =P

This is like the 2nd crisis of AIA after their “Critical Year Option” storm in Jun, 2003.
Im really shocked of AIG’s situation because….they’re the largest insurance company in the whole world! Oh my god, really. Neither happy nor sad. Whether you like it or not, we know that this symptom really hints that whole world might be taken by storm, DESPITE their exposure to the Sub-prime issues or Lehman Brothers and its affiliates. Because if AIA’s insurance claims cant be approved….I dont even dare to imagine what will happen. They are distributed across 130 countries and god knows how many policyholders!

Im really quite surprised that so many Singaporeans are so..prudent. Hmmm…of course first thing first, I will ask what kind of policies are that, the remaining terms of years etc, purely for curiosity. Some agents loitters around outside AIA passing namecards soliciting business. Geez…how low can they get. It’s like 落井下石. There are even some unethical agents persuading AIA’s policyholders to surrender their policies. Please dont heed their advice. As of now, I still dont see the need to go surrender AIA’s policies especially when it results in a loss of coverage or cash value. Not a wise move at all. The situation is not as gloomy as it may looks.

Firstly, the U.S government has given an unprecedented loan of up to 85 billion dollars to AIG to help it tide over it’s cashflow problems. As the term “cashflow” suggests, it means they did not have enough time to liquidate some of their assets to pay the liabilities which they’re guaranteed to pay for sub-prime borrowers as guarantors, and not that they’re teetering on bankruptcy.

Secondly, for a country as Kiasu, Kia-si as Singapore, how can the Singapore Authorities easily allow such risk to easily penetrate Singapore? MAS, the Monetary Authority of Singapore MAS requires all life insurance companies to have a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 120% for their life funds. What it means? It means, it’s like a compulsory pre-deposit which you have to give me, erm no, to PLACE with me AS ASSURANCE if you wanna earn money from my citizens thus reducing the income tax and GST(goods & services tax) that I can earn from them via their income and consumption. *rOllz eyes*

Although, nothing is 100% guaranteed in this world. The Lehman Brothers has been standing there erect and tall for the past 100 years and more, yet it has fallen just like how people thought Titanic will never have sink. AIG and AIA is based in U.S. There’s no doubt they would be most affected. Generally, the closer one links to U.S, the greater will be the impact, just like earthquake. Except that earthquake links by territory, this links by the area of investments and the country of origin.

When one is headquartered in U.S, it makes sense that if it falls into a financial turmoil, the last thing it can do after approaching lenders/government for assistance or selling away liquidable assets, is to close down branches they have in other countries. The smallest country perhaps, or either, the least profitable branch, to get some cash first. So AIG and AIA in Singapore, I wont swear on my life that it’s really going to be all rosy and sunny ALL THE WAY. It’s OK now and what lies in the future…seriously nobody knows….hopefully there’s a silver lining.

I certainly hope AIA is as rich as it portrays and that AIA Singapore’s top man, the executive vice-president and general manager, Mark O’Dell has resigned from the company with immediate effect truly by personal reasons like what AIA claimed and not otherwise. This guy, really shouldnt leave so urgently at this time.

Finally, some asked, “So how is Great Eastern doing? Any danger looming? Why has Mr Tan Beng Lee to retire as Group CEO at this period of time?”

To quote our M.D

Dear all Agency Leaders
Financial markets have been affected by the financial turmoil in the USA.
Great Eastern is pleased to inform all our policyholders that we have more than enough
capital and financial resources to honour all our obligations (ie claims, maturity
proceeds, surrenders, and other liabilities) to policyholders at all times.
MAS requires all life insurance companies to have a minimum capital adequacy ratio of
120% for their life funds. Both Great Eastern Life and OAC have a capital adequacy ratio
of over 250%.

Our life funds have insignificant exposure to sub-prime and Lehman securities. The
majority of our life funds is invested in fixed income securities, including corporate and
government bonds.

Regards,
Tan Hak Leh
MD, Singapore
Great Eastern Life Assurance Co Ltd
Reg. No. 1908 00011G

Time to 老黄卖瓜,自卖自夸? HAHAHA.

Okie

Great Eastern Life(GEL) is very solvent.
Like what our M.D said, GEL has more than 250% capital adequacy ratio, more than enough to cover all claims or maturities. Strong market share of 28.7% in terms of weighted premiums of new business. Earlier this year, GEL Declares Special Bonus of $287 Million for 2007. For your info, this Special bonus are not those in the policies. These are extra bonus which GEL declared to their policyholders on their own freewill. Also, few months back GEL gives $500,000 to NUS to establish bursary in memory of the late Howe Yoon Chong. This year May, GEL has pledged 2 million RMB to ChongQing Government for the earthquake. Just 1 week ago on 15th Sep, GEL still continue to distribute its high annual dividend payout of 4% GreatLink Global Real Estate Securities Fund even though subjected to the harsh market economy. This year JUNE, GEL’s limited period product SupremeSaver, a fixed deposit product offering high annual projected interest of 3.18%, 3.28% and 3.38% consecutively(depends on capital amount tier) has also fetched more than 600million in just that 1 month. Besides that, as this year is GEL’s 100th birthday, GEL is celebrating their birthday with a Centennial Wish Lucky Draw by giving out $10,000 every month for this whole year for lucky policyholders and also another $10,000 every month for lucky GEL life planners.

Not trying to praise my own company for it’s achievements but these are plain facts and not of biased opinions. Moreover, does it seem to you a company which is tight on it’s finances will be so generous in so many aspects just for appearance sake? Probably not.

CEO Mr Tan Beng Lee’s leaving
Ahem. A better word to replace “leaving” would be “retired”! He’s already 65 and has worked in GEL for 8 long years. Give him a break ya? Lol. Mr Ng Keng Hooi, 53, will succeed Mr Tan Beng Lee. He will join Great Eastern Holdings with effect from 1 December 2008. Mr Tan will help ensure a smooth transition in leadership. Therefore you can well deduce such a decision cant be made in like few weeks or months? GEL cant possibly anyhow find a Ah Mao Ah Gao to replace the CEO immediately right? We, the planners have know the news around 6months back. Which means the decision might have been planned around 1 year ago.

GEL is stable and has strong financial backing.
GEL is based in Singapore, a company with strong market share and a subsidiary of OCBC bank. GEL also have other branches in other countries like Malaysia, Vietnam etc. So to speak, to assume the worse, GEL will close down other branches in other countries first instead of closing it’s headquarters in Singapore, by which OCBC will strongly discourage. GEL is an old and established company, turning 100 years old in 2008, with prudent and conservative approaches in all their management of assets and life funds. Only an insignificant 0.47% of GEL’s investments are with Lehman Brothers so we’re not really affected. Like what our M.D said, majority of GEL’s own life funds is invested in fixed income securities, including corporate and government bonds. You will really learn to appreciate the beauty of diversification and investing in bonds when economy hits low.

I would say GEL is a very very very prudent company, to follow after the style of OCBC bank. Like you can see when almost every bank and insurance company in the country has launched their China, Korea or Vietnam funds, OCBC and GEL is always the last to launch. Lol. But they’re prudent! Most of the times, GEL’s project returns on illustrations are very conservative but they often under-promise and over-deliver. All the past records can show and I’ve seen them before.

I meant to write this entry few days back but simply cant find the time. And this entry took longer than I’ve expected. Hopefully it serves some assurance to all of you out there, no matter you’re AIA, Prudential, NTUC or Great Eastern policyholders. We’re all 1 big family. 唇亡齿寒。

Ah seriously I have no time to lament more already. If you have read this entry up till here, I appreciate your patience and attention. Thank you! Hope I haven bore you. Lol. Though most of my friends wouldnt be that interested in finance news and stuff I guess. Haha. Ah yaya I gotta rush for my appointment already. A referral by my brother. Hmm.. By the way, some of my friends received my sms about a car showcase recently and outright assumed Im moonlighting or changed job when they didnt even have the patience to read till the end of the message. Lol. Im simply forwarding the message for my brother who is a car agent now. He’s doing really great now, Im happy for him. Therefore anyone wanna buy cars, I can introduce him. He might be able to give a better deal with more freebies etc. As for me, Im still with GEL. Time flies, coming 4 years+ already with GEL. Therefore any queries can always ask me, I’ll be happy to answer. Of course even more happy if you have business for me ya!

Haha Okie Cya. =)

(P/S No time to check the entry! Shall check tonight!. Meanwhile, pardon any typo~)

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