16 March 2009, Singapore - AXA Life Insurance Singapore launched today a ground-breaking Unemployment Benefit Programme which offers clients two options for their regular premium insurance plans, should they be retrenched. Clients can either choose the first in the market 100% Premium Refund Guarantee or enjoy an extended grace period up to 365 days, compared to the industry norm of 30 days.
Gilbert Pak, Chief Executive Officer of AXA Life Insurance Singapore said, “The launch of this ground-breaking programme clearly demonstrates our confidence in the future and commitment to our clients, in good and bad times. With this Unemployment Benefit Programme, clients need not worry about sustaining their financial commitments if they are involuntarily unemployed.”
With the first in the market 100% Premium Refund Guarantee, clients can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they are financially protected and should they be made redundant, they will receive a full refund of premiums paid. However, activation of this option means that their coverage will correspondingly cease.
Clients who are keen to remain protected can opt for the extended grace period of up to 365 days. Under this benefit, clients need not pay their premiums for up to a year, and they will continue to enjoy insurance coverage at no additional charge.
Both benefits are extended to all clients who successfully apply for a designated AXA regular premium plan between 2 March and 31 May 2009. Eligible clients may choose either benefit in the unfortunate event of being made unemployed by reason of redundancy or lay off within 12 months from the policy issue date.
Commenting on this customer-centric programme, Gilbert Pak added “At AXA, we understand that clients are worried about their immediate livelihood and may defer their long term protection needs till the economy recovers. As an advocate for quality financial planning, we believe it is more important now than ever for clients to be covered in the event of unexpected circumstances. Illness, disability and premature death can strike at any time and the impact can be financially devastating.”
The insurance protection gap in Singapore remains wide. Based on the study commissioned by Life Insurance Association in 2007, the protection needs of the average working adult translate into 11.3 times the average annual income of S$42,427 but in reality, the estimated existing cover of S$118,639 is equivalent to only 2.8 times this average annual income. This means that on average, the Singapore working adult is under-insured by 75 percent of the protection requirement.
AXA Group is a worldwide leader in Financial Protection. AXA's operations are diverse geographically, with major operations in Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area. For full year 2008, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 91.2 billion and IFRS adjusted earnings to Euro 3.7 billion. AXA had Euro 981 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2008.