AXA Insurance has today released the findings of its Better Beyond Survey 2018, which reveals a lack of understanding and preparedness for the financial implications of critical illnesses in Singapore. While half of working adults surveyed understand that a critical illness can have a serious financial impact on their lives, six in 10 are unsure of the financial costs involved. The study also shows a gap in preparedness, with only 52% owning critical illness insurance despite close to 9 in 10 saying they have a likely chance of being diagnosed with a critical illness before turning 65.
The AXA Better Beyond Survey provides insights on consumers’ awareness, attitudes, ownership and preferences towards critical illness insurance products in Singapore, across different life stages between 20-44 years.
The majority of consumers in Singapore (84%) are aware of the availability of critical illness insurance plans, with awareness levels highest among those between 25 to 29 years old (92%) and lowest among 20 to 24 year olds (77%). Yet, the survey found that only 52% are protected against critical illnesses, and of the 40-44 year olds who are at higher risk of being diagnosed with a critical illness, only 56% are insured.
Among those who are uninsured, younger Singaporeans between 20 to 34 years old do not seem to find critical illness insurance a priority, with 44% planning to purchase it at a later stage in life. Conversely, 35 to 44 year olds identified cost as the main barrier to buying critical illness insurance, with 45% saying it would be an extra burden on their finances.
When asked whether or not they are sufficiently protected against critical illnesses, only one in four of those insured admit to being confident of their protection. In fact, the survey shows that many are uncertain about the financial implications of a critical illness. While half can foresee that a critical illness will have a serious impact on their finances, six in 10 are uncertain of the financial costs involved.
“The AXA Better Beyond Survey has revealed a worrying lack of understanding and preparedness for the financial repercussions of critical illnesses. Education, particularly among the younger age group, is crucial to ensure Singaporeans are sufficiently prepared for such financial emergencies,” said Neil Frith, Managing Director, Life, AXA Insurance.
“In addition, by looking into why Singaporeans are uninsured, the survey identified affordability and accessibility as key to increasing critical illness insurance take-up and ensuring adequate protection. With this in mind, we have launched two new affordable and hassle-free critical illness insurance plans, AXA CritiCare for Her and AXA CritiCare for Him, which have been designed to meet the evolving needs and preferences of Singaporeans from only 66 cents a day. We remain committed to empowering consumers to be better prepared financially, and to ultimately live better lives beyond any setbacks.”
Additional findings from the survey:
- Only 6% of Singaporeans say their current sum assured is equivalent to or higher than the Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA) recommendation of 3.9 times their annual income. Furthermore, only one in five Singaporeans think their critical illness insurance cover should be above the amount recommended by the LIA.
- The majority of those surveyed cited financial implications as their biggest concerns in the event of critical illness. They are most worried about being a financial burden to family and friends (76%), the inability to work resulting in a loss of income (76%) and not being able to pay for medical expenses (72%).
- Six in 10 do not think their savings will last more than a year if they (or the main breadwinner of the family) were to become critically ill and had to stop working.
- Coverage for multiple stages (early to advanced) of critical illnesses (48%), cash payout to cover loss of income (43%) and multiple stages of payout (42%) are the most important features Singaporeans look out for in a critical illness insurance policy.
- In the areas of prevention and detection, more than one in two do not think they are doing enough to lead an active lifestyle and to follow a healthy diet (44%), while only one in three are satisfied with how often they go for regular health check-ups despite it being a critical preventive measure. 54% of those who do not go for health check-ups say it is because it is expensive and would be a financial burden and 35% would rather spend on other commitments.
The online survey polled 503 Singaporean working adults, aged 20-44 years old from February to March 2018.
To learn more about the AXA Better Beyond Survey 2018, please visit www.axa.com.sg/latest-news/insights.
AXA CritiCare for Her and AXA CritiCare for Him
AXA Insurance has launched AXA CritiCare for Her and AXA CritiCare for Him, two new affordable and hassle-free critical illness insurance plans designed to cater to the unique needs of women and men in Singapore. It is one of the most affordable plans in the market, with premiums starting from as low as S$0.66 a day with up to 3.5 times of selected coverage.
The plan also provides extensive coverage against selected gender-specific critical illnesses with benefits through diagnosis, surgery and recovery. The application process is made simple with just 6 questions or fewer asked. To encourage preventive care, policyholders receive biennial health check-up reimbursement worth up to S$400, available once every two policy years, starting from the 25th policy month.
Find out more here: https://www.axa.com.sg/our-solutions/personal/life/axa-criticareforherandhim
Give back with AXA
AXA believes that cancer warriors, survivors, and caregivers need to be supported, and will be donating $10 to Singapore Cancer Society for every AXA CritiCare for Her and Him policy sold.
“AXA has supported Singapore Cancer Society for the past five years and we are pleased that this year we are able to double our donation for every policy sold. This is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to give back to the community by embedding corporate responsibility into our business,” added Frith.
 Protection Gap Study (PGS) 2017 by Life Insurance Association, Singapore
 Premium is based on the profile of an 18 year old male, non-smoker, for a Sum Assured of S$25,000 and 10 Years Term.
 Individuals may be subject to full underwriting if required.
 Reimbursement for Biennial Health Check-up varies from S$100 to S$400, depending on the selected Sum Assured. Individuals must make all premiums due in order to be eligible for each Biennial Health Check-up benefit.
[Updated on 26 April 2018, 6.15pm]