2 In 5 Singaporeans Think Not Doing This Is Uncaring

By Balvinder Sandhu, 24 April 2019 11291

Have you recently gotten married, or have you been married for years? Showing your spouse you care is vital to any relationship, regardless of the length of marriage. The way you exhibit your care may have changed, from romantic dinners to a home-cooked meal at home; from grand bouquets of roses every anniversary to a simple stalk of flowers just because; from every day hugs to daily comfort in each other’s presence. 

What is caring and what is uncaring? 

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In a recent study^ conducted by Nielsen for NTUC Income, we found that caring for your spouse can be shown in various ways. Some of the top acts of care we see are the most visible and tangible ones - 45% of wives show their care by taking care of their spouse when they fall ill, while 45% of husbands will help with household chores or plan the next family holiday. 

While everyone has different thresholds of what they would consider as uncaring, the same study found that 2 in 5 Singaporeans agreed that, if their spouse didn’t have life insurance, they would deem them uncaring. 

Does this mean that not having life insurance negates all the caring acts you’ve done? While it doesn’t, we’ve found that True Care goes beyond the obvious and visible acts of care, committed in the interest and for the wellbeing of others, even when we may not benefit from these actions ourselves.

Life insurance fits this description perfectly.

So how does life insurance show True Care?

We dived into the reasons why people buy life insurance, to gain deeper understanding of how life insurance is a form of True Care. What we found was that most people were driven by concern for their families, as opposed to worry for themselves.

  • 41% of respondents said it was so they would not need to tap on savings if a critical illness struck;
  • 39% of respondents said it was so the family could make use of the payout and their family finances would not be affected; and
  • 31% of respondents said it was so their loved ones could have peace of mind.

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With each of these reasons, the respondents demonstrated True Care for their families. In the event of critical illness or total and permanent disability (TPD), life insurance would help cover the lost earnings from the inability to work. In the event of death, the payout from life insurance would protect the surviving family from financial hardship and keeping the family’s finances intact. Life insurance could also serve as a last gift to your loved ones, a legacy when you depart. 

Having a life insurance plan ensures that, no matter what happens to you, your family will have the financial resources it needs to carry on – and that’s True Care. 

But is having life insurance an act of care or simply a responsibility?

While 90% of respondents in the survey identified having a life insurance plan as an act of care, 88% also saw it as a basic responsibility to one’s family, showing the importance of life insurance in a family. 

In addition to playing an important role in the family, life insurance should also be an important topic for discussion. From the study, 80% of respondents felt that it was important to know the full details of their spouse’s life insurance plans. 

90% of respondents said that they were aware that their spouse had a life insurance policy, yet only 15% could say they knew the full details of these policies (ie. the insurer, the coverage, the premium, the beneficiaries and the payout amount). When probed, this discrepancy was attributed to reasons like privacy and superstitions about discussing such topics. 

It’s important to be practical and review your insurance coverage with your spouse, regardless of the cultural taboos surrounding the topic. This would give both parties peace of mind by better understanding your financial needs and resources, and be prepared for any unfortunate emergency. 

If you find it a difficult topic to broach, we’ve come up with a financial checklist you can use to help you approach this with your spouse. 

So how much coverage is enough?

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Once you've discussed your financial protection needs with your spouse, the next step would be to review your insurance policies and determine what you would need to ensure your family will be well taken care of in the event of unfortunate events.  

79% of respondents surveyed thought that their insurance coverage would be sufficient for them and their family, should anything untoward happen. However, in April 2018, Singapore's Life Insurance Association revealed that Singaporeans have a 20% gap in protection coverage in case of death and an 80% gap in protection coverage in case of critical illness (CI).

In layman’s terms, this means that the average Singaporean’s insurance coverage for death only accounted for 80% of what their family would need in the event of their death (thus leaving a 20% gap). For CI, it’s much more worrying, with the average Singaporean’s insurance coverage only accounting for 20% of what they would actually need should a CI strike (leaving an 80% gap). These gaps translate into families having to dip into their savings or cut back on spending in other areas to make ends meet.

Your personal protection needs may differ, but as a rule of thumb, a good coverage amount in the case of death is 10x your annual income, and 4x your annual income in the case of critical illness. 

If you are unsure how much you or your family would need to sustain the same lifestyle should death or critical illness strike, it may help to talk to a financial advisor to have a better view on the coverage you need. Alternatively, you can leave your contact details here for one of our friendly advisors to reach out to you.

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The importance of life insurance

As you work to build your relationships and make the effort to show your spouse how much you care for each other, it is equally important to focus on the less obvious but equally meaningful forms of care. Ensuring your family is taken care of and financially protected for the future is just as important as taking care of them in the present, because True Care lasts beyond the present and beyond your lifetime. 

^The research, commissioned by NTUC Income, represents the views of 329 Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PR). The research was conducted online amongst married adults aged 25-49 years old. The research was conducted by Nielsen between February and March 2019.


Important Notes:
This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as financial advice. The precise terms, conditions and exclusions of any Income products mentioned are specified in their respective policy contracts. For customised advice to suit your specific needs, consult an Income insurance advisor.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.