Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My Horrible Insurance Experience (Singapore)

Hello Everyone. Today I wanna talk about INSURANCE. Yes. Buying insurance in Singapore. I want to share with you my story on a VERY BAD EXPERIENCE with this insurance agent (and possibly the insurance company itself)!!! And to remind you how important it is TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH YOU ARE PAYING + WHO TO ASK if you have doubts + ALWAYS READ THEIR LETTERS MAILED TO YOU.

*I'm not going to state this insurance company but its super well-known in Singapore. 

Ok. 10+ years ago when i was still a child, my father bought me a hospital plan from this insurance company. So for the past 10 years he has been paying on yearly basis. Until recently last year, he wants to stop paying from his Medisave account and pay the premium by cash (i.e. thru AXS machine) instead.

Then there is this letter mailed to us informing us to make a payment. My father doesn't understand English and although i understand English (obviously), i don't know exactly know how much we need to pay via the AXS machine because the letter was so complicated.

So point 1 - KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH YOU ARE PAYING. 

So what did we do? Ask our insurance agent la. lol. Technically speaking, it is my father's insurance agent cum friend. Insurance agent told us to pay $75 via the AXS machine and our plan will continue to be covered. Next day, went to the AXS machine and paid $75. (Paid $75 each for my sister and my hospital plan. Yeap the agent screwed up both our plans).

And we happily carried on with our life... Thinking our hospital plan is covered.... Blah Blah fast forward 6 months.

I decided to do a surgery to remove my cyst on my wrist. My father checked with his insurance agent and he told us that my surgery will be covered under the insurance plan. So I was like "Ok, i will go and remove my cyst!"

Then the next day, the insurance agent gave us a shocking news - HE SAID MY PLAN WAS ALREADY LAPSED. AND MY SISTER'S PLAN WAS LAPSED TOO. I was super dumbfounded. My father was a bit blur and didn't know what was going on...

So immediately i asked my father to give me the insurance agent's number so i can call him to clarify the situation. Called him, line was pick up and started bombing him with a lot of questions.

Most importantly of all, WHY ARE OUR PLANS LAPSED WHEN WE MADE OUR PAYMENT????

The insurance agent didn't know the answer too. He said the system says our plans are lapsed and he will check with the company. The next day, he called me and said IT IS BECAUSE WE DIDN'T MAKE THE FULL PAYMENT SO INSURANCE COMPANY THOUGHT WE WANT TO CANCEL THIS PLAN AND SO THE PLAN WAS LAPSED.

Seriously guys. At that moment, i was speechless already. My anger started to boil. All my vulgarities almost choked out from my throat.

You were the one who told us to pay that amount. We even took a photo of the letter and showed you and asked you PROPERLY how much we need to pay to continue this plan. NOW YOU ARE TELLING US OUR PLANS GOT LAPSED??? This is ridiculous.

BEST PART was that he told me i can continue my plan now. I just need to renew it. At that time, i was very confused and blur so since he say i can renew it then i will just meet him up. In my mind, i thought it was going to be a very simple process. I thought my CURRENT plan can be continued as long as i renew it. So the next day, i met him after work.

ANOTHER BEST PART. HE BROUGHT HIS GIRLFRIEND WHILE MEETING ME because that day was actually his OFF WORK. WTF. Seriously, i had to share some of my personal information and your gf was there and she could hear everything. I remember he was asking me if i want to pay extra monthly to waive off the co-insurance. He explained to me how much i need to pay at my age & how much this will increase as i age. And then HIS GIRLFRIEND INTERRUPTED : "Oh? No wonder i need to pay so much." And began asking her boyfriend some questions..........

Ok maybe i should give a little background on this insurance agent first. He is not a young man anymore. My father bought our plans from him like 10+ years ago remember? From his look, he is most probably 40+ going 50. His GIRLFRIEND (and from accent i know its from China) is probably 40 already. Alright i don't want to judge. But can you imagine the whole situation i was going through during the meet up?

I agreed on paying the extra to waive off the co-insurance. In my mind, i just wanted to hurry and finish this. I asked him "So after signing this, my plan can be renewed and i can start claiming for my cyst right?" He said "Ya can". Ok, i signed. He skipped many information and let me signed page by page. Honestly at the back of my mind i didn't know what i was doing but simply listening to him and signing and hoping this would be done ASAP.

Last page. Signed. Off i went back home. I called my mother to update her immediately. She was mad that i signed that contract and asked me to cancel immediately. Because of one reason: WHY LET HIM EARN THE COMMISSION WHEN HE GAVE US SO MUCH SHIT?

Almost immediately, i texted the agent and told him i want to cancel this plan. I gave him a reason that its because i still don't quite understand how the whole plan works and i need time to re-think. He said ok he will cancel it.

That was the last time i talked to him.

.
.
.
.
During that time, i met a new friend who happens to be an insurance agent in that company too. So i asked him for his help. I told him about my whole messy insurance plan story and asked him how i can continue my old plan. I also called the insurance hotline to enquire about my plan and to understand why it was lapsed. It was almost a 2 hour long call. It was only WHEN I CALLED THE HOTLINE that i understand what my hospital plan is about. It was DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE THAT AGENT TOLD ME. The sum assured that he gave me was already wrong.

My friend/new agent met me in my house to talk about the plan. He told me that i cannot continue this plan anymore as its already lapsed. And by 'renewing' the plan, it means that I AM BUYING A NEW PLAN. Its not continuing this old plan that i have (this old plan that my father paid for 10years + !!! ). So I CANNOT CLAIM FOR MY CYST.

I tried to argue that my father was already paying this plan for so many years and now because of this stupid mistake that the agent done, my plan has to be lapsed and i cannot claim??? My new agent said yes. ............. DEHHHHHHHHHH i was so effing mad i swear.

Now you must be wondering how can this whole thing happen? How can it be that i paid and the plan was lapsed? And how can it be that i didn't know about the lapsed plan at all? How can an insurance agent be so unprofessional & lack of knowledge???

To answer your questions:
Q - How can it be that i paid and the plan was lapsed? 
A - I paid but it was not the full amount. The insurance agent gave us the wrong payment amount. (vulgarities coming out while i'm typing this).


Q - And how can it be that i didn't know about the lapsed plan at all? 
A - When the plan was lapsed, the insurance agent DID NOT INFORM US. He most probably didn't even read his emails.
(more vulgarities coming out while i'm typing this).
A lapsed letter was said to be mailed to us BUT WE DID NOT RECALL RECEIVING THIS. (Also part of our fault here. We always take letters foregranted.)

Q - How can an insurance agent be so unprofessional & lack of knowledge??? 
A - He is not a full-time insurance agent now. So a lot of information he got is out-dated. (And he still dare to sell insurance plans??? omg). 


So point 2 and 3 here: Know WHO TO ASK if you have doubts + ALWAYS READ YOUR LETTERS MAILED TO YOU. 

Call the hotline and ask instead of depending on your insurance agent thinking he will do everything for you. Always read the letters that your insurance company mail you. 

I do want to STRONGLY RECOMMEND SOME POINTS to all insurance companies. 

1. PLEASE EDUCATE YOUR INSURANCE AGENTS AND MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE MOST UPDATED INFORMATION. 
2. IF A PLAN IS GOING TO BE LAPSED, PLEASE MAIL OUT A RED COLOURED LETTER. This will at least alert people who don't usually read their letters as red indicates something important/urgent. 


What is the end of my story? 

- I bought a new hospital plan with my new agent. 
- My old plan was totally lapsed.
- My current cysts is totally excluded from my new plan (All thanks to the irresponsible agent) 

I also want to mention how troublesome it was for me to get back this plan. 

Initially they wanted to exclude my heart too because i visited a cardiac specialist when i was 14 as my mother and I were over-paranoid that time. My heart was perfectly fine and no issues at all. But in my medical history that the insurance company read in their stupid system, it only states one sentence 'irregular heartbeat'. They are not able to click in to view the whole report / read the FINAL conclusion about my heart. If they want to read, they need to pay. Which is stupid right? Idk if i'm understanding this correctly but this whole thing was so bullshit to me. First and foremost my old insurance plan was already on-going when i visited the cardiac specialist. Because of a stupid mistake the old insurance agent did, my plan was lapsed and now when i tried to re-purchase the plan, they dig out my medical history. 

Because of this, i had to specially go a clinic to do a ECG to get a report. I also wrote a complain letter about this irresponsible agent and let the new agent submit to the management on my behalf. My plan was most probably approved because of the complain letter. lol. 

Alright. That is all for my ranting and story. I strongly urge everyone to get a responsible agent who will still care about you even though u won't buy anything else from them after that. (lol hard to find but i'm sure there are some out there). I also strongly urge everyone to fully understand what you are buying. End of the day, you need to depend on yourself and not your insurance agent. 

That's all. xx.