Sh*t, There’s A Hole In My Coverage. Make That A Manhole.

Today is probably a really bad day to be blogging because I’ve got me a major case of the blues. So forgive me if this sounds super-ranty, because I am super-pissed.

This sort of fury often brought on by finance-related matters. Yesterday I received a letter from Prudential, with whom I spend nearly $1,000 every month, telling me that I don’t have cancer.

Yep, you read it right. Apparently, according to the experts at Prudential, I lost a breast and went through a 12 hour surgery for… not cancer!

Blows your mind, huh? I’m still trying to find pieces of my brain under the couch after this staggering news.

Truth is, three of my many Prudential policies cover me for critical illness. However, when I signed with my agents, I never imagined that cancer at Stage 0 would be considered by my insurance company that I “do not have cancer”. In fact, there is every chance a woman buying a life plan with critical illness coverage has NO IDEA there is a stage called DCIS, and that her insurance company does not consider it cancer.

So my “imaginary cancer” won’t allow me to claim any of the $200,000 (or more) that my critical illness plans entitle me to.

Please, if you are a woman reading this, go and see your insurance agent and tell him/her/it that you want coverage for EARLY STAGE CANCERS. Make sure your policy document states that you will get 25% or however much for ductal carcinomas-in-situ or Stage 0 breast cancer. To my understanding these are the 2 policies that offer them now:

1. Great Eastern’s PinkLife will pay out 25% of your sum assured for carcinomas-in-situ. Not great an exchange for a breast but at least it’s not nothing. If I had bought that instead I would have $50,000 to allow me to take a break from work for some months, while still being able to pay my monthly bills and kids’ tuition fees and groceries…

2. AIA’s Complete Critical Illness Cover pays out 25% on early critical illnesses (I am assuming DCIS breast cancer is one of these).

Please please please, I beg you, don’t get royally scr*wed like me. Make sure your critical illness plan actually covers you, and you are not just happily giving your money away to insurance companies for their CEOs to buy 10 luxury holiday homes across the world.

Do not be a sucker like me. Please.

Call your insurance agent or financial planner today and make sure, by hook or by crook, you are covered by some rider, anything, for early stage cancers.

I’ve been researching cases of insurance companies who don’t pay out for DCIS breast cancers. Looks like it’s a worldwide disease. The insurance companies are the disease, I mean.

I lost a breast to this threat.
My histological report finds the cancer cells ARE malignant and aggressive, and most certainly were life-threatening — or I wouldn’t have needed the mastectomy.
I just happened to discover it before it became an uncontrollable growth.

Tell me how this is not cancer.

In my Googling I found this BBC clip. It makes me so, so sad that all around the world, women like me are shortchanged by insurance policies that they pay through the nose for.

I have paid close to $32,000 for one policy and over $25,000 for the other.

This clause in Critical Illness contracts NEEDS TO CHANGE. DCIS is cancer (and in my case, malignant) and it should be awarded accordingly and automatically. Sadly, Prudential covered its backside in its small print, which I had no understanding of. It makes me sad that they expect me to have Stage 1, or 2, or 3 or terminal cancer and chemo and radiation before I qualify to make a claim. Losing a breast is forever. Surely that must count for something.

For women in their 20s or 30s reading this — if you have had a grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, female cousin contract breast cancer, make sure you get yourself proper coverage (see box above).

A close friend who is a decorated journalist was horrified to hear it was likely I could not make a claim on my critical illness plans. “They should change that,” he said (after uttering “Wah lau eh, sh*t!”). “I can write a story on that.”

He should. I think I will be calling him soon. Also I am relooking at my Prudential policies now — maybe it’s not worthwhile carrying on. I should get my money back. Pity the surrender value is so pathetic. Bet that CEO already bought his 11th luxury holiday home.

Never mind, lessons learned. READ THE SMALL PRINT, AND FIND OUT WHAT THE EXCLUSIONS MEAN.

So, I guess I have no choice but to haul my sorry ass back to work.

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39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. andrewong2024
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 07:44:13

    What the……?!? I’m going to share this with my wife who’s covered by Prudential!

    Reply

  2. Yung Shin
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 09:11:52

    Reading this makes my blood boil!!!!

    Reply

  3. barffie
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 09:26:14

    ARGHHHHHHHHHH *freak out!!!*

    Reply

  4. Carol Marsh
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 11:52:38

    Whoa….that is terrible. Yes, your reporter friend should write an expose on this!!! I will have to relook into my policy.

    Reply

  5. San
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 13:52:30

    HORRIBLE!!! Prudential is so … 😦 I will go take a looooong hard look at my own policies.

    Reply

  6. Mark
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 15:02:21

    It is saddening to see this happening over and over again.

    Insurance companies are like cash-cows that have developed a system very much like casinos. Therefore please take great care before you purchase a suitable policy for your need, not based on fear due to your agent providing you w/ a one out of a thousand cases chance of a frightening situation that might happen to you.

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 27, 2010 @ 00:25:44

      Thanks for your comment, Mark. I recognise that buying insurance is a must (but your casino analogy makes me smile). I bought “add-on” hospitalisation plans to my Medishield with Aviva and one with MSIG and they were both prompt and effective in their payouts, and MSIG was in particular very helpful over the phone. 10 points for service.

      My beef is that, in cases like breast cancer where losing a breast is a possibility even at DCIS/stage 0, I feel coverage for DCIS is a MUST and this is what I feel must change in all “standard” critical illness policies. Add to that list benign brain tumours, fibroids that require a hysterectomy — illnesses that require drastic surgery, I feel should be all covered. If not, they should be offered as riders to the main critical illness plan.

      Reply

  7. Lion Investor
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 15:07:18

    I am sorry to read of your situation.

    Just fyi, the cancer definition under critical illness coverage is standardized across all the different insurance companies. The cancer has to be malignant and invasive before there is a payout. Carcinoma in Situ is not considered part of it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcinoma_in_situ

    Other than GE and Prudential, AXA also has an early CI payout plan while TM Asia Life has a cancer standalone plan.

    There are also lady plans (from a few companies) that cover the Carcinoma in Situ stage but the risk/reward ratio is much lesser (due to higher chances of claim). For example, you might pay $500/year to cover for $25,000.

    The irony of such a plan is that those who need $25,000 usually can’t afford to pay the $500/year, while those who can afford to pay the $500 annually usually don’t really need the $25,000.

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 27, 2010 @ 00:28:03

      Hi Martin, if I had been offered a rider for DCIS and it had been explained to me, I would definitely have bought it. Thanks for your information. I’m going to research the TM Asia one you mentioned.

      Reply

  8. Daphne
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 15:22:11

    So sorry to hear about that it really does suck. Although if I recall correctly, Pru does have something for DCIS it’s called Prusmartlady or something I’m surprised your agent didn’t recommend it to you. It pays out about $50,000 for diagnosis of DCIS and also covers the mastectomy for a couple of extra dollars a month. Not brilliant coverage but probably would have been handy.

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 27, 2010 @ 00:32:53

      Hi Daf, yes it sucks. I guess I can’t blame my agents — now on hindside I would say, “why didn’t you sell me prusmartlady instead of a term life policy” but at that time, who imagined DCIS would be the sticking point right now? I could definitely have done with $50,000, at least to pay the household bills and kids’ tuition fees while I took a break from work. Like I said, DCIS should just be covered under criticial illness cancer plans. But as Lion Investor/Martin said below, it’s “standard” across all the insurance companies. This is what I feel needs to change. I did a lot of my own research when my mother fell ill, but this DCIS thing escaped me. If I have been caught out like this — what about all those other women who can’t tell a hospitalization plan from a critical illness plan? Something has to be done to protect breast cancer patients.

      Reply

  9. jayne tan
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 17:19:56

    Hi Theresa, so sorry to hear that…

    Actually many ppl do not know that the new normal critical illness rider only can be claim upon diagnosis of 3rd stage cancer, but the old critical illness rider before 2002 covers cancer even at 1st stage. Therefore, have to read through the policy contract for the right defination of coverage.

    U are right it is very important to cover early stage CI at this high dignosis rates modern world. In Singapore, the cancer ratio is 1:4, just imagine in a mahjong session 4 players one will get it. Moreover, it is not a dreaded illness
    nowsaday, early medical treatments can cure the illness but very costly…

    Besides, in the event of relapse, cirtical stage and catastrophic stage must cover too. Everyone needs a complete and multiple levels critical protection in order to have a proper CI coverage.

    It must be able to pay for medical treatment cost and income replacement during the crisis.

    Pls also go for the Hospital & Surgical plan that covers CI hospitalisation with as charged benefits.

    With these, CI coverage is complete somehow.

    Urge everyone to check the loop hole of insurance.

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 27, 2010 @ 00:35:43

      Jayne thank you for your information – it’s helpful. Would you know what companies offer riders for DCIS to the main critical illness plans? It would be good to list them here.

      I honestly thought I was well covered with 3 criticial illness + 2 hospitalisation plans. But as you said, there was a loophole. I hope this entry helps others to learn from my experience. I would like to offer solutions if possible.

      Reply

  10. ED
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 02:42:14

    Oh man…that is really the short end of the straw.

    Any chance of a appeal? As this is definitely bad PR for them

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 27, 2010 @ 13:05:21

      Ed, I don’t know my friend. I am praying for guidance. Even if it does not benefit me to do this ultimately, I hope women reading this will get proper coverage, and insurance companies will seriously take DCIS into consideration for breast cancer cover.

      Reply

  11. Jster
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 03:55:42

    Hi, Theresa, yes, i can totally feel your anger and indignation. My mum was diagnosed with stage 2b CA breast, and currently still undergoing chemo.  She’s halfway through the journey before the treatment is completed. She needs herceptin, each shot cost $3000, she is on 12 cycles, before going onto another 15. My mum has no insurance, and that is one regret that I had, not covering my mum. Somehow, back of your mind, you just think, it’s ok, there’s still time…. A day becomes another. Not to mention older folks tend to be kinda superstitious when it comes to insurance. Thankfully, cancer society is assisting with the funding. I recalled the frustration- why on earth invent a medicine that the doctors say YOU NEED IT, but otherwise made so expensive that you can’t afford it? 

    Recently, a close friend of mine is diagnosed with DCIS, similar to what your medical condition. She also has critical illness and also had found out that the coverage will not pay out. In a moment of disbelief, my friend blurted to her agent, “you mean i should wait till my cancer becomes invasive before i do anything? What is the logic of this?” My friend is still waiting for her surgery and full pathological report. However, she is already making plans how to ensure her financials will cover her, in the event there’s no payout.

    After all these encounters, i have been doing the same, encouraging all my friends to 
    1) get insurance for yourself, and for your parents
    2) know what you are buying. 

    You can never know how fully covered you are, until you are met with the circumstances,or through hearing someone else’s encounter. I never take responsibility on finding out what my policies are, until my mum has been diagnosed and i grilled my agent to tell me all fine prints. The first question that i threw to my agent was “don’t tell me about the benefits, tell me the fine prints on what the policy does not cover and how or what i can do to cover that.”

    So, i do urge everyone to take that active step to ensure you are properly covered. Cancer is a very expensive disease, and the stats are getting higher. Our grandparents’ generation only hear of cancer in patients above 65, our parents’ generation- above 50, but us? How many of us are hearing people in our 30s, 40s getting it?

    I am in my 30s, and the last thing you will think of is cancer. After hanging out at chemo wards and hospital the last five months, I know for sure, cancer hits all sorts,at all ages. You just never know. So while we are enjoying life, back up! Get insurance and find out what you are buying. I heard from the doctors that insurance companies are reviewing whether dcis applies to CA breast, and I hope they do! Someone needs to lobby for that, I say! 

    Theresa, thanks, for your blog. It is an inspiration, and thanks for getting the word out. And, remember, it is still in early stage and that is a Blessing! Thank God for that. 

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 27, 2010 @ 13:04:22

      Dear Jster, thank you for your comment – I agree wholeheartedly with you: THANK GOD I AM ALIVE. I am happy to hear that some insurance companies are reviewing DCIS as a breast cancer stage — IT IS and THEY SHOULD COVER IT. And I am more than happy to lobby for it if it helps women — even ONE — after me to claim for her DCIS treatment.

      I just learned a lesson from you: Ask not what your agent can do for you, but what he can’t, and how you can get covered for it. Excellent!

      Reply

  12. James
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 04:35:08

    i think prudential prusmart lady rider cover for carinoma-in-situ..

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 27, 2010 @ 13:01:36

      Hi James, thank you for your comment. They do have Pru Smart Lady now but by the time I was told about that policy, I was already paying nearly $900 a month to Prudential in policies and really, it’s a killer. I could not afford one more. There should be riders offered for my existing policies.

      Reply

  13. Angela Lau
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 20:27:42

    Hi Theresa,

    I chanced upon your blog and am awed by your optimism and selfless sharing. Thank you!

    Like some have pointed out, most critical illness insurance plans don’t cover early stages of cancer and it’s only in the recent 2-3 years that insurers started to find different ways to vary the Life Insurance Association’s standard definition of critical illness. So in a way, your agent(s) probably recommended what was best for you and available in the market at that point in time.

    Even as you do research on and consider the early pay CI plans by various insurers, do be mentally prepared that when/if you do submit an application, it is highly likely that insurers may slap on additional premiums, exclude any illness related to your breast, or in the worst case scenario, decline coverage altogether. Should anyone suggest that you omit/downplay this DCIS incident in your application, don’t get tempted cos’ at the point of claim, the insurer has the right not to pay – because of the fraudulent application.

    Take good care and best of luck in your recovery!

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 28, 2010 @ 06:40:36

      Hi Angela, thank you for your insightful comment. Yes actually the follow-on application for critical illness and the chance I will be rejected is one of the major issues I have a problem with — I see the business reasoning for rejecting coverage for those who have already had DCIS once, but if insurance is REALLY about the welfare of policyholders who entrust insurance companies with their hardearned cash, then there MUST be some kind of restitution made for such cases.

      What I would like to see is more honesty and real care coming from insurance companies. The only reason why I bought insurance in the first place was because when I was 19, my mother had breast cancer. I wanted to make sure that I would be able to take time to recover should it happen to me. Now that is HAS happened, and my insurance policy of 21 years that I bought to make sure I would be protected HAS ACTUALLY FAILED ME AFTER 21 YEARS… I admit, I am more than a little bit cheesed off. I feel like I’ve been taken for a ride for two whole decades.

      I may not gain from this episode but my prayer is that many women who read this will make sure that their policies are not flawed like mine. What’s the point of having multiple policies covering you for critical illness when not one of them cover you for early stage cancer?

      I also pray by the time my children have to buy their insurance plans, DCIS, cervical dysplasia CIN-1, 2 and 3, hyperkeratoses, prostate cancers T1a, T1b, Chronic Lymphocytic leukaemia before Stage 3 — and all those exclusions will be included.

      FACT REMAINS: Cancer is cancer whether it is Stage 0 or Stage 4. I lost a breast just as a woman having stage 3 or 4 cancer might. A cervical cancer patient in early stages has to go for treatment just like one who is facing later stage cervical cancer. We still suffer the same losses.

      If not critical illness, then give us affordable alternatives (riders, cancer-specific plans), and train your agents to pay more attention to women with family history.

      That is all I am asking. That this unacceptable situation changes now.

      Reply

  14. Elizabeth
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 07:47:46

    Hi Theresa

    Really sorry to hear about your bad experience about your inability to claim against your critical illness plan. Like many others mentioned above, most cancer definitions in critical illness contract do not cover carcinoma-in-situ and it is the the job all agents who market and sell this to highlight this though I cannot imagine the amount of disclaimers your agent has to go through. It is difficult enough to convince a generally apathetic public about the need for cover, much lest to tell the customer everything the policy does not cover.

    Before lambasting all insurance company. Perhaps you could take a journalistic view to how things operate. All insurance companies operate on profit-making model. Tell me which company in our capitalist society offer free lunch. As such, there is a difference between the “contractual” definition and “medical” definition.

    I remember there was once a very famous oncologist who threatened to stand on a soap-box outside Tangs because one of his patients was declined cover for her critical illness plan. I read it and wondered what is the hidden agenda in this oncologist article. If he were truly altrustic, would he offer his medical service (in view of his sympathy for his patient) for free? Surely not! Cos for every service rendered, medical practitioners want to be financially rewarded.

    Before detracting from the main point, there are cases where people have succeeded in making claims against their policies. There are cases where widows are given a handsome sum of money because the breadwinner remembered to pay his premiums and suffered catastrophic events. There are stories of women who claimed successfully against breast cancer, had masectomy and live to tell their stories.

    It is usually these “happy” accidents that insurance companies still can continue to market their policies.

    Do discuss with your agent to see if you could perhaps get a nursing and surgical loan on your policies, or encash part of the units to fund your medical treatment.

    A failure to claim against specific policy doesn’t mean that all the polices you purchase are useless and you could cancel them. Take a deep breathe and think through your options above.

    All the Best and Wishing you Speedy Recovery
    An empathetic Financial Adviser

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 07:20:59

      Dear Elizabeth, I really appreciate your comment. I appreciate that there are “exceptions to the rule” in many cases. These 2 days I have received offers from other Prudential agents (not my three who are curiously so silent right now…) to push through for an appeal in view of the fact I needed a mastectomy.

      My main point is that, majority of women will not have checked all these loopholes, and would be, like I was, none the wiser till tragedy actually strikes and they are told, “sorry, your critical illness policy does not cover you for XYZ”.

      My hope in going public is to educate women to TAKE A CLOSE LOOK at their policies, or make their agents do their work properly. I do not expect a “free lunch” as you put it, but neither should my agent, wouldn’t you agree? Agents MUST give accurate information to their clients, and clients can help them along by asking the right questions. That is my main point.

      I am waiting for my Pru agents to call me and offer to help me relook at my policies and tell me what my options are but so far… radio silence.

      Very disappointing.

      Reply

  15. MieVee @ MummysReviews.com
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 14:32:43

    Cancer certainly hits all kinds of ages nowadays; I’ve seen several cases among relatives.

    The bare minimal anyone should get to cover cancer is a MediShield upgrade. Singaporeans are fortunate — I relocated to Malaysia and there is NO MediShield equivalent here. Private H&S plans here have many areas needing improvement, premiums are high and must be paid in CASH. Sigh!

    A simple optional rider to pay out a lumpsum upon early stage cancer would be wonderful, although the premium would not be low since the risk is rather high. This rider would be essential for any working adult who can’t risk stopping work.

    Alternatively, make sure there is sufficient emergency cash in the bank to last 6-12 months without working.

    @threezframe: I was from the financial advisory industry before. Be prepared that it would be very difficult to get additional medical / critical illness cover for yourself, especially against similar condition. Even if the cover is offered, the same condition (and most likely the breasts) would be excluded. The exception is Personal Accident cover, which is the easiest to apply for.

    It is best to apply for medical / critical illness cover before any pre-exisiting condition arise, so review your children’s coverage carefully. With a family history of breast cancer, your daughter’s new application could be affected too.

    Take care!

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 07:09:06

      Hi MieVee thanks for your comment – wow it is a real eye-opener! I am thankful for MediShield, I really am. Yes I am aware of all the pitfalls of trying to get coverage AFTER the fact of cancer, so frankly, for myself, my hopes are not high. What is good is that many friends and friends of friends have been contacting me to say they are actively relooking their policies now and checking for gaps. That, to me, is worth putting my story out there, if it saves other women from facing this terrible consequence I now face.

      Reply

  16. Jess
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 09:51:03

    Hi Theresa,

    This post really hit me hard.. I recently bought my first few policies from Prudential (I’m 26 by the way) after my grandmother was hit with colon cancer. I then realised the importance of insurance. However I researched online and realised that there are gaps CI policies cannot cover. Hence I bought a female illness rider from Pru and a seperate plan from AIA that covers early CI.

    All these plans are expensive.. in purchasing more plans for greater breadth to cover all bases, my depth of coverage is inadequate. (50K only for early CI). Its ridiculous that traditional CI plans can’t give you a payout when you need it.. are they expecting us to be seriously ill before we can make a claim?

    As a woman, we have to be prepared that we’ll get hit with female illnesses. I also think its not just the policy but also about the agent that you’re buying from. Its so hard to get one who truly looks out for what you need.

    Thanks for blogging about your experience…. pls do keep us all updated. Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery.. take care! 🙂

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 10:43:56

      Hi Jess – I’m very happy you have stopped up the gaps in your CI policies! I hear that people are lobbying insurance companies to include DCIS in critical illness coverage. I wonder how to start one, because it is a worthy cause to fight for. If anyone has any news on this, we should all join in and make our stand heard. I hear you about the cost of insurance – and despite all this, I still feel, it is unwise to NOT have insurance. Insurance is still very much a necessity in life.

      Thanks for your well-wishes! I am doing the best I can to get back to normal – it takes time, patience and prayer. 🙂 And no stress, haha.

      Reply

  17. Meadhbh Hamrick
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 15:08:40

    yeah. i just went through something like this with my former employer’s health coverage. after a series of insurance hijinx, our carrier decided that they weren’t going to cover my treatment. i completely lucked out and managed to get treatment covered by the MoD.

    but one of the most annoying parts of this was my employer’s reaction. after initially talking to my health providers, i went to my initial insurance carrier. their attitude was pretty good and basically said, “yeah, sure, we’ll cover it. also, you should be eligible for some paid medical leave from your employer, you’re probably going to need it.”

    so i start the process of informing my employer. and about a day after this, my employer tells me…”oh yeah, we’re dropping that insurance company and going with another one in 30 days.”

    so i go through the process again with the new, discount insurance company. starting from the position of “oh, that’s a pre-existing condition” they move on to “oh that’s not covered” to “oh, that’s covered, but only if you find a new neurologist” to “there’s nothing really wrong with you.”

    my employer, thinking they were being magnanimous, was all like, “no… take off as much time as you need.” when i responded… “um… our insurance doesn’t cover any of the costs for what i need done; and after the divorce and the short sale on the house i don’t have any cash laying around to pay the dr.’s”

    of course their response was… “that’s okay, take off as much time as you need.” i was eventually able to explain to them the circumstance, and their response was “we’ll talk to the insurance company for you.” ten days later our insurance broker calls me back and says “oh, all we can do is provide you with a list of in-network providers.”

    except the list they provided didn’t have a single neurologist and the oncologists on the list weren’t taking new patients with our insurance. gah!

    at about month four of this saga, i get laid off from work. at month six i get approval to be treated by a UK doctor. i honestly don’t know what i would have done without that option. and it’s an option that’s probably available only to the vanishingly small fraction of US citizens who have a relationship with the UK.

    as much as people complain about socialized health care, and yes, i’ve heard of crap like this coming from places with socialized medicine. but as much as people complain about socialized health care, at least you have one less level of run-around.

    health insurance in the states is a sham. as the baby boomers start to retire, and people who had been paying into private health care plans start depending on *shudder* medicare, i fear these people are only going to get more brazen.

    anyway. i feel your pain, sister. yes, someone should write an article or two about this.

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Sep 01, 2010 @ 10:08:20

      Hi Meadhbh, thanks for sharing your nightmare – I have to confess my blood ran cold reading all the twists and turns you had to endure to get your insurance coverage! I would have torn all my hair out by now if I were in your shoes! Very glad to read you could get a UK doctor to see you — that was a real blessing. It’s true what you say, I am glad for the government’s intervention in some of our basic requirements, like hospitalisation. I think we just need to look out for each other, to educate by sharing our stories so that we can learn from each other. Thanks again, Meadhbh.

      Reply

  18. Fair
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 02:24:40

    So sorry to hear what you had to go through in addition to having gone through mastectomy. But a word of fairness while everybody is condemning Pru:

    No one company can cover everything under the Sun – just not possible, unless one is willing to service that kind of premiums. I have met many many ladies who are just not willing to commit to a simple lady’s plan simply because they are young and have $20,000 savings in the bank, or because their husband/boyfriend who think it is unnecessary, etc. then when things happen, the agents will be the one at fault. Before we all unleash our frustrations at Pru, lets take this as a lesson to look into our insurance plans. Key is: Are your plans comprehensive? Does it at least cover the necessary even though the chances of an occurance is only remote? Funny that we will thousands of dollars on drinks, food, travel, cigarettes, etc, but stinch when it comes to insurance which buys time, peace and dignity. For a lady, in my personal opinion, the following is a must-have (minimum):

    1) A shield and a enhancement – In above sad story, even if the CI claim isn’t successful, at least all the hospitalisation portion is all covered. Don’t rely just on your company group insurance, cos you might not be working in that company in time to come.

    2) A lady’s plan. Needless to say why – just read the above story. One don’t need DCIS to be included in CI, all you need to do is just add on a lady’s plan to make your CI very comprehensive. In fact, AIA had a fantastic lady’s plan.

    3) A Critical Illnesss plan (make double sure it is not an accelerated plan) – It pays for your living expenses when you are recovering from Critical Illness.

    4) A basic plan which covers death and disability. Why? Simple. So that you don’t have to be a burden to your loved ones. Death, so that you can leave something behind for your loved ones. Notice, its the loved ones you want to benefit as well other than just yourself. One will be surprise at the number of young single working adults who refuses to buy a simple insurance as they think that their parents should be self-reliant (sad attitude even if our parent may be a big-time millionaire).

    5) A plan that will grow your wealth. So that you can be financially independent in your golden years.

    The next time we got a call from our Insurance Adviser to catch up for a review, lets do our best meet up with him/her rather instead of saying no time. Sometimes in the midst of us doing well, we forgot misfortune can just be round the corner. Remember, even a tree can fell unexpected and crash your car.

    When we buy a plan, make sure you read read and read the Terms and Conditions. Most insurance contracts now are in plain English and easy to understand. If its too complicated, go to another Insurer. We read not to find the perfect plan (no such plans), we read so that we can understand the strength and the shortcomings of the plans to see if it really does meet our needs. Best wishes to all!

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Sep 02, 2010 @ 13:51:29

      Dear Fair, thank you for all your helpful information – I wish you were MY insurance agent 21 years ago!! I hope you do not get the idea that I am condemning Prudential. I am sure if my life/critical illness policies had been with AIA, or Great Eastern, I would be naming them too.

      Question: What is an “accelerated” plan? How do I check for this (seeing that 2 out of 3 of my Pru agents didn’t bother calling me and one has changed his number …)?

      You know, you bring up a good point. I must have about 15 policies to my name, and only TWO of my agents call me every year to catch up, and I only have one endowment and one home insurance plan with these 2 ladies. It’s shocking. Do I just go around picking the absolutely WRONG agents to sign up with?

      Finally, your last paragraph – I am sorry, I have to disagree. I was just telling my husband how, as an educated woman, I could not make any sense of this all the exclusions when I signed. I do remember asking if my coverage was sufficient, and my agent saying yes, it was the best plan on the market.

      If anything, I think insurance companies need to be super transparent about what the T&C are, not cloak it in befuddling language, which even I, as an editor, cannot understand. It is, not as you say, in plain English. It is written in medical and legal language that most people cannot comprehend (of course I speak only for my Prudential policy booklet).

      But still, thank you for sharing all this valuable information.

      Reply

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    Sep 11, 2010 @ 19:39:26

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  20. Trackback: A Clean Breast Of It: 2010 in review « A Clean Breast Of It
  21. mikke
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 19:05:51

    Thanks very much for this blog post. I had run across this issue elsewhere (not personally, thankfully), and was researching it on behalf of several others.

    I want to say that this is an excellent reason for people to ditch their for-profit insurers in favor of non-profit options like the Group Health Cooperative in the Pacific Northwest.

    Turning people’s bodies, health, and inevitable illnesses and accidents into a for-profit corporate/Wall St. casino scam is appalling and should be outlawed. But apparently this is the new next bubble economy phenomenon: harvesting our embodied mortality for corporate profit.

    Reply

  22. mikke
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 19:08:20

    Reply

  23. Trackback: Are Critical Illness plans waste of money? | YOU are the Most Valuable Asset
  24. michelle murphy
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 03:57:51

    Thank you for letting me know.they should be put out of business!!!!

    Reply

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