Thursday, August 26, 2004

Singaporeans want more insurance 

Yesterday, The Straits Times reported the findings from a survey conducted by insurance company AIA that showed that despite having more comprehensive insurance coverage than Malaysians, Thais and Hong Kongers, Singaporeans believe that their existing insurance is insufficient. Excerpt:

The survey of 500 Singaporeans found that about 70 per cent of people here have some form of insurance coverage. But in the other three markets covered by the survey, only about half or less of the survey’s respondents have insurance cover. Nevertheless, 40 per cent of Singaporeans said they would like to have more insurance against potential accident and health risks, well above the level in Malaysia and Hong Kong...

The survey also posed several hypothetical questions on how respondents would cope if they were forced to stop work through illness or accident, assuming that they had no insurance coverage. One in every five said they would face serious financial difficulties within just three months. And just over half admitted that they would have a maximum financial buffer to cover expenses for only 12 months before facing acute financial difficulties...more than 60 per cent of Singaporean respondents would be reliant on draining personal savings and investments or would rely heavily on family for support... Among the younger Singaporeans aged 20 to 29, a larger 73 per cent said that they have a financial buffer of a year...
If the survey was meant to scare people into buying insurance, it appears to have worked, at least with Singaporeans. Singaporeans are either more financially aware or more risk-averse than their neighbours are.


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