With Singapore just announcing a record fall of 41.2% in its Q2 GDP from the previous quarter, it seems a suitable point at which to think about how many people mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on themselves and their families.
If the usual family budget is stretched, an obvious start is to cancel bank standing orders and other automatic payments in a bid to reduce outgoings.
Usually low on the list of people's priorities to keep at the same level – Or indeed at all - are insurance premiums.
But before simply cancelling payments it is prudent to consider the consequences.
Life Insurance for example, is not generally a legal obligation, but do bear in mind the original purpose - to protect your family or to repay a loan or mortgage in the event of your death.
Whist you may decide to cancel and buy a replacement later, there are a few things to consider…
The new premiums will certainly be higher, simply because you are older than when you started the current policies.
Not only that, insurability could be an issue, if you have suffered any significant illnesses in the interim.
Also take advice about what options may be available. Some insurers are permitting a deferral of premiums for term insurance for several months (although you’ll need to catch up later).
With Universal Life (usually whole life) policies, there may be a savings element. This means there may be a fund value from which to make premium payments or take a policy loan. As this differs from company to company, do clarify before making changes, to ensure you take the best course of action.
Health Insurance is a must for expats, who are not usually able to rely on any public health services in their residence country, so it is vital to maintain cover.
However, there is often still some flexibility when times are hard.
Many international employers provide free or subsidised cover for expats, so if you find yourself unemployed you may want to maintain membership of the existing corporate plan as a personal plan.
Often this is permitted by the insurer, probably with no further underwriting.
However, consider the various levels of cover, because omitting out-patient cover for example, may halve the premium, and the risk of paying for out-patient visits is usually nominal with relatively low GP costs in SE Asia.
Review the level of excess (deductible), as this also influences the premium. An increased excess may be justified for a significant premium reduction. Also compare the additional benefits that may be added to an ‘all-singing- all-dancing’ policy. There is always a cost for these, so it is worth assessing the cost/benefit of things like vaccination cover, annual check-up, dental, ophthalmic or travel insurance options.
Do bear in mind, however, that it is likely that more countries will soon take the Thailand Immigration approach and insist on COVID-19 cover for foreign visitors or residents. Don’t be afraid to ask your insurer to provide a covering letter or certificate confirming that COVID-19 is indeed included before you travel if you think it may be needed at Immigration.
In many countries, car insurance is obligatory, and there will be a legal minimum cover required, so if your car insurance is due for renewal, it may be possible to reduce to a lower level of cover to reduce premiums.
However, it is typically the policyholder whose protection is diminished – third parties are usually covered by legal minimum policies, but your car and personal losses may be left uncovered, so you take the loss on the chin...
A written-off car on credit still needs to be paid for!
It may be advantageous to shop around insurers too, and for those buying a car, it is worth identifying cars or car classes attracting lower insurance premiums.
Similarly, don’t simply dismiss buildings & contents insurance as an unnecessary luxury, but do shop around for good value, and review the conditions, and any optional extras you may have added last renewal.
Please find below some general details about the insurance options I can provide if you are resident in Thailand.
Thailand Insurance at Competitive Prices
If you live and work in Thailand you may be interested to know that I can offer a number of different Thai domestic insurance policies and very competitive prices.
Here is a brief overview of what I can offer for both personal and business insurance. For more details and a quotation, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Buildings and Contents Insurance - Domestic
Suitable for a private home or condominium. Flexible building and home contents cover with protection for high-value items and/or foundation cover.
Choose your preferred cover based on your specific needs. Start with your main building or contents coverage and then tailor your plan with suitable coverage for your living style.
Perfect for those who own or rent their property. Also for landlords and landladies who have a portfolio of properties they rent out.
Buildings and Contents Insurance - Business
As you build up your business, it pays to protect your business property and all the important equipment you have purchased for your business, whether that is manufacturing equipment of things like office equipment.
Whether it’s the bricks and mortar, fittings, contents or stock, we have cover available to allow your business to keep going should an insured event occur.
Motor Insurance – Car, Van, Lorry, Bus
A range of different types of motor insurance is available for whatever vehicle you drive.
Full coverage is provided to an insured vehicle in situations such as collisions, theft, fire, flood, natural perils or total loss caused by accident.
It will cover the driver, passengers and third parties. (As per details stated in each policy.)
Medical Insurance – including cover for a Thai Spouse/Partner and Children
If you’re looking for health insurance for your Thai partner, spouse or children, then you’re in the right place.
Health care solutions and plans are available to suit the needs of expats and Thai citizens looking for family health insurance, with medical insurance plans are designed to ensure excellent local coverage.
Medical Insurance – Group Health Policies
If you own or manage a business in Thailand, or are responsible for the Thai subsidiary of an international company, then a range of group health policies are available to you.
Employees say that having their employee health insurance taken care of by their company in Thailand is one of the best work benefits and makes them feel more valued.
Group members can benefit from comprehensive cover for routine medical treatments as well as cover against unexpected medical incidents, accidents and illnesses.
Travel Insurance for Thai Residents Travelling within Thailand and Overseas
Competitively priced yet comprehensive travel insurance is available for those travelling within or outside of Thailand.
Whether you are going on holiday or a business trip, have peace of mind when you travel with comprehensive travel insurance coverage and 24-hour assistance. Choose from International single-trip or a multi-trip annual policy.
For more details on insurance in Thailand, please contact me.