Letters to Editor
Published Date: 22 November 2017

Response to “Check medical status at point of application for insurance” – The Straits Times, 5 November 2017

The Straits Times

Dear Editor

We thank Mr Tan Kin Lian for his letter “Check medical status at point of application for insurance”, Straits Times, 5 November 2017.
Consumers who wish to purchase new insurance policies or to upgrade their existing insurance cover must complete an insurance application form. This is to allow an appropriate underwriting assessment to be performed.
It is only with accurate and complete disclosures by consumers that insurers are able to price each policy accurately. This is to ensure fairness to all policyholders. Most health policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. A medical condition a policyholder has before he purchased the policy may not be covered. Only MediShield Life will cover pre-existing conditions.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) requires insurers to have clear and prominent disclosures in insurance application forms. For example, it must be clearly stated that an applicant may forfeit his intended cover if he does not fully and faithfully give the facts as he knows them or ought to know them. Insurers must also ensure that their agents do not misrepresent product coverage. Insurers typically provide a series of guiding questions to make clear to the applicant, the types of health information he is required to provide. Insurance agents are also required to explain that the applicant is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of information provided in the insurance application form.
MAS will continue to work with industry to ensure that insurers’ application forms remain clear and easy to understand. We are stepping up on our financial education initiatives to highlight the importance of proper and accurate disclosures when purchasing insurance products. 
Jerome Lee
Director (Corporate Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore