Consumers Can Now Compare Life Insurance Products Online and Buy Them Without Commissions
Singapore, 31 March 2015… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that from 7 April, consumers can compare life insurance products of different companies using a new web portal called compareFIRST (www.comparefirst.sg).
On the same day, life insurance companies will start selling Direct Purchase Insurance (DPI), a class of simple life insurance products that is sold without commissions and financial advice.
Both compareFIRST and DPI are initiatives under the Financial Advisory Industry Review or FAIR1.
compareFIRST is an interactive web portal that allows consumers to quickly compare the premiums and features of similar life insurance products2 offered by different insurance companies. It will help consumers make informed decisions about what policy to buy and how much coverage to get. As it is an informational portal, consumers who wish to purchase life insurance products should approach their financial advisory representative or life insurance company.
compareFIRST is a collaborative effort by the Consumers Association of Singapore, MAS, the Life Insurance Association, Singapore and MoneySENSE.
Direct Purchase Insurance (DPI)
From 7 April, consumers can purchase DPI from customer service counters or websites of life insurance companies. As DPI are sold without financial advice, their premiums are lower than comparable life insurance products because no commissions are charged. DPI can be identified by the prefix “DIRECT” in their product names. While DPI will only be sold from 7 April, consumers can, from today, find out about the features and pricing of DPI from life insurance companies.
The features of DPI are broadly standardised so that they are easier for consumers to understand and purchase without the need for financial advice. Because DPI are sold without advice, consumers should read the DPI factsheet and complete the checklist that will be provided by insurance companies. These documents set out the important information that consumers should consider when buying DPI. Details on the features of DPI are included in the Annex and more information on DPI can be found at the MoneySENSE website (www.moneysense.gov.sg/dpi).
“Buying a life insurance product is a decision for the long-term. We strongly encourage consumers to use compareFIRST and assess the suitability of the various life insurance products offered by different companies before they buy a product,” said Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), MAS.
1Launched in 2013, FAIR is aimed at raising standards of practice in the financial advisory industry and improving efficiency in the distribution of life insurance and investment products in Singapore.
2Life insurance products such as Direct Purchase Insurance, term life insurance, whole life insurance and endowment policies will be available for comparison.