You wouldn't skip insurance plans for big ticket things like surgery and hospital care. But the little things, or even stuff you never knew you needed, could hit you with an equally big bill. It's why insurers are including less-conventional situations in their plans.
1. If you want to freeze your eggs
Egg freezing has picked up overseas among women who want to delay motherhood by surgically preserving their healthy eggs. Unless you work for tech giants Facebook or Apple, which pay for elective egg freezing for women employees, you'll find it's a pretty pricey option. In Singapore, where you can freeze eggs only for a medical reason, one collection cycle could easily set you back between $5,000 and $15,000.
NTUC Income's Lady 360 was the first plan here to offer a payout to defray the cost of egg freezing. It pays 25 per cent of your sum assured. Income's deputy vice-president of retail sales Carol Chia says egg freezing is included because the plan is geared towards a modern woman's health concerns. You're eligible as long as you're between the ages of 15 and 40, and are recommended for the procedure by a registered doctor, for reasons such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy possibly affecting your fertility.
2. If you need breast reconstruction
Prudential Singapore's Prulady specifies that breast reconstruction surgery is part of the coverage, if a doctor recommends a mastectomy.
Prudential Singapore's head of protection Alistair Giles says this critical illness plan especially for women was launched in May this year, to provide more coverage for illnesses that women are more predisposed to. In this case, a separate payout is made specifically for breast reconstruction. Income's Lady 360 plan pays up to 100 per cent of the sum assured for the reconstruction surgery, while medical insurance policies offered by insurance broker Pacific Prime Singapore include the procedure in its coverage as well.
3. If your pup gets into trouble
As long as your furry friend is between three months and seven years old. AIA's Paw Safe plan has got it covered. Get reimbursed for up to $1,000 if your dog has an accident and needs medical help; get a payout if the pup is stolen from your home; and be covered for any damage that your dog decides to inflict on someone else's property. The only downside: you can't insure more than two dogs for each household. Premiums start at $6.63 a month.
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4. If you're a victim of cybercrime
With cybercriminals always on the lookout for unwitting victims, it's easy to have your identity stolen, unauthorised transactions made on your credit card, or - on an unrelated note - be slandered on social media. Insurance providers like AXA now offer a Cyber Protector policy, which offers $1,500 worth of phone calls to seek legal advice, as well as a $15,000 payout that you can use to get legal help either via a private settlement or in court. The coverage even includes consultations with a mental health professional in case of trauma and stress. You'll need to give your insurer the report you made to your bank or a copy of a police report when you make the claim.
5. If you get an allergic reaction on holiday
You should always check if your travel insurance, personal accident plans or hospital plans include allergic reactions, says Chris Teo, associate director at Cherlyn Chua Organization, representing Finexis Advisory Pte Ltd. "A peanut allergy, for instance, could lead to life-threatening reactions such as constriction of airways, which makes breathing difficult."
Among the more comprehensive plans for travellers with allergies is Income's Travel Enhanced Pre X suite of plans, which takes care of both medical and evacuation expenses for those with pre-existing medical conditions, while you're overseas. Choose from the Enhanced Pre X Superior and Enhanced Pre X Prestige plans to also be covered for trip disruptions due to pre-existing medical conditions.
6. If you need to sort out your mental wellness
If you get diagnosed with major depressive disorder or an anxiety disorder after a traumatic event, and need to be on meds for at least six months, you won't have to worry about your finances. Income's Lady 360 offers a payout of 5 per cent of your sum assured to help with the psychiatrist's bill.
7. If you're a daredevil
If you're going on holiday and plan to do some scuba diving, skiing or skydiving, make sure you take out a travel insurance plan. Most will cover you for extreme sports, as long as they don't present a high level of danger. "The crux is always whether the insured members did anything irresponsibly and put themselves deliberately at risk," says Pacific Prime's CEO Olivier Zeller. That means no cliff-jumping, stunt riding, or going diving without checking if you're working with a licensed boat company. "Insurers might not be able to honour the claims if clients have prior knowledge that the company they've engaged is not legally licensed, yet still decided to proceed with it," adds Chris.
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This article was first published in the October 2017 issue of Her World magazine.