Many have asked why health insurance is important. Simple. Health insurance policy covers your medical cost, including hospitalization, treatment, surgical, and consultation charges. It gives not only the financial protection when you need it the most but also the peace of mind that you are covered should anything were to happen to you. But buying health insurance plan can be a tedious task. There are many factors to consider. Many do not take the time to do their own research before purchasing a plan and solely rely on friends’ suggestions or the recommendations of an agent. Here we outline 5 common mistakes when buying a health insurance policy.
5 basic mistakes Malaysians make when buying health insurance:
1. Delaying… for whatever reason
We said it many times that health insurance is one of the most important covers you need. Many actually realize it but choose to ignore it. While others pray that nothing bad will happen to them, “not yet anyway, not till I can afford a medical card“. But it seems like that day never comes. Cause as soon as they start to earn a little more, there’s always something ‘more important’ they need that money for. Don’t. You need health insurance and you need it asap. No matter how young, how healthy or how financially constraint you are. At least start by calling a few agents and find out what are your options. They offer advice for free!
2. Buying a policy you know you can’t afford
Your agent may suggest a plan that covers you from every possible scenario under the sun. It sounds great, it makes you feel safe. But only you know if you can really afford it. Be honest with yourself and be realistic with what you can afford. Understand your financial situation and your needs. Speak to several agents and compare the various products offered before deciding on one that benefits you the most. You may not be able to afford the cover you want, but you can always upgrade it later when you are financially more sound.
3. Too much or too little coverage
Medical inflation rate in Malaysia is at an average of 10% per year. If this number doesn’t mean anything to you, have a look at the image below. This should give you an idea what 10% inflation rate today would look like in 20 years. We aren’t telling you to buy a policy that covers you for 20 million ringgit coverage, there is such thing as over-insurance. The premium isn’t cheap and you might as well use that extra money for investment. This doesn’t mean that you should under-insure yourself either, especially if you can afford it. So it’s again best to get professional advice.
4. Not considering other insurers or products
Many Malaysians are hesitant in changing their insurance provider, or they are just too lazy to look for another. The insurance industry is dynamic. To keep up with competition, insurers are always introducing new and improved insurance products to the consumer. Therefore we highly advise that at the time of renewing your policy, find out what other products are out there offered by other insurance providers. You may even end up with an even better deal than your previous policy!
5. Not sharing medical history
Not sharing or declaring your medical history at the time of purchasing a health insurance plan is a huge no-no! Many people conceal their medical history and smoking habit to keep their premium low. Keeping crucial information from the insurance company may lead to rejection of claims. It is absolutely not worth it to lie on your insurance application because the consequences can be dire. Why? One, if your lie is found out when you are making a claim (i.e, when you needed the money the most), your claim will be rejected, leaving you with a hefty medical bill. Two, the insurer may sue you for all the claims that you have made in the past which they have paid for. Not worth it guys!
As said earlier, there are many factors you should consider before buying an insurance plan. It is best to clearly understand your intention, needs and wants rather than taking cover unnecessarily. Asses all your risks and as well as your financial position.
If you need to speak to a reliable insurance agent to find out more about the right health insurance plan for you, you can find one here.