Get insured before it is too late, experts warn

Why take the risk yourself when you can transfer it to a strong financial institution?

by AZALEA AZUAR / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL 

WITH the recent flood crisis that has damaged many properties and taken lives, experts are emphasising the importance of getting insured to avoid financial difficulties during catastrophes in the unforeseeable future.

According to Zurich Takaful Malaysia Bhd chief agency manager Dr Latifah Mohd Ghazali, many people take insurance for granted as they are of the mindset that nothing bad will happen to them.

“Why must you take the risk yourself when you can transfer it to a strong financial institution?

“Without any insurance policy, you become the insurance company itself because if something bad happens, you bear the full responsibility,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

Latifah said just by transferring a small contribution towards an insurance policy, in the event of a disaster or an ailment, one would at least receive some financial relief instead of blowing away hard-earned savings.

General insurance companies do not profit from disasters as they have reinsurance companies to pass the risk to, so they would obtain bigger funds.

“Insurances against floods or fire are not making profits, but that is how insurance companies want to serve the society,” she added.

Latifah also said all insurance companies have similar coverage and no company is better than the others due to Bank Negara Malaysia’s regulations to ensure people have access to protection.

“As long as you are happy that the service and consultant are serving your needs, it should be okay.

“The price is also more or less the same and one does not dominate the other,” TMR was told.

However, insurance policies are different among individuals with different risks.

The price of a premium policy would vary depending on the location of one’s house (nearby a river or roadside), the materials used to build one’s house (wood or bricks) and how many storeys the house is (single-storey or apartment).

According to BSN Takaful Bhd, the flood crisis has raised awareness on the importance of having sufficient health and financial coverage.

“PruBSN is a family takaful operator that provides medical and accidental coverage along with the event of loss of life or any total permanent disability (TPD) for our participants and their dependents.

“As such, we would always advise holistic protection as it will provide coverage in the event that you are impacted by misfortune,” the company told TMR.

PruBSN’s medical policies provide coverage for hospitalisations, as well as medical treatment for illnesses and accidents including those caused by natural disasters such as floods.

Policyholders can proceed with admission and undergo necessary treatment at hospitals knowing that their expenses are covered, depending on the benefits and coverage amount as per their takaful plan.

“In the event of loss of life or TPD, there is life and/or TPD coverage that could be of assistance to the family of the deceased or to the participant with disability.

“Besides that, the accidental benefit rider serves as a supplementary plan that would cover treatment related to accidental cases caused by the calamity,” PruBSN elaborated.

One of its coverages is the Hospital Alliances Services facility where those who hold PruBSN’s certificate would enjoy easier hospital admissions. The service also enables its policyholders to undergo pre-authorisation of admission to its panel hospitals and medical centres, subject to the terms and conditions of the takaful certificate.

Since some customers may be unable to provide identification or other important documents that have been swept away by the floods, PruBSN could waive some of these requirements to expedite the process.

Allianz General Insurance Co (M) Bhd has also taken swift action to provide fast claim settlement for customers who have fallen victim to the floods.

The insurer will pay out a full claim settlement or an interim payment within five days after the adjuster’s site visit. Customers could receive the full settlement between 21 and 28 days.

According to Allianz General head of claims Damian Williams, the company has deployed their four-wheel drive vehicles and a team of adjusters on standby in Selangor, Pahang and other affected states, so they could quickly attend to customers.

“These are unprecedented circumstances and the damage has been immense.

“We mobilised our Allianz-branded 4x4s and team of adjusters on Friday,” he said in a recent statement.

Williams believed an insurer must attend to customers first.

“Our communities are in desperate need of help and they are relying on us for assistance.

“We will deliver on our promise of providing fast claims, so they can get back on their feet during this difficult time,” he added.