“I have problems paying my insurance premiums.”

 

It is important to continue paying your premiums, or your insurance policy may lapse or be terminated.

  

Note

Policies which have no cash values (e.g. term life insurance and integrated shield plans) would lapse if premiums are not paid.

Help with premium payments for life, health insurance

If you are having difficulties paying your premiums, you should approach your insurer to ask about the assistance available. This could include adjusting your insurance coverage and premiums to more affordable levels. A premium loan against the policy cash value could be another option.

   

Note

If you choose to take up a premium loan, your policy must have sufficient cash value accrued as collateral to offset the loan advanced. Interest will be charged until the loan is fully repaid.

If you had obtained deferments on your premium payments between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 but cannot pay the premiums at the end of the deferment period, you should ask your insurer about further assistance. These may include repaying the deferred amount via installments over three months, or deferring the payment by an additional three months.

 

Note

If there is a claim during the premium deferment period, the unpaid premiums will be deducted from the claims payout amount.

Note

If you make a claim or surrender the policy before paying the loan, interest and/or unpaid premiums, these will be deducted from the claim amount or surrender value.

Flexible instalment plans for general insurance (e.g. property and car)

Help is also available if you have premiums due for general insurance policies, such as for property and vehicles.

 

You may apply to your insurer for an appropriate instalment plan. This means you can pay your premiums in smaller amounts spread out over a period of time instead of paying a lump sum premium for the entire policy period at the start. You will be covered as long as you continue paying. You can apply for flexible instalment plans until 31 December 2021.

 

Note

Your policies will remain valid during the grace period. Consult with your insurer or financial adviser early if you are concerned with your premiums.

Make sure you understand the implications of these relief measures. Assess if your decision will be in line with your needs and what you can afford in the long term.

 

 

Remember, you will have to resume payments after the grace period, possibly with additional interest.

 

If you really have to take a loan…

 

Before you take a personal loan, consider alternatives such as financial assistance schemes offered by various government agencies or social service agencies.

 

If you really have to take a loan, take note of these tips:

 

  • Borrow only what you need and are able to repay. Understand the details of the payment plan (e.g. how much interest you need to pay and how long it will take to clear the loan). Be mindful that if you cannot meet the contractual terms of the loan, it may result in more interest and fees, which will lead to further financial strain.

  • Do not take up loan offers through SMS or messaging apps like WhatsApp. They are either scams or unlicensed moneylenders – licensed moneylenders are not allowed to make any cold calls or send any unsolicited text messages to advertise their services. Refer to the Ministry of Law’s website for a list of licensed moneylenders.

Tip

Use our calculator to estimate your monthly repayments and how long it will take to clear your debt.

Note

There are other avenues to get help beyond the relief schemes and payouts that the Government has announced.

 

The Courage Fund has a scheme for lower-income households affected by COVID-19. (Apply here). You may approach a social service office near you. You can check out the full list of government payouts that you are eligible for here .

Seek help for debt matters early if you feel overwhelmed

Do not borrow from other sources to pay off your debt without first comparing the interest charges and fees.

 

Approach Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) for assistance with restructuring your loans. CCS assists individuals to address their unsecured debts problems (e.g. debts from banks, credit card companies, and licensed moneylenders).

 

You can contact CCS via the following modes:

 

A Debt Consolidation Plan could be an option if your unsecured debt is more than 12 times your monthly income, among other criteria.

 

 

 

BACK TO "FINANCIAL RESILIENCE" HOME PAGE

 

 

OTHER ARTICLES IN OUR "FINANCIAL RESILIENCE" SERIES :

 

“My finances have taken a hit. How should I manage?”

 

“I want to know how to prioritise and manage my debt.”

 

“I have issues paying my mortgage.”

 

“My income has been affected because of COVID-19. What financial support is there for me?”

 

“Where should I go to look for a job or upskill myself?”

 

“Should I invest now?”

 

“How do I protect myself from scams?”

 

 

 

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