Expat health and life insurance in Cambodia

The following website has been designed especially for the Cambodian market:  https://www.insuranceincambodia.com.

As many expats in Cambodia know, the country is quite different to some others in the region. Most expats do not get fully covered by their employers for health cover, and the chance of getting into an accident is statistically higher.

Moreover, as compliance becomes a bigger issue and the government is starting to enforce laws, getting covered for business insurance is starting to become essential, especially in the booming real estate sector.

The market for insurance in South East Asia is likely to expand even quicker than wealth management in the next few years for the aforementioned reasons.

Health Insurance for Expats in Cambodia and beyond: A Checklist (Magazine Article)

For most brokers in Cambodia, inquiries about health insurance outnumber queries related to pensions, savings and real estate.  Most expats understand the importance of protecting themselves and their family whilst they live overseas.  Fortunately, health insurance is one of the products in the market which is easiest to understand and grasp, but nevertheless there are a few basic points that consumers should consider:

Budget and level of cover:  Before anything else, consumers should consider what they actually need in terms of protection.  Those with unlimited budgets are in a minority, and most dental procedures and non-emergency health-care procedures are very cheap in Cambodia and in most parts of South East Asia.  For those in this situation, it makes perfect sense to get standard basic coverage that covers emergency procedures that can be both life threatening and extremely expensive.  It is also sensible for those with some cash in the bank to opt for some co-pay options to limit the premium.

For those with specific life plans, a more comprehensive plan might be needed. A good example is if you are planning to have a child, as the costs associated with child birth are usually not covered by basic plans. This is becoming particularly important because many countries have changed the rules in respect of expatriates claiming health care costs related to `non-emergency` procedures, with the UK National Health Service now charging non-resident citizens for such procedures.

Regulation:  This is arguably the most important, and sometimes, the most overlooked aspect of the equation.  One common worry, and indeed misconception, that many have is that it is usually difficult to claim .  An important factor to consider in the case of insurance is the country in which the insurance firm is regulated from.  Insurance companies ran from well-regulated environments such as the European Union, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong are restricted in terms of the practices they can adopt.  In such instances, most of the issues with claiming are related to self-harm or failing to declare information on the application form.  It is perfectly normal for insurance firms from such locations to adapt policies to make compliance easier and to reassure the consumer about the convenient of claiming.

Direct Billing:   One example of such a policy is for the insurer and the hospital to settle the bills directly, and thereby making the process of claiming unnecessary.

No health questionnaire and covering pre-existing consitions:  In the past, insurance firms have found excuses not to pay out for legitimate reasons such as lying on application forms.  However, and controversially, some insurers have failed to pay out due to more grey areas, such as the consumer failed to declare everything, perhaps because they can’t remember their whole medical history.  In response to this, and for administration efficiency, some insurers from well-regulated domains have abolished the questionnaire and cover pre-existing conditions after a specific number of months.  AXA Hong Kong would be the best example of such policies that I have seen.

Automatic renewal:  If you get cancer in two months, and the insurer doesn’t have to accept your application next year, they will probably cut off the funding after 10 months, if they are under no legal obligation to do so.

Evacuation:  Phnom Penh still doesn’t have hospitals on a par with Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong.  An airlift into one of those aforementioned cities is often needed for some specific procedures.

As the above information shows, there are a few things for any adviser and consumer to consider. The biggest thing to consider, is whether you are protected in the first place. For that, no check list is required.

The article above was originally printed in B2B Cambodia.

The Truth About Insurance – B2B Cambodia Magazine Article

The following is an article which was published by B2B Cambodia, and can be found on the following link: http://www.b2b-cambodia.com/articles/the-truth-about-insurance/

There is much misunderstanding and many misconceptions about insurance.   This article will look at the most important types of insurances and address some common misconceptions:

Medical Insurance

Quality medical insurance is something everybody should consider. Nobody wants to have an $180,000 medical bill, which is possible after a situation such as being airlifted to Thailand for treatment after being involved in a serious accident. Although Cambodia is becoming safer, but is still undoubtedly a dangerous place, with frequent traffic accidents and diseases prevalent.

The main reason for buying medical insurance is to insure against events which can cost tens or thousands of dollars. The cost of medical insurance is very reasonable for anybody under the age of 35, and relatively affordable for most people.

Life Insurance

 Anybody who has children or dependents such as elderly relatives, should look towards life insurance as a good inheritance and income protection tool.

Cambodia and most Asian countries do not have basic social security, and even in the US and UK the level of support given to the unemployed is not enough to sustain a comfortable living standard.

Life insurance is something everybody should consider, especially those of a younger age. There are two types of life insurance – term and whole of life.

Term life insurance is purely insurance; there is no investment component. Therefore, the money cannot be cashed in whilst you are alive. The money is given to relatives or friends when a death occurs. The sum insured is high. In comparison, whole of life insurance is a mixture of investment and insurance, which means that you can cash in the money you have put in. However the sum insured is much lower.

To illustrate the differences in these two insurances, we will use an example of a 30-year-old. The following figures are an illustrative example only, and differ depending on companies used, and many other things.

A $200 per month premium will give the 30-year-old client about $500,000 of worldwide, international standard, life cover. But the money cannot be cashed in until death. A 5% annual (and optional) increase in premiums per year, will guard the $500,000 from inflation.

Whereas, the same 30-year-old will only get about $235,000 from the whole of life policy, but can cash in the money and not make a loss after 10-20 years. For clients in their mid-twenties, the sum assured is much higher, thus it is always better to insure yourself at a younger age.

Income protection/critical illness

Sometimes we lose our income due to injury or illness. Income protection insurance is a good tool to insure your wages/profits in case of serious accidents or illnesses. For as little as $50-$100 per month, you can guard against threats if you are unable to work.

Misconceptions about insurance

There are many misconceptions about insurances:

1). Insurance firms don’t insure people who have pre-existing conditions.

Not always true. This depends on the products and the insurance company, but for basic health insurance no medical questionnaire or exam is required.

2). A medical exam is needed for life cover?

Not always true. Some international firms allow those aged the under 40 to get as much as $550,000 of life cover with no medical exam and medical insurance.

3). Insurance companies have a bad record of paying out.

Some do, which is why brokers such as Imperium Capital are very selective about which one they choose to represent. The vast majority of international insurers are very clear about what is covered and for what price, and the process that needs to be undertaken to make a claim.

4).   Insurance is dead money. Often true if nothing happens, but not always so.