Can Your Insurance Cover Everyone You Care For?
The Malaysian family structure has constantly been evolving with some families practising multi-generational households and some having extended family members who are not blood-related, either through adoption or stepfamilies.
And despite the differences and uniqueness of every family structure, each and every one of them should be celebrated and protected.
If something happens to you and you can’t financially support your loved ones anymore, they will have to depend on your insurance benefits to provide for their needs.
But can your insurance plan provide coverage to everyone you love and care for?
Most plans don’t offer a simple way to cover immediate AND extended family
Typically, most insurance only allows adding either your spouse, children, or parents as a dependent into your plan.
If you wanted to include your uncle, niece, cousin, or other members of your household, you will need to go through a lengthy legal process to show they are of insurable interest to you.
Under the Financial Services Act (FSA), an insurable interest is often defined as a:
- Spouse and children
- Legal guardian
- a person whom he/she is fully or partially financially dependent for maintenance or education at the time of the policy inception
An example would be if you and your spouse have a child and own a house. If either of you passes away, it creates a financial hardship for the spouse and child, which means both spouses have an insurable interest in each other.
The problem, however, is that most insurance protection plans do not offer a simple and easy way to add other family members beyond your child, spouse, or parents.
The reason is that their definition of what counts as a dependent tends to be limiting. Here’s how most insurance companies would define those that can be added as dependents:
- Spouse: Legally married spouses
- Child: Children aged up to 19 years old or up to 23 years old if they are a full-time student.
If you want to cover other family members, say a niece, then there are two legal processes that you can use: absolute assignment or nomination.
Below is an example of how you can do it today using these two legal options available:
|Options||Definition||Policyholder (Uncle) status||Dependent (Niece) status||Disadvantages|
|This is when the policyholder transfers all their rights to the policy to another person or organisation. |
The policyholder does not have to provide any reasons for doing so or put any conditions for the transfer.
|As the policyholder and assignor, he will continue to pay the insurance premiums.||Becomes the policy owner and owns the policy rights.||Need an additional legal process to submit this declaration.
Go through the steps to get it stamped and pay the stamp duty according to the value of the policy.
|By Nomination||This is a legal and binding process that ensures that your nominated ones will receive the benefits of your insurance policy BUT only if they are immediate family (spouse, children, parent).|
Otherwise, the nominee can only be the executor of the insurance benefits (like a niece, uncle).
|The policy’s rights and living benefit remain with the policyholder.||The nominated dependent (niece) can only be in charge of distributing the death benefit as executor.||The executor distributes the death benefit according to the policyholder’s will or if there is no will, according to the Distribution Act 1953.
The dependent cannot keep the death benefit for herself.
Under the Financial Services Act in Malaysia, if a nominee of an insurance policy is other than the spouse, child, or parent (if there is no spouse or child), the nominee can only receive the benefits payable on the death of the policy owner as an executor.
While it is possible to extend your insurance to cover everyone you love and care for, you will need to go through additional legal processes of providing protection for them.
Unless you are covered by a Prudential plan.
With Prudential, everyone you care for can be protected
Every family is unique and different. But what we all share is the need to protect our loved ones from unexpected burdens, be it financial burdens from a medical injury or the loss of a loved one.
With the vision of protecting everyone, Prudential has taken a new approach to define insurable interests. Extending all of their plans to include extended family members, who are a provider, to be covered and protect their dependents if anything bad happens.
How does Prudential’s Extended Family coverage work? Here’s a scenario involving a nephew and his uncle:
How Eric protects his uncle using his Prudential policy
Eric’s uncle, Tan, is 70 years old and is retired with no income. He lives with and depends on Eric (his nephew) for care. Eric wanted to make sure that should anything happen to him, his uncle can still be taken care of and that he wouldn’t have to face any financial burdens.
He decides to take up an insurance plan with Prudential with his uncle as the Assured (dependent), while Eric himself as the Life Assured (provider).
Assured is the policy owner/policyholder. He/she is basically the owner of the insurance contract with an insurance company.
Life Assured means the person whose life is protected under the insurance.
Example: If you’re the Life Assured and you have your spouse as the Assured – if anything happens to you, the insurance company will pay the benefits to your spouse.
Now Eric can have peace of mind knowing his policy’s rights and benefits will go directly to his uncle, as the Assured, and that he will be protected if anything happens.
Under Prudential’s Extended Family Coverage, the process of making Eric’s uncle an Assured is simple and can be done during the proposal stage with no additional costs.
If you were to do the same for a different family member, the only thing that you would have to prove during the proposal stage is to:
- declare Life Assured is maintaining the Assured’s day-to-day living expenses; or
- declare Life Assured supports the Assured’s education
Prudential’s Extended Family coverage gives you peace of mind that whoever is financially dependent on you, regardless of their blood ties, will be able to take care of themselves, and that regardless of your family structure, they are celebrated and protected.
Prudential understands that every family is unique, and they want you to celebrate it with the “Made For Every Family” Famvatar competition, where you can show the world your one-of-a-kind family and can stand a chance to win up to RM40,000* worth of prizes along the way.
Here’s how you can join in the fun:
Step 1: Customize your family avatar via Prudential’s Famvatar platform. Submit your details and be the first 100 users to download the Bonus stickers to win RM200 worth of Travel vouchers.
Step 2: Download Pulse by Prudential app. Head on to “My Communities” and join the “Live Happy” community. Post your bonus Famvatar stickers to the “Live Happy” community and include your answer of “What Does Family Mean to You?” in the caption plus the “#MadeForEveryFamily” hashtag in your post title. The first 100 submissions in Pulse App will win an additional RM100 Travel Voucher.
Step 3: Stand a chance to also WIN the Grand Prize*(Family Portrait Photography worth RM10,000) when you share your Famvatar bonus stickers on Prudential’s Facebook (in the comments section) AND/OR Instagram feed and answer the following question in your caption, “What Does Family Mean to You?”. Tag @prudentialmalaysia and include #PRUFamvatarMY and #MadeForEveryFamily hashtags.
*Terms and conditions apply.
Find out how you can easily extend your insurance plan to cover your extended family with Prudential today!