The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that a new web portal called compareFirst will be launched on 7 April, allowing Singaporeans to compare different insurance products online by insurance firms before purchasing one.
The site allows consumers to compare premiums and features of products offered by different insurance companies.
MAS said the website is a collaborative effort by the Consumers Association of Singapore, MAS, the Life Insurance Association, Singapore as well as MoneySense.
While the website features the different products of insurance firms in Singapore, MAS advised consumers to still approach their financial advisers or life insurance firms should they decide to purchase life insurance products.
Also starting 1 April, consumers can start buying a new type of simple life insurance product, called Direct Purchase Insurance, which will be sold without commissions and financial advice.
DPIs will be sold at a lower price compared to other life insurance products as no commission is charged. Interested parties can begin to find out more about DPIs starting Tuesday from the MoneySENSE website. However, purchases can only be made from 7 April.
The features of DPI are broadly standardized so that they are easier for consumers to understand and purchase without the need for financial advice.
Because DPI are sold without advice, consumers should read the DPI fact sheet and complete the checklist that will be provided by insurance companies, MAS said.
On 10 March, the Minister of Culture, Community and Youth, Lawrence Wong, spoke about this in Parliament on behalf of Minister-In-Charge of MAS, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
“We will soon start a campaign to educate the public about upcoming changes to the life insurance landscape. These include the setting up of an online web aggregator for easier comparison of life insurance products, and the introduction of lower cost direct purchase insurance products that consumers can buy direct from insurers,” he said.
MAS, however, said that while the website will offer comprehensive comparison of the different insurance products offered by insurance firms in the country, it is still best to consult a financial adviser or an insurance agent personally before purchasing a life insurance.
“Buying a life insurance product is a decision for the long-term. We strongly encourage consumers to use compareFIRST and assess the suitability of the various life insurance products offered by different companies before they buy a product,” said Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), MAS. – BusinessNewsAsia.com