Direct Purchase Insurance (DPI) 101 – Are You Asking The Same Questions?

Direct Purchase Insurance (DPI) 101 – Are You Asking The Same Questions?

J was first exposed to life insurance by her friends in university. While she didn’t give further thought to the idea then, the seeds of protection has been planted in her mind. Upon starting her first job after graduation, J learnt from her older colleagues the importance of getting adequate coverage and came to a conclusion that she needs life insurance – for the benefit of both her family and herself. After doing extensive online research, J has some questions that we helped to clarify:

  1. I get it that I need life insurance but how much coverage do I need?

This depends on your financial obligations and existing resources to meet these needs. Most importantly, how much can you or are you willing to spare for protection? Check out the following calculation tools to help you get started:

Protection Gap Calculator

CPF Insurance Estimator

Life Insurance Calculator

  1. What are the important points I should look out for?

Two things – best value and reliability. Value is perceived differently by individual but some things that potential policy holders should look out for would be the fine prints and numbers. Cheapest does not mean the best value at times.

Here’s our General Provisions Document for DIRECT – Etiqa term life and DIRECT – Etiqa whole life for your reference.

For reliability, look at the credit ratings of insurers. A positive rating signifies the ability of the insurer to do a payout to your/your dependents in the unfortunate event of death.

  1. Should I get term life or whole life insurance?
Term Life InsuranceWhole Life Insurance
PurposeLife protection coverage
Coverage PeriodA specific period only
(usually ranging from 5 – 30 years)
Limitation(s)Lower premiums but could vary at each renewal.Levelled but higher premiums

The first step to getting life insurance lies in identifying your needs. Next, ask yourself a simple question – are these needs short-term or long-term? This will help you to determine how long you will need the coverage, and give you a clearer picture on which type of insurance is more suitable for you.

Ever wondered why do most people buy life insurance? Read more here.

  1. What’s the difference between purchasing life insurance online or over the counter?

The purpose of DPI is to give autonomy to consumers to buy according to their needs and budget. For digital savvy consumers who prefer the D-I-Y process, purchasing online allows you to research and make your own decisions.

If you have any doubts, there are always information channels such as live chat, emails, phone or over-the-counter services to help answer your questions.

  1. Is there an easier way to compare the different insurers? Does cheaper means better?

DPI products in Singapore are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and include similar features. Beyond pricing, consumers are advised to do their due diligence checks on their choice insurer.

Check out compareFIRST for easy comparison.

  1. Why do I need to complete such a long form?

Would you be a guarantor for someone that you are unsure of? The role of an insurer is akin to a guarantor for you. Prior to sharing your risks, it is important to understand the potential risk level. This will also help to facilitate the claim process in the unfortunate event of death.

  1. Do I really have to read all the fine print?

Small things do matter, and the information is there for a reason. 🙂

  1. Do I need to get critical illnesses (CI) coverage if I already have health insurance?

It depends on what you are already covered for. Critical illness coverage is important because 1) medical expenses is so high and increasing in Singapore 2) Critical illnesses statistics are high and increasing too! Did you know ~15 Singaporeans die of cardiovascular disease and ~35 people are diagnosed with cancer on a daily basis? These sobering statistics by the Singapore Heart Foundation and Singapore Cancer Society respectively are sobering.

If you are planning to get CI coverage, note the policy terms on conditions and stages of critical illnesses. Also, you should note that it may be difficult to buy a CI plan if you are diagnosed with a critical illness.

  1. How does the claim process works?

You can find out more here:

  1. What happens when my policy term ends?

This depends on whether you have purchased a term life insurance or whole life insurance. In the event of the former, you may have the option to renew your policy (premium will be subjected to your age and sum assured). For whole life insurance, you will be covered for a lifetime.


Humanising Insurance

Committed to placing people over policies, Etiqa is a Singapore insurance company owned by Maybank Ageas Holdings. Maybank Ageas is a joint venture between Maybank Group–the fourth largest Banking group in Southeast Asia with more than 22 million customers across 20 countries worldwide, and Ageas –one of Europe’s largest insurance companies with 33 million customers across 16 countries and a history of over 180 years.

Protecting more than 300,000 homes in Singapore since 1961, Etiqa is best known as the appointed insurer for the Singapore Housing Development Board (HDB) Fire Insurance Scheme. Etiqa also provides comprehensive life and general insurance solutions with affordable and transparent insurance premiums. These include motor insurance (including motorcycle insurance), travel insurancehome insurancemaid insurancepersonal accident insuranceinsurance savings planretirement and legacy planning. Etiqa is one of the first insurance companies in Singapore to empower its customers with online insurance, offering innovative, customer-centric experience such as real-time travel delay insurance and usage-based car insurance.

Discover the full range of Etiqa online insurance plans:



All information provided is true at the time of publishing and conditions may have changed since.

This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No 201331905K)
Protected up to specified limits by SDIC

As buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment, an early termination of the policy usually involves high costs and the surrender value, if any, that is payable to you may be zero or less than the total premiums paid.

This content is for reference only. You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Information is accurate as at 30 August 2019.