PACIFIC Insurance Bhd plans to take advantage of the expertise it has built up over the years in the medical insurance sector, and the strong demand of such products lately, to be a leading player in the country.
“With the escalating costs of medical treatment and consultancy, a lot of people have resorted to some sort of cover,” said chief executive officer Ng Hon Soon in an interview.
“We have been providing medical insurance for quite some time and it is only natural for us to garner a higher market share in the sector.
He said the local medical insurance market was worth about RM400mil, and Pacific Insurance had about RM15mil of the number.
“We have introduced a comprehensive range to cater for the different requirements of the public,” he said, adding that medical insurance market was very much untapped in Malaysia, and that the company would seize the opportunity to garner a wider share of the business.
“We hope to increase our sales of medical insurance to at least RM25mil this year,” he said.
“Medical insurance is not as straightforward as other classes of business like motor or fire, and for that reason, not many insurance companies would make it as their core activity,” he said.
Pacific Insurance currently offers eight medical insurance products ranging from critical illness to hospitalisation and surgical and personal accident insurance cover.
Its critical illness plan, Gold Cross Medi-Help 38, covers 38 major illness including Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and as long as no claim has been made, the yearly policy can be renewed until the insured person reaches the age of 60.
For a RM100,000 plan, a woman aged between 36 and 40 need only pay RM832, and a man RM732.
Ng said the kind of environment we live in today was a major cause of critical illness affecting one in three people.
The most common illnesses were cancer, heart attack and stroke.
“Besides treatment costs, many other incidental expenses will be incurred in caring for a person suffering a critical illness,” he said.
“A medical insurance policy will take care of treatment costs, but Gold Cross Medi-Help 38 will be handy for the other incidental expenses that are not covered.”
Its personal accident plan, Gold-Cross Master Protector, offers six choices ranging from basic coverage to comprehensive coverage.
The product provides worldwide coverage for accidents.
Benefits include lump sum payment for accidental death, a percentage of the capital sum insured in the event of permanent disability due to an accident, bereavement benefit, and also reimbursement for expenses in bringing the insured's body back to Malaysia in the event of accidental death while outside Malaysia.
Another popular plan is Gold Cross Medi-Care, a hospitalisation and surgical plan that covers comprehensive hospital and surgical coverage, kidney dialysis and surgical coverage, and pays double if the insured is hospitalised overseas.
The latest plan, Medi-Major, is a top-up policy which will take up the shortfall when a basic medical policy does not cover the entire hospitalisation and surgical expenses.
Ng said the target market for this product include the self-employed and employees subject to certain limit of benefits.
“We see a lot of potential for this product,” he said, adding that Pacific Insurance would meet with various organisations to introduce the product to their employees.
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