Approximately 100,000 Malaysians are diagnosed with cancer every year. And it is estimated that 1 in every 4 will suffer from the disease by the age of 75 years. These numbers are staggering enough even without looking at the medical inflation rate in the country of 10% every year. Thus we at iBanding are always reminding our readers to seriously consider purchasing a medical and health insurance. If you are considering getting one, here are some dos and don’ts about medical and health insurance that you need to know.


The Dos and Don’ts of Medical and Health Insurance

Do: Know exactly what you need

How would you know what you need? Start with your family history and your own pre-existing health conditions. Then look at your lifestyle and habits (hint: do you smoke or drink). Most of us are aware of the risks that we carry, but more often than not we don’t want to think about these things due to their morbid nature. It takes courage to face these issues. But since you have decided that you want to purchase a medical insurance, you might as well be thorough.


Do: Company, product & agent comparison

Now that you have identified your needs, start researching products that suit you. Malaysians have this habit of only speaking to one agent (yes the one recommended by their best friend or sister/ brother). Speak to two, three, four agents, or until you find one that you are comfortable with; who offers a policy that best caters to your needs. 

Meet and talk to agents to learn about different insurances.

Do: Know what’s being covered and what’s not

You don’t want to be choosing a medical policy only to find out that it does not cover what you really need. There are restrictions, exclusions and inclusions that you need to understand. In other words, know exactly what the policy covers, and what it does not. Many people end up getting frustrated at the hospital when they realized that their policy does not cover certain costs. And many accuse their agents of being untruthful when selling the policy to them. Ouch.


Do: Understand that insurance is “intangible”

Some people still don’t acknowledge the importance of medical and health insurance. They see it as an unnecessary expense. And when things get tough, this expense is usually the first one to get cut. While it is important to buy a plan you can afford, it is most crucial to first understand clearly that insurance is not something you purchase to “enjoy” immediately. But it is a security blanket, like the umbrella we keep in the storeroom in case it rains. We all carry a spare tyre in the trunk of our car, but how often do we ever need it? That does not stop us from taking it with us everywhere we go. Same principle applies. You purchase insurance not for now when you are well and healthy. You purchase insurance to enjoy the benefits when you are ill or hurt.

You carry an umbrella for protection when it rains. While you buy insurance to protect you when you are ill.

Don’t: Rush. Take your time

When you finally found the one plan that best suit you, take time to fully understand the policy before buying it. Sit down with your agent and ask him everything you need to know about the policy. You need to completely understand what medical expenses are covered and what are not covered. Those that are not covered are called Exclusions. Also clearly understand the claim procedures so that you can avoid the unnecessary panic attack during an emergency. Not only you end up with better knowledge about the plan you are about to buy, you can also find out how good and patient your agent is.


Don’t: Delay!

Age does not determine one’s health condition. There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t wait for a later age to purchase a medical plan. Medical insurance is much cheaper when you are young compared to when you are older. When you are older, there is a higher chance that you may have diagnosed with some health problems that you need to tell your insurance company. Those health problems will not only increase the cost of your insurance but also may be excluded from your cover. When you are young your medical record is fresh, you can enjoy the lowest price now and even later. Because once you start your medical insurance with one company, they can no longer add exclusions to your policy later.


Don’t: Conceal medical history and pre-existing condition

It’s really nothing funny about this. You may think you can get away with hiding important information just so you can get a lower premium. But insurance companies are smarter than you think. If you are found out, not only your claim will be rejected, you may be sued by your insurer for all the pay-outs they have made on your previous claims. Trust us, this is not a risk worth taking.

Please don’t hide any important information about your medical condition.

Don’t: Buy if you’re unsure

Policy too vague? Don’t buy it. Agent giving you a bad vibe? Don’t buy it from him. Don’t have a good feeling about the whole thing? That’s right. Don’t buy it. There are thousands of agents out there, if you are not 100% happy with the one you met, find another. iBanding’s agent directory has a score of fantastic agents you can reach out to. If you are unsure of a plan, be patient and learn more about other plans. There are many insurance companies offering a variety of products. If you are unsure of a plan, move on to the next one. Don’t settle for something just because it is ‘convenient’.


Like this article? Read about the common mistakes Malaysians usually make when purchasing medical insurance.