I was asked about a case in which a person had a suspected cataract and may require surgery. But she needed advice on the potential cost of her condition as this will determine the specialist she engage and the hospital involved. She was insured with NTUC Enhanced Incomshield Advantage plan but did not buy a rider. I was not the adviser who sold her the plan.
Assuming she really had cataract, I advised that based on the 90th percentile, the bill size for the day surgery is $3,803 and $1,037 at the Singapore National Eye Center (located in SGH) for private and subsidised patient respectively.
But because her deductible for the insurance for cataract day surgery is $3000, it means that she will not be able to claim most of her medical bills. Thus, it makes more sense to seek subsidized treatment (estimated $1037 at 90 percentile) in order to minimize the medical fee. I advised her to get subsidized rate for her cataract operation if it is possible because there is a high chance of unable to claim from her insurance.
Professional financial practitioners who read my post will immediately recognize where I obtain the above statistics as it is public information on the Internet. But I want to highlight that majority of the financial advisers do not know where to get it and even if they do, will not bother to help their clients – especially if the policy was not sold by them! I want to demonstrate to fellow practitioners and advisers that you can create significant value for your clients by helping them make informed decisions. Selling insurance and getting commissions isn’t the only thing to do. Helping clients make informed decisions is what professionalism is all about.
Many individuals are too busy with their work and family commitments. They do not have time to do research all the time. But when they need the information to make informed decisions, they will not have time to go on Internet and ask Google for help. That is when they can rely on a trusted financial practitioner to assist them in making an informed financial decision.
Of course, most financial advisers reading this will laugh because implied is there is going to be a lot of free work. I did not advocate the need to do free work. But commission is not the only way to make a living. Only financial practitioners who do not rely on commissions can provide such professional service while others have to constantly find commissions.
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