The Progress Of Critical Illness Insurance In East Asia

By: Mike Armstrong
Critical illness cover appeared in East Asia during the year 1988. Since then, it may have been a success for the market. Besides, countries such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan all form part of the East Asian insurance industry. Companies in nearly all these countries may have been marketing critical illness cover successfully. Let’s have a look at the development of critical illness cover in East Asia.

According to Pakshong CS and Nieder D, Nov1997, probably all insurance companies may have already launched their first critical illness policy during the mid 1990’s. Critical illness cover may not have been offered only by life insurers but by health insurers also. Health insurers offered critical illness cover with the aim to provide additional benefits on top of their original policies. Moreover, around 40 percent of work carried out in connection with critical illness insurance from 1994-1995 may have stemmed out from policies in force for a year. As a result, critical illness cover started to become successful.

In the year 1996, more than one million critical illness policies could already be counted in East Asia.

Critical illness claims rates may have also been recorded for both men and women. Let’s have a glance.

Around 42 critical illness claims were made by men aged 20-24 followed by 82 aged 25-29, 95 aged 30-34, 146 aged 35-39 and 215 aged 40-44. Further analysis carried out showed around 160 critical illness claims had been made by men aged 45-49, 99 aged 50-54, 44 aged 50-59 and finally 8 aged 60-64.

As for women, the critical illness claim rates varied as compared to that of men. About 48 claims had been made by women age 20-24 followed by 82 aged 25-29, 162 aged 30-34, 219 aged 35-39 and 214 aged 40-44. additional research showed that around 274 critical illness claims had been made by women aged 40-44, 220 aged 45-49, 100 aged 50-54, 55 aged 55-59 and finally 12 aged 60-64.

If the results are analysed carefully it could be noted that critical illness claims among women may be much higher in contrast to that of men. For example, 73 more critical illness claims for women could be noted if the age group 35-39 is compared for both men and women. Furthermore, The Life Insurance Association of the Republic of China conducted the "Dread Disease Experience Study 1996". This research aimed most at studying the Taiwanese experience of critical illness cover. Results may have been positive. Around 2.4 million critical illness policies may have been sold in a year with more than 2,108 critical illness claims successfully paid. The total sum insured may have been around TWD 1.24 billion.

The East Asian insurance market had been more prolific than markets like Canada and USA. Though introduced during 1995, the progress of critical illness insurance in the East Asian market had been remarkable. The 4 countries that constitute the East Asian market may have also led to the success of critical illness cover collectively.

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