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Singapore: Life insurers change critical illness definitions

Changes to the definitions of critical illnesses (CIs) have been announced by the Life Insurance Association (LIA) Singapore.

The insurers have cited the importance of “clarity and continued relevance” as they revise the standard definitions of 21 severe stage critical illnesses and 14 other critical illnesses to reflect the coverage.

The LIA critical illness framework includes standard definitions for 37 severe stage CIs in total and had previously not been updated since 2014.

Definitions that have changed include “Deafness (Loss of Hearing)” which has been clarified to “Deafness (Irreversible Loss of Hearing)”, with the addition of the word irreversible intending to recognise the possibility that medical advances in the future may mean that hearing can be restored to some level.

Knor Hock Seng, President of the Life Insurance Association Singapore, said: “This round of reviews addresses ambiguities that have arisen due to medical advancements and health trends in the past five years.

"Especially with the rapidly ageing population and rising incidences of chronic illnesses here, regular reviews of the critical illnesses definitions will ensure that critical illnesses products stay relevant with changing times and that the intended scope of coverage is clear to consumers,"

Singapore is the best place in the world for expat families, according to HSBC’s expat survey, being voted as the second-best place overall.

More than one million expats live in Singapore, making up approximately 25 per cent of the population.

All member companies of both the LIA Singapore and the General Insurance Association Singapore will adopt the revised critical illness definitions.