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What Types of Insurance do Malaysian Finance Content Creators Have?

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These content creators are known for their financial savviness but what about their own safety nets?

Personal finance is a topic that many Malaysians have begun taking an active interest in recent years, with more and more people looking up ways to maximise their net worth, especially in the wake of the pandemic. This surge of interest is also reflected by the number of personal finance content creators that have emerged and built up sizeable followings of their own.

But while investing in the wide array of products available may be more up their alley, how have they built their own contingency plans in the event of life-changing events? Here’s what some of Malaysia’s most well-known finance content creators have to say about insurance:

Leigh (32 years old) – Dividend Magic

Leigh Dividend Magic personal insuranceSI: What types of non-compulsory insurance do you currently have?
L:
Medical, life, and house insurance.

SI: Which of these is most important to you and why?
L: Medical insurance. My life insurance is the bare minimum as a base policy for medical insurance. I see medical as being the most important in the future and because I have no dependents now, no life  insurance for me. As we all know, the medical inflation rate is crazy and way above the average inflation rate of the economy. I foresee myself having to increase my medical coverage in 10 to 20 years.

SI: What prompted you to purchase your first insurance policy?
L: Financial literacy and with the realisation that medical costs can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars!

SI: What type of insurance do you think every Malaysian should have and why?
L: Medical definitely, please please please get your medical coverage sorted out. As for life insurance, you should consider it if you have dependents. If your investments and savings are sufficient, you might not even need life insurance etc.

SI: Is there a niche form of insurance that you have considered purchasing?
L: No.

Read more from Leigh at dividendmagic.com

Helmi Hasan (35 years old) – Balkoni Hijau

Helmi Balkoni Hijau personal insuranceSI: What types of non-compulsory insurance do you currently have?
HH: I currently have a personal life and medical policy, an additional life and medical policy from my employer, and house insurance. I also used to have annual travel insurance pre-Covid as I travel frequently.

SI: Which of these is most important to you and why?
HH: Medical and travel insurance is super important as I studied in the US. A friend of mine was hospitalised for a broken collar bone in a skiing accident had to fork out at least US$4,000 for his medical bill. Also, as a family man, a home is super important, so you might want to get house insurance and flood coverage since the last flooding event.

SI: What prompted you to purchase your first insurance policy?
HH: My mother asked me to buy insurance to follow in her footsteps. I started with investment-linked life insurance. But after I had kids, I needed to readjust my insurance plans. For me, I only want to get insurance coverage (without the investment part).

SI: What type of insurance do you think every Malaysian should have and why?
HH: Medical, life, and house should be mandatory for all. Also, all Malaysians MUST have extreme weather insurance coverage (floods etc).

SI: Is there a niche form of insurance that you have considered purchasing?
HH: When I was working in Singapore, there was something called “lifestyle insurance” where if you are laid off from your job, it can help to pay your salary for a few months. I have yet to see such insurance in Malaysia (besides PERKESO) and would like to consider one.

Also, as a YouTube content creator, I invest in expensive camera gear. I want to purchase camera/tech insurance as it’s normal to have this in the US.

Read more from Helmi at balkonihijau.com or subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Suraya Zainuddin (33 years old) – Ringgit Oh Ringgit

Suraya Zainuddin Ringgit Oh Ringgit personal insuranceSI: What types of non-compulsory insurance do you currently have?
SZ: I have medical, critical illness and personal accident insurance.

SI: Which of these is most important to you and why?
SZ: In my early 20s, I thought medical card was the most useful, since I didn’t want to burden my family with hospital bills in case anything happens to me. Now in my 30s, I appreciate critical illness insurance more, especially after knowing the best time to get it is before having serious illnesses. Otherwise, you’ll be considered to have pre-existing conditions and the insurance won’t cover it.

SI: What prompted you to purchase your first insurance policy?
SZ: I heard ‘I wish I got insurance’-type advice one too many times, especially on the personal finance-related forums I used to frequent. Something about hearing complete strangers’ regret over not doing certain actions in their youth that would have greatly benefit them in old age made me determined to get my insurance situation sorted out.

SI: What type of insurance do you think every Malaysian should have and why?
SZ: Different types of insurance cover different types of risks, therefore there is no one type that is a blanket ‘must have’ for all.

I have two opinions when it comes to Malaysians and insurance. One is we should not pretend that comprehensive insurance coverage is not expensive, and out of reach for many Malaysians in the M40 and B40 category (and even for some in the T20 category as well). According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the median salary for Malaysians in 2020 is RM2,062. Paying for life, medical, critical illness, personal accident, house and car insurance with suitable sum assured can easily reach RM1,000 per month. The maths simply does not add up. Malaysians should be compensated better to be able to afford insurance.

Secondly, the irony of insurance is it is the most important for the people who cannot afford it. While there are now government programmes like Perlindungan Tenang specifically for the B40 community, take up rate is low. Rather than spending so much time and money and effort in educating about the usefulness of the tool, I wish it was implemented on an opt-out rather than opt-in basis, so the coverage is automatic for the people who need it. Alternatively, take-up rate may also be improved if insurance is added as a requirement for getting specific government services, such as cash handout.

SI: Is there a niche form of insurance that you have considered purchasing?
SZ: I have considered pet insurance before.

Read more from Suraya at ringgitohringgit.com

Chin Yi Xuan (28 years old) – No Money Lah

Chin Yi Xuan No Money Lah personal insuranceSI: What types of non-compulsory insurance do you currently have?
YX: I have life, medical, and critical illness insurance.

SI: Which of these is most important to you and why?
YX: All of them are equally important as they act as financial protection for me and my family under different circumstances in life. Life insurance pays when I pass away. Medical insurance pays if I am hospitalised. Critical illness comes in as income replacement if I get illnesses like cancer.

SI: What prompted you to purchase your first insurance policy?
YX: I upgraded my policy as there was a transition in my life from being a student to a working adult. I needed more comprehensive coverage in line with new commitments and rising medical costs.

SI: What type of insurance do you think every Malaysian should have and why?
YX: Everyone should get a medical card and critical illness protection in event where one is hospitalised and/or down with illness like cancer. Especially for people that have commitments and family, best to get life protection to help ease the burden of their loved ones when they pass away.

SI: Is there a niche form of insurance that you have considered purchasing?
YX: No.

Read more from Yi Xuan at nomoneylah.com

Ryan Lee Chun Hoe (31 years old) – Bujang and Broke

Ryan Lee Bujang and Broke personal insuranceSI: What types of non-compulsory insurance do you currently have?
RL: I got myself life, medical and house insurance at various stages of life.

SI: Which of these is most important to you and why?
RL: Personal insurance is the most important to me because of unpredictable situations that may occur which I have no control of, such as accidents or health threatening diseases. Insurance may help to reduce the financial burden if I face hefty bills during the recovery phase.

SI: What prompted you to purchase your first insurance policy?
RL: I was late to buy my own personal insurance as you can actually pay a cheaper premium before you turn 25 if I am not mistaken. Around the age of 27 years old, I started to take adulthood and self-reliance seriously whereby if I happened to be on the hospital bed, will I be able to pay my bills? Would I want to seek help from my family members who are saving money for their retirement or medical bills? Hence, after giving it some thought, I personally did not want to trouble them which made me buy my first personal insurance.

SI: What type of insurance do you think every Malaysian should have and why?
RL: Medical insurance because operations and hospital accommodation are expensive, which could easily burn your hard-earned savings. The last thing you want is the hospital chasing you to pay your bills before they decide to treat you; we can’t blame them for this because that is what keeps their operation running.

SI: Is there a niche form of insurance that you have considered purchasing?
RL: Not at the moment; buying insurance is subjective as it is supposed to solve the problems that you are facing in life without much worries.

Watch more from Ryan on his YouTube channel.

Gracie (30 years old) – Ringgit Freedom

gracie ringgit freedom personal insuranceSI: What types of non-compulsory insurance do you currently have?
G: Mainly life and medical insurance.

I didn’t opt for mortgage insurance but instead, I purchased life insurance with sufficient cover to offset my mortgages as it provides greater flexibility at lower cost. I also added an additional buffer for families to have additional pocket money when I pass on.

As for the medical insurance, I also added some accelerated critical illness payout for myself in case of severe illness or major surgery, avoiding potential dents to my cash flow and emergency fund.

SI: Which of these is most important to you and why?
G: Quite frankly, both are equally important to me but if I really have to choose, I’ll pick the medical insurance with accelerated critical illness payout. If I were to be unfortunately affected by critical illness which affects my employability and disrupts my income (both from hefty medical bills and the lack of paychecks) – the insurance will definitely be a blessing for myself and my family since the large sum of payout via life insurance is only meaningful for my family members upon my death, not myself.

SI: What prompted you to purchase your first insurance policy?
G: When I signed up for a mortgage for our first family home, I had to purchase the life insurance on the same year to offset my mortgage loan, since my mom wouldn’t be able to service the mortgage loan upon my passing, hence I needed to ensure that she has a place to stay even if I moved on.

I relied only on my company’s medical insurance for the first few years until my salary grew enough for me to afford a proper medical card (whilst not overstretching my monthly budgets).

SI: What type of insurance do you think every Malaysian should have and why?
G: Personally, I think it differs on a case-by-case basis as everyone is exposed to different risks. But as a bare minimum, I would recommend getting a basic medical card whilst we’re still healthy with sufficient coverage proportionate to our risk appetite/level.

Leverage insurance can also be considered as a form of mitigation for risks we cannot afford to have – but be very careful not to fall onto the trap of over-insuring ourselves especially for risks that we can easily afford to take, since over-insuring will just do more harm than good on our cash flows.

SI: Is there a niche form of insurance that you have considered purchasing?
G: No.

Read more from Gracie at ringgitfreedom.com

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