Insurance fees to go up by 6%

[The Star 8 March 2015] By Christina Chin

Travel insurance new

PETALING JAYA: Staying healthy will cost even more as medical insurance fees, charges and premiums, go up next month.

Although life insurance is exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), policyholders must pay at least 6% more for medical and health-related insurance coverage.

The National Association of Malaysian Life Insurance Fieldforce and Advisers has appealed to the Government to exempt “necessity policies” covering hospitalisation and critical illnesses from the GST.

Otherwise, many may surrender their policies or lapse in their premium payments, said its president Victor Kho Chui Ing.

“GST will be an additional cost for individual policies that are coming up for renewal.

“If a family of five with a medical policy pay a total of RM7,500 per annum, the additional cost to them would amount to RM450 yearly.”

He said many prospective clients and those planning on topping up their existing policies had adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude.

“They want to gauge the GST impact on their finances first because the new tax applies not only to insurance but to most of their daily expenses,” Kho said.

He warned that it was crucial for policyholders to understand that GST would impact all traditional and investment-linked policies which had medical, critical illness or personal accident benefits attached.

For traditional policies, the GST is imposed on the premium. For investment-linked policies, it is charged on the insurance charges.

For investment-linked policies, insurance charges escalated with age because of higher insurance charges, he said.

“For example, at age 35, insurance charges for the medical benefit alone is about RM422. At age 65, it rises to almost RM2,500 – exceeding the RM1,176 annual premium paid for the medical coverage alone,” he said, adding that some policyholders above age 60 might pay up to RM5,000 in annual insurance charges.

“With a 6% GST imposed on insurance charges, many senior citizens may potentially lose their coverage or need to top up premiums to sustain their coverage.”

Kho urged policy holders to check their policy statements regularly.

“For investment-linked policies, the annual premium may not increase as the GST and insurance charges are deducted from the policy’s cash value, thus eroding the accumulated cash value meant for retirement, children’s education and sustaining future premiums.

“You need to keep tabs on the cash value or you may wake up at age 60 without a retirement fund.”

He said the majority of more than two million life insurance policy holders nationwide had investment-linked and traditional policies with attached medical coverage.

Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), in a statement, said fees and charges imposed on investment-linked policies and critical illness, medical and health and personal accident premiums were subject to GST.

LIAM advised all policyholders to contact their insurance companies to find out the amount payable from April 1.

General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) chairman Chua Seck Guan said policyholders were required to pay the additional 6% as all general insurance policies were subject to GST “unless the risks are located outside Malaysia”.

“However, general insurance premiums will remain the same,” he said.

A Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad spokesman said there was no GST for life insurance products like endowment, child, education and annuity.

TM, TT dotCom to install submarine cable

TM, TT dotCom to install submarine cable

3 MARCH 2015 @ 9:30 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and TT dotCom Sdn Bhd (TTdC) are set to jointly install a submarine cable connecting Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

Dubbed ‘Sistem Kabel Rakyat 1Malaysia (SKR1M), the project was awarded by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission MCMC to TM through a Public-Private Partnership arrangement between both parties.

Following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between TM and TTdC today, a SKR1M Consortium would be set up for SKR1M development.

“Upon the signing of the MoU and the formation of SKR1M Consortium, the parties shall proceed with the tender exercise to determine the preferred technology partner to supply, deliver and implement SKR1M,” TM said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia.

During the MoU period, TM said the parties would also develop the principles for the construction and maintenance agreement (C&MA), where it would establish the rules governing the implementation and management of SKR1M.

The term of duration of the MoU is three months or it will expire upon execution of the C&MA, whichever is earlier.

In another note, TM said its wholly owned subsidiary, Tulip Maple Bhd has received the Securities Commission’s approval for the proposed establishment of the Sukuk programme.

The Sukuk programme shall provide TM with the flexibility to manage its fund-raising requirements and to have an alternative access to debt funding, in addition to conventional bank borrowings.

The Sukuk proceeds would be utilised by the company for capital expenditure and business operating requirements or as set forth in the pricing supplement for the relevant series, where such utilisation shall be Syariah-compliance. — BERNAMA

PropertyGuru eNewsletter: Plan for new home buyers

PropertyGuru eNewsletter: Plan for new home buyers

People looking to buy their first home within the next year should have a plan in mind and it’s important to have a plan in place to ensure you’re on the right track for qualifying for a mortgage. While buyers cannot control variables such as interest rates, house prices and qualifying guidelines, they can educate themselves about factors that they can control, like credit score, down payment and housing needs and wants.

To come up with a one-year plan, a buyer will have to talk to a mortgage broker or lender who can help figure out the right type of home loan as well as how much can be borrowed based on the buyer’s financial situation.The mortgage pro can also help the buyer review his credit history and make changes that will place the buyer on a better position to acquire a home. Buyers should also have a target price range and they should also have an idea of where they want to live – whether they want to live in a spread-out place or near a certain transit line or school district.

Buyers should also work with the right agent.

If you’re working with an agent who’s going to push you into making a decision when you’re not ready, you’re probably not working with the right agent. Be happy you sat down with them a year ahead of time rather than three months ahead of time because you can cross them off your list. Having an agent who is familiar with the buyer’s targeted area will be of much help in finding homes that are not listed. Buyers who want to shop online can research homes, neighbourhoods and agents on real estate websites. However, a caveat is in order.

Early in the stages of looking for a home, online is a great place to start. You get a good general sense. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of bad information on real estate websites. There is possibly a lot of false hope there. Realize that not everything you see online is 100 percent accurate.

You can never fine-tune your search too early. Having a good idea of the type of neighbourhood you’re looking for and the qualities within that neighbourhood that are preferences versus must-haves is really important.

Source: Property Guru News Letrer


Takaful Concept

Takaful means ‘guaranteeing each other’ in Arabic, it is an Islamic system of mutual insurance built around the concept of ‘cooperation’. Cooperative contributions are made with the intention of helping other participants face with difficulties and eliminating the resemblance of Takaful to gambling and exploitation. Each participant contributes to a fund to cover expected claims, while also benefiting from a share of investment returns.


SIM Kad Mobily for Umrah & Hajj – 2015/1436H


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