KUALA LUMPUR: Insurance companies were urged not to increase insurance premium, especially medical insurance, which has become a necessity these days.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) president Datuk Dr N. Marimuthu said insurance companies were not portraying what they were championing, health care protection at a time of need.
“The insurance companies are increasing their medical premiums at the time when not only our nation but the whole world is under the attack of the pandemic Covid-19,” he said in a statement today.
He said the economy of many countries were at stake, including Malaysia. Many Malaysians of all walks of life had lost their jobs and some even had to take substantial pay cut.
According to Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), he said, 2.4 million workers would be laid off their jobs.
Looking at these statistics, it is rather alarming as many will be going through uphill tasks to put food on the table, he said.
“If the insurers are increasing the premium at this juncture, it is akin to rubbing salt into the wound,” he said.
Marimuthu said insurance company would also likely see a drastic increase in life policy lapses as many will not be able to keep up with the premiums.
“Although the moratorium is given for three months, the policy holders have to pay in full after the moratorium.
“With re-pricing and paying in full, it is going to be a double whammy for them,” he said.
Fomca urged Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to postpone any re-pricing exercise so as not to burden the policyholders who were already facing economic hardship.
It would indeed be a great loss, Marimuthu said, if consumers who have been actively advised on the importance of insurance by the agents from the National Association of Life and Takaful, were unable to pay their premiums and eventually their policies lapse; that indeed would be a great waste.
“The government and BNM must intervene to halt re-pricing of the medical insurance premium immediately,” he said.
He sais it was also pertinent to note that the occupancy at hospitals had drastically reduced since the Movement Control Order was imposed, resulting in insurers saving more in hospital costs.
“They have to be more conscientious of the suffering of many Malaysians, especially those in the B40 and M40 categories,” he said.
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