Picked up this story from Tan Kin Lian’s website.
A consumer was insured under company A for a integrated Shield policy for more than 10 years.
An agent persuaded the consumer to change the Shield insurance to company B saying it was better. The consumer was worried that the change in policy would lead to claim issues in the future. The agent assured that if the policy is accepted after 3 months by company B, there will not be any problems in the future.
In addition, the agent also told the consumer that his record with company A would be retrieved by company B. The consumer finally agreed to make the change. A year later, the consumer went for day surgery for a heart condition and submitted a claim. Company B investigated the claim and found that the consumer had taken medication for hypertension five years ago. No declaration was made on this during the application. Company B refused to pay the claim and offered a revised cover under special terms, excluding medical claims due to hypertension.
The consumer said that he had taken hypertension medication for two weeks but had stopped it after completing the prescribed medication. There was no indication from the doctor that he was diagnosed with hypertension and needed to be on any long term medication. He had told the agent of company B about this medication, but the agent said there was no need to declare it as he was not on long term medication.
In this case, the consumer has been badly advised by the agent.
Switching shield plans can actually be quite dangerous as this example has shown. This is especially so if you have been with one company for a long time.
I usually advise people to stick to the same company once they have taken up an integrated shield plan. The shield plans market is quite competitive and the plans undergo changes quite often. Often, after one insurer adds in some benefits that the rest does not have, the other insurers will follow suit after a while.
Any upgrading of plans (if desired) should be attempted within the same company.