Applying for and claiming insurance as a transgender person can be tricky, as many insurance policies treat male and female applicants differently in terms of premiums and coverage. Right now, most if not all insurance companies in Singapore also do not cover transition-related costs.
This guide was written by a financial adviser on our team. We hope it will help answer some of the questions you may have.
- Obtaining Insurance Before Transition
- Obtaining Insurance During or After Transition
- Application Process
- Updating Particulars
Application for insurance can be done as per normal, and your application will be treated as standard life if you do not have any physical or mental health issues. Any such issues will need to be underwritten accordingly. If you have been officially diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, you should mention this in your application. If you have no official diagnosis, there is technically no need for you to declare that you are transgender. You may still wish to do so if you plan to transition soon.
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During or After Transition
When you sign off on an insurance application form, you will need to agree to a clause confirming that the information you have given is true and complete, and that you have not intentionally withheld any material facts (facts which are likely to affect the insurance application) to the best of your knowledge. The form will also state that the insurer has the right to request for your medical information from any medical or insurance company or organisation. By signing off, you have confirmed and accepted the contents of the document (application).
An insurance policy is a legally binding contract. If you have withheld any material fact, any issued policy may not be considered valid. This means that the insurer has the right to terminate your policy due to the non-disclosure, and they have the right to refuse any claim that you attempt to make on the policy.
Many transgender people fear the discrimination that they may face if they were to disclose their trans status, but most of the time the discrimination comes from the agent and not the insurer. I would strongly advise everyone (trans or not) to declare their health status truthfully to avoid any potential problems that may arise during a claim. This would including mentioning if you are on HRT. Insurance is purchased to ensure that you receive a payout should misfortune befall you. The last thing you need in such a situation is to worry about whether your claim would be approved.
If there are any changes to your health or occupation, or if you have started participating in any high risk activities (e.g. mountain climbing, car racing, scuba diving, etc) between the insurance application and inception date, you will also have to inform the insurer, and the insurer will review your proposal based on the new information. Even if the insurer had approved your application before you updated your information, the policy may be rendered void.
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During the application, your financial adviser will go through your financial goals and needs with you to determine what plan is best suited for you. Once you have chosen a suitable plan, you will need to fill in a health declaration form. You will also be asked to provide any medical reports if you have any, and may be asked to go for a medical check-up.
Depending on your health status:
- the policy may be issued on standard terms
- a loading may be imposed (this means you’ll have a higher premium)
- there may be an exclusion (some conditions may not be covered)
- the application may be declined
- the application may be deferred
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If there are any changes to your contact details, name, legal sex or occupation (applicable to accident plans), please inform your adviser or insurer as soon as possible. You may be asked to submit relevant documents like your NRIC or deed poll.
For life insurers, underwriting is usually done upon inception. Any change in your health or legal sex after the inception of the policy will not affect the terms for most policies, unless there was non-disclosure during the application process. For general insurers, underwriting is usually done upon claims, and any changes in health or legal sex after the inception of the policy may affect the claims.
You are advised to check with your adviser or insurer regarding the terms of your policy.
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