NTUC FairPrice might be where you go when you’ve got the munchies, but that’s got nothing to do with this article. Sorry, hungry people, but NTUC SNACK is actually a new insurance platform by NTUC Income.
SNACK lets you buy micro-insurance policies from as little as 30 cents. Wait, micro what? Micro-insurance is a type of insurance that has finally made its way to Singapore. It offers an affordable way to get insurance protection in bite-sized portions and to accumulate coverage the more you buy.
Let’s check out how it works.
What is NTUC Income SNACK all about?
Buying insurance policies usually requires some degree of commitment and a certain amount of cash.
For term life, personal accident and critical illness insurance, for instance, you typically need to commit to paying premiums for at least a whole year’s worth of coverage.
That’s where NTUC Income SNACK comes in. SNACK lets you buy the above three types of insurance in smaller doses.
How does it work? In a nutshell, the SNACK app offers insurance coverage when you perform certain everyday activities, like take the bus or go for a walk. These triggers will activate a micro-insurance purchase, and you will pay premiums for these micro-policies starting from as little as $0.30.
Over time, the micro-insurance coverage you have bought will be stacked to determine your coverage amount for an insurance period of 360 days.
How does NTUC Income SNACK work?
The SNACK app lets you buy policies in bite-sized, stackable pieces by linking your policy purchases to certain lifestyle triggers — Transport; Food and drink or Steps.
The app can be linked to platforms like Fitbit, Burpple or EZ-link so it knows when one of these triggers has been set off.
When a trigger has been set off, the app will automatically purchase any micro-policies that you have linked to that activity. Once the activity is over, the app stops the policy purchase and your linked credit or debit card is automatically charged for the insurance coverage you just bought.
The activities don’t have to be directly linked to your need for the insurance. For example, just because an MRT ride triggers a micro-premium doesn’t mean you are only covered during that ride. The triggers are just a way to help you regularly buy and accumulate these small slivers of insurance coverage.
The micro-insurance policies you have bought over time will be stacked up to constitute your total coverage over a period of 360 days.
The following types of insurance are offered by SNACK:
|Type of insurance||Term Life||Personal Accident||Critical Illness|
|Coverage||Up to $200,000||Up to $100,000||Up to $200,000|
|Payout||100% of accumulated coverage upon death, total and permanent disability or terminal illness||100% of accumulated coverage upon accidental death or permanent disability due to accidents2% of accumulated coverage (up to $2,000) reimbursement for medical expenses due to accidental injuries
1% of accumulated coverage (up to $1,000) reimbursement for treatment by TCM practitioner or chiropractor
|100% of accumulated coverage upon diagnosis of one of 36 severe-stage critical illness10% of accumulated coverage (up to $25,000) for angioplasty and other invasive treatment for coronary artery|
|Cost of premium||$0.30, $0.50, $0.70||$0.30, $0.50, $0.70||$0.30, $0.50, $0.70|
|How long you are covered for||360 days||360 days||360 days|
Currently, there are only three triggers as mentioned above. Plans are underway to partner Visa to roll out other triggers in retail, entertainment and groceries so that Visa cardholders can gain coverage when making purchases in these categories.
Grow insurance coverage with SNACK
SNACK lets you buy small amounts of coverage incrementally, which is great for those with limited funds.
For instance, let’s say you want to have critical illness insurance, because you never know when you might get diagnosed with a disease like cancer. The annual premiums for conventional critical illness insurance can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars a year, depending on the plan and your age.
Thanks to SNACK, you don’t have to totally forgo critical illness insurance if you can’t afford the premiums of a regular plan. Since having some protection is better than nothing, you can simply get bite-sized amounts of critical illness insurance through SNACK at a price you can actually afford.
You can also set a weekly cap of up to $50 on how much you are paying for premiums to manage your expenses. This amount can be adjusted in the app should you wish.
How to make a claim
To submit a claim, you must fill in an online form and submit it to Income. This can be done either directly on the STACK app or by logging into their website here. Claims should be made within 30 days.
Once your claim has been processed, you will receive your payouts via PayNow to your bank account.
Is it worth using NTUC Income SNACK?
NTUC Income SNACK is suitable for those who can’t afford full-size term life, critical illness or personal accident policies.
The trigger system doesn’t have much to do with the insurance policies themselves, but rather offers a gamified way to help you accumulate coverage. This seems to have been designed to appeal to a younger audience, but for those who just want to buy a fixed amount of micro-insurance every month might find it annoying.
If you are able to afford conventional insurance policies, it makes more sense to just buy the plans directly from Income rather than try to accumulate more coverage through SNACK as you receive the full amount of coverage from the start.
Micro-insurance policies — what are they and how do they work?
Micro-insurance is basically any type of insurance that can be purchased in an ad-hoc, pay-as-you-go manner. Almost any type of insurance can be sold in micro form.
NTUC Income SNACK is one of the few micro-insurance policy providers available in Singapore at the moment, but the micro-insurance concept is not new and is actually quite popular in some developing countries where many cannot afford regular insurance policies.
Micro-insurance in Singapore – critical illness plan for Grab drivers
COVID-19 has caused adverse impacts on the incomes of many. That is one reason why micro-insurance seems to be gaining more traction here.
Grab drivers will now be able to buy critical illness micro-insurance. The new plan is called Critical Illness: Pay Per Trip and will be offered by GrabInsure in partnership with NTUC Income. Drivers opt in through the Grab driver app and can choose to pay $0.10, $0.30 or $0.50 per trip. The premiums will be automatically deducted from their Grab wallets on each trip.
Conclusion: What’s next in the insurance industry?
If SNACK does well, there’s a good chance that other insurers are going to jump on the bandwagon and offer more micro-insurance policies. Already, NTUC Income says they plan to release more types of insurance on the SNACK platform in the future.
Would you buy micro-insurance? Share your views in the comments!