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Great Eastern offers critical illness plan insuring three generations in market first

INSURER Great Eastern has introduced a critical-illness term plan that protects three generations in a family within a single policy - the first such plan in Singapore.

The insurance arm of OCBC Bank said in a press statement on Thursday that the product is meant to ease the financial burden on what is known as the sandwich generation – those who have ageing parents and children to care for.

The plan is “timely”, given the fast-ageing population in Singapore, the insurer said.

The new Great Family Care plan allows the sandwich generation, as the primary insured, to protect their family under the same policy with no medical underwriting required.

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The plan’s Parent Protect rider provides coverage against major cancers, Alzheimer’s disease or severe dementia and Parkinson’s disease for the parents of the life assured.

Each parent can be covered up to S$100,000 till the age of 100, “with no questions asked”, Great Eastern said.

It also includes complimentary coverage for all current and future children of the life assured up till the age of 18, with each child covered for up to S$100,000 against 53 critical illnesses and 25 juvenile conditions such as severe asthma and epilepsy.

One in four working adults in Singapore is part of the sandwich generation; they face financial and emotional strain as their limited time and resources are spread over the needs of their children and ageing parents, which weighs on their savings and financial planning, Great Eastern said.

Many of their parents, who are part of the Merdeka and Pioneer generations, may find it difficult to get critical illness insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, said Colin Chan, managing director of group marketing at Great Eastern.

“Insurance protection for this vulnerable segment will provide a much-needed financial cushion… should the worst happen,” Mr Chan said.

For a limited period, existing Great Eastern policyholders, including those who hold only Dependants Protection Scheme or ElderShield plans, can also purchase the Great Family Care plan without any medical underwriting.

Great Eastern shares were trading up seven Singapore cents at S$25.92 as at 4.25pm on Thursday.