Think Deeper About Your Coverage Against Cancer

This article is written in collaboration with Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. All views expressed in the article are the independent opinions of Read’s editorial policy.

When it comes to illnesses and diseases, cancer is perhaps one of the most talked about in Singapore, and with good reason: 1 in 4 is likely to develop the illness1 . Almost everyone certainly knows a relative or friend afflicted with the condition. Cancer is debilitating and often agonising on its own, and along with it comes a host of financial problems. With rising healthcare costs and living expenses, it is prudent to take steps to mitigate any potential financial trouble cancer could wreak upon us. 

Expenses beyond hospitalisation

Think that having a hospitalisation policy should suffice? Think again. Besides the hefty hospitalisation and treatment costs, there are other needs that will need to be addressed if one gets diagnosed with a severe condition like cancer. One’s cost of living will likely increase significantly as a result of impaired health and may require to hire caregivers to help manage the condition. A person’s fitness and energy levels may also change dramatically after a bout of cancer, leading to lifestyle changes like a reduction of work hours and loss of income as a result. In order to cope with these, one will require financial means outside of what hospitalisation policies can cover for and only a cancer specific insurance plan can address these needs by providing a lump sum payout upon diagnosis of the condition.

Unfortunately, many working adults, particularly millennials, overlook getting sufficient coverage for such situations. Etiqa conducted a survey and found the following misconceptions:

  • People believe they are already well covered by their existing policies or policies that their parents have purchased for them
  • Insurance policies are expensive and they cannot afford it
  • They have other financial priorities other than insurance

Rethinking one’s perspective on insurance

According to Etiqa’s Protection Survey Report 2021, 1 in 4 of Singaporean millennials surveyed does not have a life insurance policy. For those who reported not having life insurance, the most common reasons being that they could not afford the additional expense (36%) and that life insurance is too expensive (31%). The same survey also shows that 3 in 4 millennials tend to overestimate the cost of insurance with 1 in 2 thinking that premiums cost up to 4 times the actual cost.

To that end, Etiqa has developed term products specifically aimed at tackling cancer. Tiq Cancer Insurance, for example, is a term policy that offers 100% payout of the sum insured for all stages of cancer, even for the early stages. Remember when I talked about renewable term? Tiq Cancer Insurance is indeed a yearly renewable term policy which means that the premiums are very affordable particularly for young individuals: it costs less than S$10 a month for a 20-year-old (non-smoking) guy to get a coverage of S$50,000. This makes it excellent for young working adults to protect themselves during their financially productive years at very low cost. 

Essential Cancer Care is also available for those who want extended coverage against cancer. The plan also covers all stages of cancer with a 50% payout of the sum insured for early and intermediate stages and 100% payout for severe stage cancer. What’s unique about this plan is that, upon payout for an early or intermediate stage cancer, the policy will still continue with the remaining 50% sum insured to be payable upon the diagnosis of a severe stage cancer illness (if applicable). What’s more, upon the diagnosis of severe stage cancer, Essential Cancer Care further provides additional monthly payouts of 1% of the sum insured for 12 months to help one better cope with unexpected lifestyle changes due to the condition.

It’s in everyone’s hopes and wishes that we would never experience any of such conditions, but mere hopeful thinking in the absence of precaution does not protect anyone from financial ruin. Given the disruptive nature of cancer and its prevalence, having some additional coverage against it is something that you might wish to consider today. Find out more here

With at least one or two decades away from retirement, millennials should realise that the need for coverage is the greatest while they are currently financially productive, rather than thinking that insurance is more pressing for older people. An older person with a lifetime of savings nearing their retirement does not need income replacement as much as a working adult still amassing their resources, particularly someone sandwiched between ageing parents and young children.

  1. Source: Singapore Cancer Registry 50th Anniversary Monograph (1968 – 2017)

These policies are underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd (UEN: 201331905K).​ This content is for reference only and is not a contract of insurance. Full details of the policy terms and conditions can be found in the policy contract.​ Age means the age at next brithday.

As these products have no savings or investment feature, there is no cash value if the policy ends or if the policy is terminated prematurely. You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you. The information contained on this product advertisement is intended to be valid in Singapore only and shall not be construed as an offer to sell or solicitation to buy or provision of any insurance product outside Singapore.

​These policies are protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC websites ( or

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Information is correct as at 29 March 2022.​

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