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understanding disability income insurance

Understanding Disability Income Insurance: A Comprehensive Comparison


Disability income insurance provides crucial financial protection in the event of an unexpected disability that prevents you from working. It ensures a steady income stream to support you and your loved ones during challenging times. With various insurance providers offering disability income insurance plans, it’s important to compare their features and benefits to make an informed decision. In this article, we will explore and compare the disability income insurance plans offered by Singlife, AIA, and Great Eastern.

Premium Comparison:

When considering disability income insurance, it’s essential to examine the premiums and the coverage they offer. Let’s compare the annual premiums for different monthly benefit amounts base on the following profile Male, 45ANB, Non Smoker

Monthly Benefit Singlife AIA Great Eastern
$12,000 $2,570.10/year $5,640.00/year $3,276.00/year
$10,000 $2,141.75/year $4,700.00/year $2,730.00/year
$8,000 $1,713.40/year $3,800.00/year $2,224.00/year

Policy Term: All three insurance providers offer coverage until the insured individual reaches the age of 65.

Deferred Period: The deferred period refers to the waiting period before you start receiving benefits. Singlife and Great Eastern have a 3-month deferred period, while AIA has a 2-month deferred period.

Death Benefit: Singlife provides a $5,000 death benefit, while AIA offers 12 times the monthly benefit as the death benefit. GE provides 6 times the monthly total disability benefit as the death benefit.

Payback Benefit: Singlife and GE do not specify a payback benefit. However, AIA offers 2 times the monthly benefit upon the onset of a claim.

Rehabilitation Benefit: Singlife and Great Eastern offer 3 times the monthly total/partial disability benefit as a rehabilitation benefit. AIA provides up to 6 times the monthly benefit for rehabilitation.

Escalation Benefit: Singlife offers an escalation benefit of 3% per annum, starting from the policy anniversary following the date the benefit first became payable. AIA and Great Eastern do not provide an escalation benefit.

Waiver of Premium Benefit: All three insurance providers offer a waiver of premium benefit, meaning that premiums are waived if the insured becomes disabled.

In-Depth Benefit Analysis:

Total Disability Claim Criteria During the Working Period:

During the first 24 months of total disability, Singlife requires the insured to be unable to perform the duties of their own occupation. After this period, if the insured is unable to perform any occupation they are suited for by reason of training, education, or experience, they can continue to receive benefits.

AIA’s claim criteria state that the insured must be unable to perform the duties of their own occupation during the first 24 months of disability. Afterward, they must be unable to perform any occupation they are reasonably suited for by reason of training, experience, or education.

Great Eastern’s claim criteria state that the insured must be totally unable to perform the material duties of their own occupation due to sickness or injury.

Total Disability Claim Criteria During the Non-Working Period:

During the non-working period, Singlife’s policy will continue for 2 years from the date the insured stops working or until the benefit cessation date, whichever is earlier. GE requires the insured to be totally unable to perform at least 2 out of 6 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) without continual physical assistance of another person.

AIA’s claim criteria for the non-working period require the insured to be totally unable to perform at least 1 out of 5 ADLs during the first 24 months of benefit payment. After this period, they must be unable to perform at least 2 out of 6 ADLs to continue receiving benefits.

Partial Disability Claim Criteria:

Singlife offers a partial disability benefit if the insured can return to employment in a reduced capacity, leading to a reduction in pre-disability earned income of more than 25%.

AIA does not distinguish between total disability and partial disability criteria. The same claim criteria apply to both working and non-working periods.

Great Eastern provides a partial disability benefit for the working period if the insured satisfies the claim criteria for that period and has present earnings which are 85% or less of their pre-disability earnings. Similarly, for the non-working period, the insured must satisfy the claim criteria and have present earnings which are 85% or less of their pre-disability earnings.

Claim Payout Limits:

Singlife has a maximum payout limit of $500 for the non-working period. The benefit will increase at a rate of 3% per annum, but it shall not exceed 100% of the selected monthly benefit.

AIA’s claim payout is based on the monthly benefit, either with or without present earnings, depending on whether the insured is receiving remuneration. The monthly benefit will be pro-rated if paid for less than a month.

Great Eastern’s total disability monthly benefit cannot exceed 75% of the insured’s pre-disability earnings during the working period. During the non-working period, the total partial disability monthly benefit cannot exceed 85% of the pre-disability earnings.

Severe Disability and Policy Changes:

Singlife and Great Eastern do not specify a severe disability benefit. However, AIA provides a lump sum payment of 24 times the monthly benefit for severe disability.

In the event of a change in job or country of residence, all three insurers require the insured to inform them. The terms of the policy may be reassessed accordingly.


Choosing the right disability income insurance plan is crucial for protecting your financial well-being in case of disability. Singlife, AIA, and Great Eastern offer different features and benefits. By comparing their premium rates, policy terms, deferred periods, death and payback benefits, claim criteria, partial disability benefits, claim payout limits, and other factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and budget. Remember to consult with a financial advisor to select the most suitable disability income insurance plan for you.

Note: The provided information is based on the available data and may be subject to change. It is advisable to consult the respective insurance providers or their representatives for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

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