It’s crucial to have the correct insurances that fit your needs. But, with the plethora of insurance policies available, it’s not surprising that insurance is confusing for many individuals. What is the right type to buy? What about the amount? Am I adequately protected?

Everyone wants full insurance coverage for all their assets, life, and health. But with limited cash resources, we need to be more selective about what coverage we get. With insurance premiums increasing, it’s financially wise to understand and get the right mix of insurance to suit your current and growing needs.

Which insurance to buy depends on the relevance, needs, costs, and knowing which life stage you are at. Above all, we always seek those that can give the best value.

But first, what are the insurance coverage options available for an individual?

Types of Insurance Available – An Overview

  • General Insurance: Protects stuff we value. Such as our homes, cars and other property. The most common ones are motor insurance, personal accident, and house owner insurance.
  • Medical & Health Insurance: Usually intended to cover your medical expenses at private hospitals for illnesses and accidental injuries. Common types of medical insurance include:
    • Medical card: Covers hospitalization and surgery costs incurred because of the ailments specified by the policy.
    • Insurance for critical illnesses: The insurer will pay you a lump sum if you are diagnosed with any from a specific list of illnesses as detailed in the policy.
    • Disability Income insurance: It gives you income if you can’t work because of specific reasons.
    • Hospital income insurance: While being treated In the hospital, it will give you a certain amount of money on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Life insurance:  It is to protect an individual’s family financials upon that person’s death. The most common types of plans are:
    • Whole Life Insurance: only pays the insured amount on the demise of the policyholder. Take this up if a person wants to give the best financial support to their families with their death.
    • Term Life Insurance: Coverage is only for a certain period. The insurance company will pay the sum if the policy owner dies during the period. You will not get any payment if you get through this term, regardless of all your premiums paid.

Types of Insurance by Life Stages

As you go through different life stages, you may have different insurance coverage needs. Here is a general guide.

Note: To best identify which insurance coverage options truly suits your specific needs, we recommend you work together with a financial advisor.

  • Child – School-age
    • Medical Insurance: For parents of school-going children, get medical insurance for your child. This is an important priority.
    • Education Insurance: Subject to availability of funds, you can invest in a “save + protect” plan such as education insurance.
  • Young Adult – Starting out/Graduate/Single/Independent/No Dependents
    • Medical Insurance
      • Medical Card: This is a must. Accidents and illnesses don’t recognize age as a barrier.
      • Critical illness: Even the young can suffer an expensive major illness.
      • Disability insurance or income-replacement insurance: At this early stage in your career, your salary is most probably your only income. You must safeguard it from anything that keeps you away from earning a living.
    • Car insurance: In Malaysia, it is compulsory to have car insurance if you own a car.
    • Life:  You’re likely not yet in need of life insurance since you’re single with no dependents. But on the flip side, some may argue in favour of buying life insurance while you’re young and healthy as premiums will be lower OR if you have debts to pay.
  • Newly Married without Children: Marriage calls for a review of your insurance coverage taken when you were single.
    • Life: Life insurance is more crucial now that somebody else is financially attached to you.
    • House owner: A home is likely to be among the biggest investments in your life. As a first-time buyer, ensure adequate insurance coverage at all times. The policy should also cover if one spouse passes on. Though this would not take away the pain of losing a loved one, it will at least lessen the burden of the surviving spouse of worrying over servicing the home loan on their own.

  • Having a Family: A new baby brings new joy and also changes many daily living arrangements in your household. Insurance is one of it.
    • Medical
      • Pregnancy coverage: Insurance coverage may begin as soon as the child develops in the mother’s womb. This will give you some peace of mind if complications arise during pregnancy, or
      • Extensive coverage: It’s wise to have a comprehensive plan that includes coverage for congenital conditions and development disorder.
    • Life 
      • Increase coverage to cater for your child’s upbringing expense, including tertiary education.
      • Consider creating a trust for the children as beneficiaries in case both parents pass on unexpectedly while children are still young.
  • Retired/Empty Nester: At this stage, your needs and priorities may have changed. Perhaps fewer individuals rely on you financially and your loans and debts are now paid off. But, you still need some protection.
    • Long Term Care Insurance
      • This valuable insurance helps cover care in a nursing home, assisted-living facility, even in your own home. You require it because the cost of care is pricey, and it’s not covered by other forms of health insurance.
      • In Malaysia, we have yet to have long-term care insurance. However, if you are concerned about funding long-term care in your golden years, set up a living trust.
    • Disability: You, don’t require disability coverage once you retire.
    • Life: At this point, life insurance need is minimal. Perhaps just enough to provide for any balance liabilities and to your surviving spouse.


We emphasize that these suggestions are only guidelines. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all when it comes to insurance coverage. Instead, each person would have his or her own individual needs to cater for, as such we do strongly recommend speaking with a trusted financial adviser to work out what insurance coverage options are best for you right now.

When choosing insurance coverage, remember to define your budget first and stick to it. Insurance is a tool to protect you from events that adversely affect you financially. Don’t let high premiums take over your life instead. Yet without sufficient coverage, you face the risk of a financial catastrophe. The key is to get only the right types and amounts of insurance at the right time. Work with your financial adviser to pair the right insurance coverage for the right stages of your life.


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So, are you adequately insured?