There was another letter to The Straits Times‘ forum page about the level of service offered by one of Singapore’s larger insurance providers. Upon reading the letter, one would either be feeling terrifically sorry for the writer, or be on the floor laughing his head off at the comedy of errors. Here’s how it goes:
Delay after delay in IncomeShield claim (12 Mar 2008)
LAST year, my mother lost her fight against cancer. She was insured under an NTUC Income IncomeShield policy. In mid-October, my NTUC Income insurance agent helpfully put in an IncomeShield claim to cover my mother’s medical costs. The agent personally submitted my mother’s medical bills and death certificate at an NTUC Income service branch.
In early December, I called NTUC Income to ask about the status of the claim but was told its system showed no such claim.
I had to compile all the medical bills again and resubmit them. Until now, NTUC Income still cannot find the original documents. I made a complaint on the NTUC Income website on Dec 12 and requested compensation. The next day, the contact centre replied by e-mail that my concern had been ‘escalated to the relevant department to investigate and revert to your goodself’.
On Dec 29, I e-mailed the contact centre to ask for an update. The next day, the contact centre replied that my concerns had been forwarded to the service quality department for immediate action. After that, someone from service quality called me – and asked me what my complaint was about. So, the two departments had sat on my complaint and done nothing for at least two to three weeks.
On Jan 15, I e-mailed both departments to complain about NTUC Income’s slow processing of my mother’s claim, and its lack of customer service and service quality, and again asked about compensation. Until now, neither has bothered, or dared, to reply.
Next, NTUC Income sent me a notice to renew the policy and pay the insurance premium for my dearly departed mother – four months after she had died. Dated Dec 21, the notice arrived only in January. On Jan 16, my mother’s NTUC Income agent asked NTUC Income to process all outstanding claims, terminate the policy and stop premium deduction. The next day, NTUC Income replied by e-mail that it would take action.
However, my mother’s policy was still renewed (the renewal notice dated Feb 8 arrived only on Feb 28).
NTUC Income has now made partial payment on my mother’s IncomeShield claim. However, I have written to it five times to ask how the amounts paid were calculated, but NTUC Income resists full disclosure.
Leong Kok Choong
Horrible eh? What’s made it worse for me is that I’ve got a life insurance policy with NTUC Income too, like so many other Singaporeans. I wonder if I bit the bullet tomorrow how Ling is going to be the beneficiary of all my death money. I mean, in Mr. Leong’s case, his mother’s passed on and you have NTUC Income still sending letters for premium payments.
I know what I’ll do: Ling’s not so good when it comes to writing big and bombardistic letters (she usually asks me to write them for her haha), so I’ll put together a list of Commonly Used Letters and start writing templates for everyone of them. All she’ll need to do then is to fill in the time and date of passing, erm, event, and off it goes. Easily done.:)