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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Hang Seng Insurance paves way for a hassle-free retirement

Hang Seng Insurance’s diverse range of products provide customer-centric service for all ages and backgrounds.

With rising living costs, longer life expectancies and a rapidly aging population, it’s no wonder that majority of Hong Kong people are wracked with worry over how to secure an adequate retirement fund. Indeed, it is never too early or too late to start planning for the ideal retirement, whether you’re at the peak of your career, or about to take a midlife leap.

A recent government survey showed that the average monthly spending of a retired couple household ranges from HK$6,600 to HK$38,300. MPF assets and family contribution can render only partial support, retirees need to accumulate substantial savings before they can live in a self-reliant manner.

The same survey revealed that Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) assets are inadequate to cover retirement needs. On average, a scheme member only had HK$144,000 in MPF assets, which could meet less than two years of spending of a retired couple household. In other words, even with family support and MPF assets, elderly persons still need to accumulate substantial saving before retirement.

As living standards continue to rise, more and more people are realizing their desire for a comfortable retirement. Rising prices lessen the value of MPF assets, with local inflation rising from -0.4% to 4.4% over the past decade. To beat inflation and realise the ideal retirement life, a prudent financial plan with both wealth accumulation and protection features is necessary.

Whilst the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation (HKMC) is planning to launch the Life Annuity Scheme in mid-2018, only citizens aged 65 or above are eligible for this program. This means that those who require earlier or more flexible retirement planning methods need to look for other products which can support their needs.

Zoning in on retirement and wellness
This is where Hang Seng Insurance provides an edge. Backed by decades of experience and financial strength, Hang Seng Insurance’s diverse range of products provide customer-centric service for all ages and backgrounds.

For more flexible retirement planning such as early retirement, one may consider insurance annuity plan. Hang Seng Insurance offers different kinds of annuity plans with protection elements, such as Accidental Death Benefits, Unemployment Benefits and Terminal Illness Benefits. Some plans may also allow you to opt for Cancer Benefits, Wavier of Premium Benefits, and Payor’s Benefits to suit different needs of clients. Some plans embedded with Annual Dividends and Terminal Dividends for boosting wealth accumulation. The age limit for application is comparatively flexible, which fits clients with different retirement plans.

Retirement insurance plans are vital to help clients build up wealth through comparatively steady asset accumulation whilst offering capital and life protection, paving the way for a hassle-free retirement life. At the same time, family members will enjoy much-needed protection whilst legacy planning can be laid down on a solid track. When a medical protection plan is in place as well, clients will be able to enjoy utmost protection after retirement.

Hang Seng Insurance offers universal life insurance products targeting different segments that the sum insured can be flexibly adjusted according to different needs of customers at different stages of their lives, creating an integrated solution covering life protection, wealth accumulation and legacy planning altogether.

For health, Hang Seng Insurance provides enhanced protection products with different levels of protection to cater for different customer needs. PreciousLife Critical Illness Life Insurance Plan, for example, provides coverage for 128 early to late-stage critical illnesses that safeguard against the strike of critical illness. It also offers Severe Child Illness Benefit(1) providing critical illness protection for life insured under 18 years of age, and allowing parents to provide care to their children.

A diverse product portfolio
At present, Hang Seng Insurance offers various products ranging from education funds, retirement planning, mortgage protection, legacy planning and critical illness protection to provide a wealth-and-health total solution for customers who have different insurance needs. Hang Seng Insurance’s plans provide choices on the payment term and cash withdrawal options to better cater for the needs of different individuals for retirement savings, protection and legacy planning. Some plans also allow the life insured to adjust the sum insured and pay unscheduled premiums or withdraw cash from the policy account when needed, giving him or her greater financial flexibility in the long term.

Some supplemental benefits are also available, such as the waiver of premium on disability benefit and the payor’s benefit, which can help ensure the continuity of the policy despite any sudden changes. Besides offering a wide range of life insurance products, Hang Seng jointly provides medical protection schemes with the health insurance specialist in Hong Kong.

In this year, Hang Seng Insurance’s products focused on savings plans. But with the evolution of customer lifestyles and in consideration of the uncertainty of the investment market and global economy, customers were requesting products that suit their goals in different life stages.

For such, Hang Seng Insurance went on to launch annuity insurance products which provide guaranteed interest and life insurance coverage with flexible payment terms. Its product launches over the years mirror the company’s keen attention to the needs of its customers, as well as market demand.

In 2006, in response to the public concern about health and medical protection due to the attack of SARS and swine influenza, Hang Seng Insurance launched a series of protection plans that provide critical illness protection, followed by a corporate term life plan in 2008. Meanwhile, to cater to the insurance needs of the elderly, the company launched SavourLife II Annuity Life Insurance Series and Exquisite Universal Life Insurance Series for retirement and legacy planning.

How is Hang Seng Insurance able to provide these? As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hang Seng Bank Limited (“Hang Seng Bank”), Hang Seng Insurance is able to leverage on its parent’s competitive edge to serve its customers.

Leverage on strength
With the highest rated banking services in Hong Kong for 12 consecutive years(2), Hang Seng Bank brings not only comprehensive services to customers, but also convenient channels for quick and easy bank access. Customers are confident of the bank’s credibility and competence in its long history of outstanding service for over 80 years in Hong Kong. As a testament to this, Hang Seng Bank has been named as “Best Domestic Bank (Hong Kong)” by the Asiamoney in 2017. Hang Seng Bank was also perceived as the Most Recommended Bank by customers in Hong Kong according to the TNS Banking Study 2016(3), and as a Trusted Banking Partner for over half of Hong Kong’s population.(4)

Taking advantage of Hang Seng Bank’s extensive branch network, Hang Seng Insurance is able to provide insurance services to customers in a more convenient manner. A capable and competent team of professional relationship managers stationed throughout the branch network are readily available to formulate tailor-made insurance solutions based on different customer needs. Further, iPoint Sales & Service Centres located in convenient locations allows customer representatives to serve customers who are only available outside office hours, specifically until 7:30 p.m., with some locations even operating on Sundays.

What’s next for Hang Seng Insurance?
As a true innovator, Hang Seng Insurance is working hard in the area of product innovation: developing products in response to customers’ changing needs and market trends. It is also able to offer customers a wide range of products with premium services before and after the application of plans. The current trend is for consumers to go digital for banking and insurance services. Therefore, Hang Seng Insurance will launch a new online insurance program.

The new program allows an easy, straightforward online application for life insurance policies, which means that clients will no longer be constrained by traditional face-to-face application channels. The program ensures that clients can get the life insurance protection that suits for their needs, whilst at the same time improving efficiency and speed.

Finally Hang Seng Insurance expects to be busy developing and executing several expansion and growth plans. For mainland customers applying for policies in Hong Kong, Hang Seng Insurance plans to roll out product and service enhancements to meet the uptrend market coming from one of the world’s economic powerhouses. In particular, the focus will be put on legacy planning products to cater to the rising demand due to the boom after the economic reform, and to address the concern about the uncertainty of succession planning policy in mainland China. Hang Seng Insurance is also working on products and services which would assist mainland clients with their retirement planning needs. For Hong Kong’s own high-net-worth market, meanwhile, the company will continue to develop tailor-made services and products.
At the end of the day, Hang Seng Insurance aims to be a total solutions provider—providing an integrated insurance package that best serves its customers. Through its products and services, Hang Seng Insurance hopes to help customers arrive at the right product to suit their concerns, with the goal of achieving peace of mind and better living. For Hang Seng Insurance, this means minimizing interruption brought by the unexpected, and maximizing future possibilities, all for a better future for its customers.

Notes:
(1) Claims for Severe Child Illness Benefit must fulfil respective definitions together with the terms and conditions as stated in the Plan’s policy schedule. For details, please refer to policy provision.
(2) According to TNS Banking Study 2005-2016, amongst personal banking customers of the 8 major banks in Hong Kong.
(3) According to TNS Banking Study 2016, amongst personal banking customers of the 8 major banks in Hong Kong.
(4) Based on the provisional estimate of Hong Kong Population aged 18 or above in end 2016 released by Census and Statistics Department and the number of Hang Seng Bank Customers aged 18 or above holding HKID card of the same period.

Remarks:
The above information is a product summary of information for reference only. Please refer to the product leaflet/ flyer and contract for the detailed coverage, exact terms and conditions and exclusions of the relevant life insurance plans.
The above designated Life Insurance Plans are underwritten by Hang Seng Insurance Company Limited (“Hang Seng Insurance”). Hang Seng Insurance is authorized and regulated by the Insurance Authority of the HKSAR. Hang Seng Bank Limited is an insurance agent authorized by Hang Seng Insurance.
  

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