25 April 2022
SINGAPORE – Manulife Singapore and DBS Bank today announced the launch of their co-developed insurance starter plan, ProtectFirst. Designed specifically to help young Singaporeans2 kickstart their protection journey affordably at a lower premium, customers can choose from three personas that offer varied coverage across the big 5 critical illnesses (including early stage)1, life protection and serious accidents.
The three personas – Advocate, Adventurer, and Defender – are created to suit different financial needs and lifestyles. Depending on the customers’ preference, they can select a plan to focus more on any of the three key benefits: big 5 critical illnesses (including early stage), life protection and serious accidents coverage. ProtectFirst is available for DBS/POSB customers to purchase exclusively via the DBS digibank app or internet banking.
“In conversations with our customers, critical illness, life protection, and hospitalisation emerged as the top areas of insurance coverage among young Singaporeans aged 35 and below,” said Darren Thompson, Chief Customer Officer and Chief Product Officer, Manulife Singapore. “Supported by the Manulife Asia Care Survey3 findings, the same group also revealed a stronger inclination to purchase insurance this year. With the launch of ProtectFirst in partnership with DBS, our customers can get their protection coverage right from the start and select a plan that best prioritises their coverage according to their needs and preferences. ProtectFirst is designed to be affordable for first-time insurance buyers, so hopefully, this encourages our younger customers who may be worried about affordability to take the first step towards getting themselves protected.”
According to the Life Insurance Association, close to 42% of Singaporeans and Permanent Residents aged between 20 and 34 do not have a single life insurance or critical illness policy. Findings by DBS Bank suggest that the primary challenge in taking the first step is the need to consider multiple factors, resulting in inertia. These include having difficulty to accurately right-size the amount of coverage needed for each type of insurance, being unsure which protection plan to purchase first as a priority, how much budget to allocate for insurance premiums, and when to start buying insurance policies.
“In an environment where inflation and the cost of living are rising, it is important that we help our younger customers with their protection needs in the most cost-efficient manner,” said Evy Wee, Head of Financial Planning, Investments and Insurance Solutions, DBS Bank. “When many of us first started our careers, we didn’t earn much, and medical expenses can potentially be a huge financial burden. This is why we are focused on getting our customers covered with suitable insurance early, and enjoy lower premiums as well.
“When it comes to financial planning, which includes ensuring adequate insurance coverage, consumers should also be mindful to not put all of their “eggs” in one basket. In this case, they should avoid putting a disproportionate amount of their money into investments to grow their wealth at the expense of being under-insured, which then puts them at risk of having insufficient protection when unforeseen circumstances strike. The key here is to achieve a balance, and we would advise them to first evaluate their protection gaps either via our digital AI-powered financial planning tool DBS NAV Planner, or consult with our wealth planning managers to find out more.”
Last June, the bank polled 500 young adults on their views on financial planning and personal finance habits and found that more than half of the respondents view insurance premiums as an opportunity cost. While insurance and investments are both important, this group indicated that they would start with investing first due to a lower cost of entry given limited funds. “This is also why we introduced ProtectFirst, so that our young adult customers have an affordable option to consider,” added Wee.
Customers who sign up for ProtectFirst are encouraged to review their protection needs regularly in view of changing lifestyle and life-stage needs so as to ensure adequate coverage.
THE FIRST STEP TO KICKSTART YOUR PROTECTION JOURNEY AS A YOUNG ADULT IN SINGAPORE
1. Comprehensive coverage
Enjoy comprehensive coverage across three essential areas:
a. Death Benefit
b. Critical Illness Benefits: covering these big 5 critical illnesses6 – cancer, stroke, heart attack, liver failure and major organ transplant, inclusive of early stages of a critical illness
c. Serious Accident Benefits: Hospitalisation for minimum six consecutive days due to accident and requiring surgery; Death or Total Permanent Disability due to accident
2. Affordable minimum monthly premium
Get insured for health coverage for as low as S$5 per month.
3. Flexibility of coverage weightage
Available in three combinations, determine which version of the plan works best for you based on your priorities:
a. ProtectFirst Advocate: Prioritises Critical Illness, with lower coverage for Life Protection and Serious Accident
b. ProtectFirst Adventurer: Prioritises Serious Accident coverage, with lower coverage for Life Protection and Critical Illness
c. ProtectFirst Defender: Prioritises Life Protection coverage, with lower coverage for Critical Illness and Serious Accident
4. Simple application process
Customers only need to answer three medical questions to qualify for the plan.
5. Easy to purchase
Customers can assess their protection gaps via DBS NAV Planner or consult with the bank’s wealth planning managers to find out more. After which, they can purchase ProtectFirst conveniently through internet banking or via the DBS digibank app.
From now till 30 June 2022, customers who sign up for ProtectFirst can enjoy a 50% discount on their premiums for the first 2 years7.
For more information on ProtectFirst, visit:
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Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our global wealth and asset management segment, we serve individuals, institutions and retirement plan members worldwide. Our principal operations are in Asia and Canada, and the United States, where we have served customers for more than 155 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong. In the previous 12 months we made CAD$31.8 billion in payments to our customers.
About Manulife Singapore
Established in 1899, Manulife Singapore provides insurance, retirement and wealth management solutions to meet the financial needs of our customers across their various life stages. Customers can readily access our solutions through our extensive multi-channel distribution network. In addition to our established agency force, we distribute our products through a number of specialist partners, including banks and financial advisory firms. For more information on Manulife Singapore, visit
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.
Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “” by Euromoney, “” by The Banker and “” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “” by Euromoney and the world’s “ by The Banker. In addition, DBS has been accorded the ”“ award by Global Finance for 13 consecutive years from 2009 to 2021. ”
DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.
1 Cancer, stroke, heart attack, liver failure and major organ transplant
2 Aged 18 and above
5 An online poll of 500 young adults (aged 18-35) was commissioned by DBS and carried out by Milieu Insight in June 2021.
6 You will receive 100% of the critical illness (CI) coverage amount in the event of advanced stage cancer, heart attack, stroke, liver failure or major organ transplant. 25% of the CI coverage amount can be paid in advance for early or intermediate stage, and remaining CI coverage amount to be payable upon advanced stage. Once 100% of the CI sum insured has been paid, this benefit will terminate, and premium reduces.
7 Terms and conditions apply
Zaim Zahari / Jane Goh Eveline How