More than 40% of married Singaporeans are secretive about life insurance

Eighty-one percent of married Singaporeans stated that it is important to have detailed information about their spouse's life insurance plans, revealed a research commissioned by NTUC Income (Income) and conducted by Nielsen.

However, close to 44% of research participants indicated they would not proactively share details of their insurance plans. Reasons behind such reluctance include privacy concerns, the confidence in being well protected and considering it 'bad luck' to discuss life insurance.

In fact, only half of the respondents stated that they had deliberated on life insurance policies and made the purchase jointly with their spouse. Amongst respondents who were aware that their spouse owned a life insurance policy (85%), only 15% knew full details of their spouse’s life insurance plan. 


The research included focus group discussions and a survey which involved 329 married adults aged between 25 and 49 years old. It aimed to obtain insights on what Singaporeans expected from their spouses in regards to acts of care, their views on life insurance on the spectrum of care and their attitude towards purchasing life insurance. 

Commenting on the research, Income chief marketing officer Marcus Chew said, “Discussing the need and benefits of having a life insurance plan more openly will not only close the knowledge gap which many now have about their spouse’s life insurance coverage, but to also break the taboo linked to talking about life insurance. This way, the family’s well-being and finances can be better protected, even when we are no longer able to do it ourselves.”

Various factors influence life insurance purchases for married couples

The research noted that 40% of respondents felt that national insurance schemes provided insufficient coverage which possibly translated into a need to purchase life insurance.

Triggers driving the purchase of life insurance were ranked as the following:

  • Concerns of becoming a financial liability (52%)
  • Protecting the family’s livelihood (50%)
  • Risk of contracting critical illnesses (46%)

The research also found that having children altered considerations for life insurance plans as 51% of respondents indicated that they would not purchase life insurance if they had no dependents. While those who were married with no children sought protection for critical illness, disability and death, others who were married with children leaned towards purchasing savings and investment plans for their children, spouse and themselves. 

Three in five respondents who were married with children purchased life insurance after their marriage and bought mainly critical illness, savings and investment plans. Amongst the same respondents, seven in 10 bought life insurance products for their children and focused primarily on critical illness, savings and investment plans.


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