(Warning: do not read further if you are an English purist or have no sense of humour. Or both.)

Having had a total of 19 Singlish words/phrases added to Oxford English Dictionary (OED) just in May 2016, you would think that our Engrish is seriously powderful. Even Suzanne ‘Crazy eyes’ Warren from Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and the Les Miserables cast are eager to learn. Of course, lah! With the almighty Singlish as Singaporeans’ primary mode of communication, what is said in a long string of sentence can effortlessly be brought across in a word or two, saving us precious seconds.

Similarly, as with insurance, what is described in a 20-page policy document can be reduced to a simple one-liner, as we have attempted to accomplish here. (Why waste time, right?) You can thank us later. Hopefully, with the air cleared, you won’t have to be blur like sotong when your insurance agent abang talks to you with all these terms.


The money you collect every month and lepak one corner after you retire.

Benefit illustration

That thick policy document that talks a lot of cock, but actually just shows what you can get and what you cannot get when something suay happens to you. Other than that, a lot other cheemenology.


Commonly seen in hospitalisation policies. The amount that the policy cannot settle, you ownself settle.

Critical illness coverage

Eg. Kena cancer, get money.


Deductible and co-insurance, sama-sama. Some parts of the hospital bill insurance cannot settle, you ownself settle.

While co-insurance is usually calculated based on a percentage of the charges, deductible is a fixed sum that only needs to be paid once in a year.

Endowment policy

Machiam savings plan, but got protection like death benefits. Steady plan to save money for kids’ university education.

Free look period

Insurance company give you chance. If you buay song, can get your money back within 14 days.

Grace period

Insurance company give you chance. But if you still never pay premiums after 31 days, it’s their turn to buay song.

Investment-linked policy

It’s like playing stocks, but got protection like death benefits. A bit risky, not steady for kiasi people.

Maturity date

The day you huat ah! Can finally get all your money back from the policies.

Non-participating policy

Kiam siap policy. As opposed to the benefits of whole life or endowment policies, you can only get sum assured without profits or bonuses (non-guaranteed payout).

Example: Term insurance.

Participating policy

Steady pom pi pi policy. Can get both sum assured and profits. Example: Whole life insurance.


The money you throw into insurance every month lah. Usually GIRO from your bank account.


Agaration in some insurance policies. Use how long, pay how long.

OK, maybe insurers won’t agar-agar. They will count every single day. When comes to money, insurance companies won’t pa-jiao.

Example: Let’s say you only need car insurance for five months instead of a full year. Annual premium is priced at S$3,000. After pro-ration, you only pay: (3000/365) x 151 = S$1241.10


Attachable insurance additions for gao gao coverage. Steady for kiasu people.

For example, hospitalisation riders can usually help cover almost the entire cost of the bill, unlike Medishield Life or the standalone hospitalisation policy.

Sum assured

Even if the sky falls, confirmed guarantee plus chop can get your money back from the policy.

Term insurance

An insurance that gives you gao gao death and disability cover for a period of time. Very low premiums each month. But no cash value. If nothing jialat happens to you = throw money down the long kang.


Insurance mata.

Using your personal information and lifestyle habits provided, they will determine how much premiums you will pay, and how much coverage you will get. Or whether you can even be insured in the first place, because your health is too jialat.

Whole life insurance

Opposite of term insurance. Can cover you till you die, and can get your money plus bonuses back. Shiok siah!