If you own any Aviva or Singlife insurance, you would have been notified of the Aviva-Singlife merger and wondered what that meant for you and your policy.
The new entity will be named Aviva Singlife. Head over here to read the official statements from Singlife.
Who are Aviva and Singlife? Why are they merging?
The Aviva Singlife merger took us by surprise, partly because they are two very different companies.
Aviva Singapore is the local arm of British life insurer, Aviva. Most Singaporeans would be familiar with this brand as they’ve been around for quite some time here. Aviva is also known for providing life insurance cover during National Service, and for its affordable group term life insurance for NSmen and those in the public service.
Meanwhile, Singlife is a locally-based insurance startup that’s been in operation for six years now. Singlife is known for the Singlife Account, an insurance savings plan that’s targeted at the young and digitally-savvy, although it also offers term life insurance plans.
By joining forces, the companies hope to become a “home-grown regional brand” that will offer “innovative financial products with intuitive technology and independent advice,” said Singlife chairman Ray Ferguson in an article by The Straits Times.
Beyond this press statement, we know that Singlife with Aviva was announced as Singlife on 1 January 2023.
What happens to existing Aviva insurance policies e.g. group term life for NSmen?
If you are an existing Aviva (or Singlife) policyholder, nothing will happen to your insurance policy. There are no changes to the terms, premiums and fees.
As the Aviva Singlife merger was pending approval until 1H 2021, Aviva Singapore and Singlife continued to operate independently until H1 2021. Both Aviva and Singlife customer service teams remained unchanged during that time.
If you were an Aviva insurance policyholder, your existing policies would have continued to be upheld and serviced by Aviva Singapore until the merger is completed.
From Aviva’s official email to all customers:
- There will be no changes as a result of this announcement to the terms, premiums and fees of policies you hold with Aviva Ltd, and investment accounts you have with Navigator or dollarDEX
- Our customer service is unchanged, and you will continue to communicate with the same experienced team
- We will continue to operate under the same brand until further notice
Will there be changes to the Singlife Account or other Singlife policies?
Likewise, there will be no change to the Singlife Account or insurance policies. From the official Singlife email:
- There will be no changes as a result of this announcement to the terms, premiums and fees of policies you hold with Singlife, including the Singlife Account.
- Our customer service is unchanged, and you will continue to communicate with the same experienced team via call, email, WhatsApp, or through your financial advisor.
What happens after the Aviva Singlife merger?
According to Singlife’s FAQ, you will NOT receive a new insurance policy contract. Instead, after the merger, you will receive a policy endorsement.
This endorsement will confirm that your original insurance policy has been transferred to the new entity and that all terms and conditions remain the same. It will also state that the new entity will be responsible for your policy.
Any standing premium payment instructions will be redirected automatically, and all claims/transactions will continue to be processed as per normal.
Will Aviva Singlife be covered by the SDIC’s Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme?
Yes. According to Singlife’s FAQs, the new entity Aviva Singlife will be covered under the SDIC’s Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme.
This scheme protects insurance policyholders in the unlikely event of the insurer defaulting. (It’s basically insurance for your insurance policy.) You are protected up to S$500,000 for total sum assured and S$100,000 for total surrender value per insurer.
One thing to note though. After Aviva and Singlife merge into one company, they will be counted as one insurer by SDIC.
If you have a S$500,000 Aviva life insurance policy and another S$500,000 Singlife life insurance policy, you are currently fully protected by the SDIC scheme.
But, after the merger, you will have S$1,000,000 in total coverage from Aviva Singlife. That exceeds the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme’s limits per insurer.
Will the merger affect Aviva Singlife’s credit rating?
If you are a savvy insurance shopper, you might already be aware of insurance company credit ratings.
Credit ratings are opinions of third-party agencies on the financial health of an insurer, and therefore, the likelihood of them paying out their policyholders’ claims.
Ratings are worth considering because insurance policies tend to be long-term commitments, but they are ultimately just opinions. No one can predict the future with absolute certainty.
Note that BBB is low in comparison to other insurance companies in Singapore; most insurers get a rating of A or AA from S&P.
That said, BBB is a credible rating for a new company. The S&P Global Ratings report also suggested that to improve its rating, Singlife needs to grow as a brand (which the merger might achieve).