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Understanding the Protection Gap in Singapore – An LIA Study

Understanding the Protection Gap in Singapore

Last Updated on by Tree of Wealth

In the vibrant city-state of Singapore, a hidden chasm lurks within the financial landscapes of its citizens, known as the protection gap. This term, though not frequently discussed over dinner conversations, plays a pivotal role in the personal financial planning of every Singaporean. The 2022 Life Insurance Association Singapore Protection Gap Study, conducted with precision by Ernst & Young Advisory Pte. Ltd., serves as the cornerstone of our exploration into this significant but often overlooked aspect of financial wellbeing.

What Exactly is the Protection Gap?

At its core, the protection gap is the divide between the financial safeguards one currently possesses and what one actually needs in the face of adversity, such as critical illness or the untimely demise of a breadwinner. This gap, particularly concerning for both the economically active (EA) and the newly spotlighted platform worker (PW) populations, highlights a potential vulnerability in the financial fabric of Singaporean society.

The methodology for dissecting this gap involves a meticulous calculation, balancing current financial resources against the estimated needs arising from life’s unpredicted events. 2022 marked a groundbreaking year with the inclusion of PWs in this analysis, acknowledging the growing gig economy’s impact on the national employment landscape.

The Mortality Protection Gap: An In-Depth Look

Delving into the mortality protection gap, the study unveils a total mortality protection need of S$1,781 billion for EAs, juxtaposed against a concerning gap of S$373 billion. The narrative slightly shifts for PWs, with a total need of S$55 billion and a gap of S$32 billion, revealing a disproportionately high vulnerability within this group.

However, the past five years have witnessed a significant leap in both insurance coverage and savings among EAs, a promising trend towards narrowing this gap. This shift underscores a growing societal awareness towards securing financial resilience against life’s uncertainties.

Critical Illness Protection Gap: The Unveiled Reality

Turning our gaze towards the critical illness protection gap, the landscape remains challenging yet shows signs of positive change. The total CI protection need stands at a staggering S$783 billion for EAs, with a gap of S$579 billion. Notably, since 2017, there has been a commendable 67% increase in CI insurance coverage, illuminating a path towards diminishing this gap.

Gleaning Insights from the Supplementary Market Survey

The supplementary market survey sheds light on the nuances behind these statistics, revealing that healthcare expenses remain the top financial concern, followed closely by retirement planning and the dread of critical illness-induced unemployment. A notable finding is the public’s call for simpler insurance products and clearer benefits illustrations, pinpointing a crucial area for industry improvement.

Comparing EA vs. PW Population Protection Needs

The comparison between EA and PW populations highlights the unique challenges faced by platform workers, including inconsistent income streams and a lack of traditional employment benefits. This discrepancy underscores the pressing need for tailored financial planning solutions for PWs, ensuring their inclusion in Singapore’s financial security net.

Moving Forward: Bridging the Gap

To bridge this protection gap, regular financial planning and insurance review emerge as indispensable tools. Resources like MoneySense and compareFIRST offer valuable information, guiding individuals towards informed decision-making regarding life insurance products.


The 2022 Protection Gap Study serves as a crucial wake-up call, emphasizing the need to address the protection gap for financial security and peace of mind. It’s a reminder that, despite Singapore’s economic prosperity, financial vulnerability remains a universal challenge, awaiting action from each individual.

As we conclude this exploration, let us not merely be spectators of our financial future but active participants in shaping it. Assess your protection needs, consult with financial advisors, and take proactive steps towards bridging your protection gaps. The journey towards financial security is both personal and collective, with each step forward lighting the way for others in our vibrant city-state.

Embarking on a journey towards financial resilience and security requires more than just awareness—it calls for action. The revelations from the 2022 Life Insurance Association Singapore Protection Gap Study serve as a clarion call to each of us. Whether you’re navigating the bustling streets of Singapore as a gig worker, powering through the day in an office, or anywhere in between, the time to fortify your financial defenses is now.

Assess Your Protection Needs

Begin with a candid assessment of your current financial protection. Examine the layers of your financial safety net: savings, insurance policies, and investment plans. Does your coverage align with your life’s goals and the needs of those who depend on you? Use resources like MoneySense and compareFIRST to understand the intricacies of life insurance products and how they fit into your financial plan.

Consult with Financial Advisors

Navigating the vast sea of financial products and planning strategies can be overwhelming. Financial advisors are your compass in this journey. A professional can offer personalized insights tailored to your unique financial situation, helping you understand the nuances of protection gaps and how to bridge them effectively. They can turn the complex language of insurance and financial planning into actionable steps that align with your life’s vision.

Take the first step today—assess, consult, act, and share. Together, we can bridge the protection gap, securing a more financially resilient future for ourselves and the generations to follow.

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