Ask Harvin #1: What insurance do I need, and when should I get it?

Published 25 Feb 2022

author image
By Fi Life Team

Welcome to the first issue of our “Ask Harvin” series. Insurance has a reputation for being so complicated so we have tasked Harvin Sidhu, Fi Life’s resident insurance expert, to answer all your questions on life, critical illness and medical insurance. So If you have any questions to ask Harvin, please send them to

We will start this series with a very common question:
What insurance do I need, and when should I get it?

Harvin’s Answer:

  1. Medical insurance

    Unless you are happy to rely only on government hospitals, everyone needs medical insurance.

    When? Immediately.

    From cradle to old age, each and every member of your family needs medical insurance.

    Some of you might have medical insurance from your employer. Check that their medical claim limits are sufficient, I recommend at least a RM100,000 annual claim limit. If it’s less than this, do top up with your own medical insurance.

  2. Life insurance

    If you have people who depend on you for financial support, you need life insurance for yourself.

    People who depend on you financially are, of course, your non-adult children or your non-working spouse. But you might also be supporting retired parents or a younger sibling who is still studying.

    You need life insurance for as long as they depend on you for financial support. This usually means you need life insurance for a very long time.

    But if you have no financial dependents, then you do not need life insurance.

  3. Disability insurance

    Everyone needs disability insurance in case of any accidents or illness that renders you totally and permanently disabled.

    You will need the insurance for you to financially support yourself in your disabled state, when you’re likely not be able to work. The insurance can be paid in the form of monthly pay-out or a lump sum.

  4. Critical illness insurance

    Critical illness insurance pays you a lump sum if you suffer a critical illness like cancer, stroke or a heart attack. Your medical policy should cover most of your medical expenses, but you might want an additional amount to cover your loss of income whilst you recuperate, or if you want to try out expensive experimental treatment.

    Statistically, these critical illnesses occur only in later stages of life. So I recommend you consider critical illness insurance in your mid-thirties.

    However, if your close relatives e.g. parents, siblings, aunts or uncles have a history of early onset of critical illness, I recommend you take up critical illness insurance as soon as possible.

These are the 4 essential insurance I would recommend for you to consider.

Yours truly,
Harvin Sidhu

Certified PCEIA (Pre-Contract Examination For Insurance Agents), CEILI (Certificate Examination In Investment-Linked Life Insurance) and TBE (Takaful Basic Examination)

(Editor’s Note: Fi Life offers all the insurance above. Please research in your own time at Or contact us at