The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that insurance policy owners will soon have online options to nominate their beneficiaries. Amendments have been made to the Insurance (Nomination of Beneficiaries) Regulations 2009, to enable insurers to provide these options from 2 January 2024.
The process for nominating beneficiaries currently involves hardcopy submissions with in-person witnessing. Robust alternatives to physical witnessing are now possible through digital means given technological advancements and the development of national digital infrastructures. Two approaches will be made available:
a. Online witnessing - The witnessing of the policy owner’s signing of the online form can be carried out using an audio-visual link instead of in-person.
b. Online attestation - Instead of witnessing the signing of the form online, an attestor will make an online declaration on the policy owner’s circumstances.
Given the importance of the authenticity and integrity of records on insurance beneficiary nominations, secure electronic signatures must be used for online submissions. Both the online witness and online attestor, as the case may be, will have to declare that, to the best of his/her knowledge and belief, the policy owner is not under any undue pressure and understands the purpose and effect of making the nomination.
Marcus Lim, assistant managing director (Banking and Insurance), MAS, said: “Technology has enabled the development of robust online alternatives that make it easier for policy owners to nominate their insurance beneficiaries. MAS encourages insurers to make these options available to their customers while ensuring that robust controls remain in place.”
Dennis Tan, president of Life Insurance Association, Singapore, and CEO of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, said: “Nomination of beneficiaries is important to ensure the payable benefits are paid out to the intended persons according to the wishes of our customers. We welcome this enhancement by MAS to provide customers with greater flexibility and convenience to nominate beneficiaries and will work with our members to roll out progressively.”
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker