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Financial

What to Do If You Suddenly Get Fired

By | Financial

With the fast changing pace of our economic model, the job space is constantly evolving and changing. What is relevant today, may be taken over by a machine tomorrow.

First of all, you have to understand that it happens even to the best employees and you have to accept it, even if it comes with no warning. There is no point in feeling rejected and feeling incapacitated.

In your time of need, here are a few steps you should take in order to secure yourself and your family.

Evaluate the Grounds for Termination

A termination without little warning is anyone’s cause for suspicion, so it makes sense when you have zero clue why you’re being fired and want answers.

Cross examine your circumstance and consult with human resource executives, if not the industrial relations department if your termination was justified.

Any form of termination requires proper grounds for termination and anything short will be viewed as misconduct.

Any msconduct or unjustified termination should be filed with the Industrial Relations Court of Malaysia. The court then has to make a decision regarding an amicable settlement and may sometimes even result in you getting your job back.

While the entire process may take some time, it is important that you get everything else in order.

Keep it Classy

Even if the company was well within their legal rights to fire you, a sudden termination can still feel like a betrayal. Especially if it wasn’t a massive restructuring or you’re the only one unfairly blamed after a major blunder. Understandably, you may harbor ill feeling and might even be tempted to lash out or seek revenge.

Don’t do it. Your reputation is too valuable to tarnish this way. Keep your head held high and do your best to vent your frustrations far away from the workplace, ideally among trusted company.

Revise Your Budget

Now that a major part of your monthly intake will be gone, you need to reconfigure your cashflow to accommodate.

List down all your monthly commitments which are absolutely necessary and consider other areas that you can cut back on.

As a caffeine addict, this writer understands how a cup of coffee can seem like a daily necessity, but unfortunately, a latte should not surface anywhere on your survival budget list.

Once you are clear on what the monthly requirements are like, run the figures against your savings and try to assess how long will you be able to sustain without an income. It is important to budget approximately 10% to 20% for unexpected expenses on top of your prepared budget.

With the current job market looking a little bleak, you will need to have a three to six month cushion before getting back onto the horse. It also doesn’t help to slow down on your expenses somewhat to help mitigate the damage on your cashflow.

Look For an Income Stream

While money isn’t everything, it does pay for everything. This is when you will need to take a good hard look at yourself and see what you are capable of in order to create a stream of income while you search for that next job.

Especially if your budget is not able to cover you for a minimum of three months, you may want to start taking up freelance jobs which are abundantly available across the internet.

If you do not have the necessary skills or equipment, you may even consider driving some people around on Uber or Grabcar just to pay the bills. If you do not own a car but confident that you can commit to the driving hours, you could even rent one. Although this adds to the cost, you will have no problem covering the weekly payments and making a little extra if you are disciplined enough. Remember also that there are plenty of freelance work that don’t require you having a car or even leave your house.

Take a Breather and Plan Your Next Move

Despite you being in a position of need, it is important not to pounce at just any opportunity for a job. This unplanned leave of absence might be the right time for you to reevaluate your career trajectory and see what kind of options you really have. Take the time to consider how satisfied you are with your current position and remember that there is more to a job that the money it gives you.

You can also start your very own business. Depending on the nature of business, some may require loans and you may very well have to turn to family and friends as banks are less likely to lend money to an unemployed person, especially without a second stream of income.

Playing Safe

While cash flow will be a little tight, it could get even tighter if you do not have something in place should your health take a hit. That is why, it is important to maintain a proper medical insurance plan, should anything unfortunate befall you.

If you do not already have one, head on over to our insurance page and use our comparison tool to make an informed decision and put your worries at bay.

How Do Banks and Lenders Decide if You’re Creditworthy?

By | Financial

When you’re applying for a loan or a credit card, banks and lenders go through a series of steps to decide whether you’re a low or high-risk before lending you money. But what is defined as a low-risk, and how do the banks and lenders evaluate your financial risk status?

First, you need to know that having a big salary isn’t a green card to getting your loan or credit card application approved – and neither will having an existing credit facility (such as a car loan or a home loan) with a bank or lender help with your next loan or credit card application.

What makes the banks and lenders trust in you enough to lend to you is your creditworthiness – and the more creditworthy you are, the lower your risks are as a borrower. Here are some of the factors that banks and lenders look at before deciding if you’re creditworthy:

Your Payment History and Spending Habits

You’ll be surprised at how much information the banks and lenders can dig up on your payment history.

If you’ve missed out on payments or have paid your bills after the statement’s due date, the banks and lenders will more than likely view you as a bad paymaster – which will affect your credit card or loan approval chances. The good news is you can rebuild your payment history.

Here’s how you can do it; as a rule of thumb, your record will remain for 24 months after you settle all your debts, after which it will be cleared from your credit report. So, if you have a poor payment record and are planning to apply for a credit card or a loan, start building a good payment record by paying on time for at least 24 months before you start applying.

How Much You Owe

You may be earning a five-figure salary every month, but if you’re also saddled with numerous credit facilities (such as mortgage, car loan, credit card, personal loan, and instalment account) that look like it will take up a majority of it, it’s hard to convince banks and lenders that you’re a low-risk.

Generally speaking, your debt should not be more than 60% of your total net income when applying for a loan or a credit card. The less you owe, the more likely it is for the banks and lenders to approve your application.

Length of Credit History

While banks and lenders generally do lend money to those who are just beginning to build their financial life (such as fresh graduates and first-time borrowers), they tend to view you as a lower-risk borrower if you’ve had a credit history for a longer period of time.

Your credit history includes the number of years you’ve had your credit facility (any financial credit such as loan and credit card accounts) as well as the average age your overall credit accounts.

Your Credit Mix

A credit mix refers to the types of credit under your name; which includes your credit card, car loan, mortgage loan, student loan, and instalment loans (from a furniture or appliances store).

Having different types of credit makes you look good to the banks and lenders – but don’t go applying for credit just to have a mix in your credit record now. While it’s good to have, it’s not necessarily a big contributing factor to appear as a low-risk borrower to the banks and lenders.

How Often You Apply for New Credit

How many new credit have you applied for in the last six months? Or even in the last three months? Remember that opening multiple credit accounts in a short period of time might deem you as a high-risk borrower to the banks and lenders.

The reason is simple; banks and lenders may assume that you’re going through financial or cash-flow problems.

Understand How CTOS Can Help You

Many of us are familiar with CTOS, but contrary to popular belief, CTOS is not a blacklist – and neither does it offer recommendations about your financial status to the banks and lenders. CTOS merely compiles and provides credit information in accordance with the Credit Reporting Agencies Act 2010.

The banks and lenders may refer to the compiled credit information to decide whether they want to approve your credit application; but ultimately the decision lies entirely in their hands as they each have their own risk preferences, business policies, and strategies.

In a nutshell, CTOS provides transparency between you and the lenders in order to help improve your chances to get approved for credit. It works both ways; while the banks and lenders gain access to your credit information, you as a consumer can also use CTOS’ services to know where you stand in the eyes of the banks and lenders and learn how to improve your creditworthiness.

You can do a self-check on your credit report by signing up for a CTOS User ID at www.ctoscredit.com.my or via CTOS mobile app to obtain your MyCTOS Score report!

Monitor Your Credit Score with MyCTOS Score Report

To learn more about – and improve – your credit health, you need to understand your credit report and credit score first. This is where MyCTOS Score report can help you.

MyCTOS Score report is a comprehensive credit report that provides an evaluation of a consumer’s creditworthiness. It also contains details on your identity verification (in case of an identity theft), CCRIS records, business exposure, directorships, bankruptcy, court judgment and legal action records.

In addition to the above, it also tells you your CTOS Score – a three-digit credit score that gives the banks and lenders an idea on your credit risk. It ranges from 300 (poor) to 850 (excellent), and the higher your credit score is, the lower your risks are as a borrower. You can learn more about CTOS Score on their
website.

So, have you gotten your CTOS Score? Tell us your experience in the comment section below!

Business Banking Made Easy with RHB SME Banking Portal

By | Financial

In this digital age, every second could be making – or costing – you money. Sticking to tedious and lengthy conventional banking methods for your business needs could mean wasting precious time which you could have otherwise spent on managing your business.

It’s time to look for new ways to engage with banks to help ease and speed up your business banking – and what’s more convenient than to perform your business banking on the digital platform?

This is why RHB has introduced the RHB SME Banking Portal – an online business banking hub where you can get business banking advice and services digitally, without having to spend hours at the branch. RHB SME Banking Portal offers the following services:

Choose your preferred RHB SME Business Loan or Financing Online

If you need financing for your SME business, click on RHB SME Banking Portal to find out how you can benefit from a range of 8 financing options offered by RHB. Financing your business will never be an issue again.

Speedy and Easy Online RHB SME Financing Application

We can now apply for personal loans online, so why not SME loans too? With RHB SME Banking Portal, you can apply for RHB SME financing online, which means you’ll no longer be subject to long waiting hours at branches or risk losing any important supporting documents. What’s more, the application process takes only 10 minutes!

Convenient and Fast Business Current Account Application

Bid farewell to the days when you had to visit bank branches multiple times just to apply for a business current account. RHB SME Banking Portal allows you to apply for an RHB business current account online, and it takes no longer than 10 minutes!

Not only is the application process quick and easy, you’ll also be able to access to your business account and perform various online transactions via the internet banking anytime, anywhere.

One-Stop Solution for Your Online Business Needs

Starting your very own business isn’t always easy, and that is why RHB has launched its one-of-a kind RHB SME e-Retail Solution on RHB SME Banking Portal, providing more than an ordinary business banking portal would, and offering a one-stop solution for your business needs.

Services offered include cloud accounting software, Reflex online cash management, business current account, electronic point of sale (ePOS), business credit card, merchant card terminal/MPOS, as well as customised insurance to help you grow your business and give you peace of mind.

Be in the Know of The Latest SME News and Business Tips

RHB SME Banking Portal provides its very own Knowledge Centre featuring the latest market outlook, currency updates, as well as tips and tricks on how to improve your business efficiency, and more!

Online banking can empower your business, and RHB SME Banking Portal is the archetype of efficient and convenient online business banking. Discover how it can help you manage and grow your business today!

This article was brought to you in collaboration with RHB SME Banking.

Why Your Motor Insurance Claim Might Get Rejected

By | Financial

Having to deal with insurance companies and all the red tape can be extremely exhausting. While we may find it completely unacceptable and time consuming, insurance companies have very little choice due to the sheer number of cases that it has to vet through thoroughly.

Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) reported that RM2.68 billion have been paid out in motor insurance claims during the first half of 2017. That is an average of RM14.7 million per day.

Those are some pretty big numbers to deal with on a daily basis. You can see why an insurance company would be scrutinizing everything and rejecting claims that are not up to par, to minimise fraudulent claims.

In order to steer away from any claim rejection, here are among the reasons why a claim may be rejected.

Irregularities in Documentation

It is important to disclose every little detail of the incident to avoid any misunderstanding or miscommunication that may seem like irregular.

Imagine, if an accident happens at a junction or an exit on to the main road between Jalan Telawi 1 and Jalan Maarof. One driver may report the accident occurring on Jalan Telawi 1, while the other driver reports it as Jalan Maarof.

Both drivers are telling the truth and telling the story from their point of view. However to someone processing the claim, the two different street names could indicate an irregularity and lead to a rejection in the claim.

It might be smart to get all the parties involved in a crash to get their stories straight so that nobody accidentally communicates conflicting details.

Validity of the Police Report

According to the Insurance Info portal, you have a total of 24 hours to make your police report after an accident. Beyond that time frame, your report will not be accepted and you could lose the grounds to base your claims on. Therefore, remember to pay close attention to what you can and cannot claim for, so you know under what conditions you need to hurry up with your police report.

Acts of Negligence

When you hit up the clubs or a fancy restaurant, handing over the keys to the valet could be the worst decision you make.

Should your car get stolen at some point, your claims will be automatically rejected as you willingly handed over they keys to a third party, which can count as an act of negligence.

This is not strictly applicable only to valet parking, this includes handing over your keys to car service centres or car wash centres as well.

Illegal Activities

Illegal activities don’t just mean using your vehicle to smuggle drugs or rob banks, but also any other conduct with a vehicle that is against the law. Like drinking and driving, for example.

By driving under the influence, not only will your claims be rejected, you may also end up paying a hefty fine to the police and possibly serve jail time.

Any damage sustained when driving drunk will not be entertained as your actions are not only dangerous, the damage done could severely put other lives in jeopardy.

Besides driving under the influence, operating a motor vehicle without a license or any form of racing like a “Mat Rempit” will get your claims thrown out without a second thought since these are considered illegal use of your vehicle.

Handling Claim Rejection

If your claims have been denied, you are entitled to an explanation by your insurance company. Should you find grounds to appeal (say, when you’ve avoided all of our above examples but still find your claim to be denied), you may be able to submit additional documents to support your case.

If you are still unsatisfied with the results, you may file a complaint with PIAM or take matters in to your own hands and file a law suit.

However, if your case was within acceptable reasons and you were left high and dry, head on over to our personal loan section and analyse your options. Drive safe out there!

Top 5 Things You Should Know Before Buying Home Insurance

By | Financial

You’ve just bought your dream home, and now you’re all fired up to start a new life in what could be your family’s home for generations to come. But before you even begin to think about which new furniture to buy, remember that you need to get a suitable home insurance policy to protect your newly bought home.

Here are the five things that you should know before buying your home insurance; because after all, you wouldn’t want to get the wrong protection for one of your biggest investments, would you?

1. Read, Re-read, and Understand the Policy Before You Buy

Few people actually go through their insurance policy before paying for it, putting their trust in the insurance agent or person in charge instead.

It’s important to first understand your home insurance policy before buying it so you’ll be certain of the things that you can and cannot claim for – not to mention the amount of which you can claim from the insurance company. This is why it’s important to get your insurance agent to explain and clarify the exact coverage that you’re entitled for under your policy before you buy it.

This is also the stage where you can adjust your coverage according to your needs, whether you need a higher sum assured, additional coverage, or even drop any unnecessary coverage you feel is unnecessary from your policy.

2. Buy from The Right Channel

Home insurance is a requisite when you purchase your home with a home loan, and most people tend to also purchase their home insurance from banks that finances their home loans.

This may seem like the most convenient option at the time, but it’s more advisable for you to purchase your home insurance from a trusted insurance company. They are better trained to help you understand your policy and advise you on the best coverage and sum assured that fit your needs before you commit to one.

3. Review, Calculate, and Get the Accurate Estimates

Always get the accurate estimates of the cost of the re-building of your home and the cost of all its contents. You need to ensure you have sufficient amount of sum assured so you’ll be fully covered in the face of a disaster.

Use a sum insured calculator or speak to an insurance officer or agent to help choose the best policy for your estimated needs.

4. Only Get the Coverage You Need

Of course, when it comes to protecting your home, you’d want to get every protection you can get in the market. However, remember that the more coverage you get, the higher your premium will be. Take some time to analyse your home insurance needs and drop the less important coverage from your policy.

For example, if you’re not renting your home, there’s no point in getting a landlord coverage and paying the extra premium for it. You can always add any additional coverage to your policy as and when you need it.

5. Invest in Safety and Security Equipment

Having safety and security features such as fire alarms and fire-fighting equipment can help lower the risks of your home being destroyed in a fire, while security cameras can sometimes help deter burglars. This, in turn, may help lower your home insurance premium.

So, there you go; keep these five things in mind before purchasing your home insurance to help you get the most out of your policy. If you are looking for a customisable home insurance policy that won’t burn a hole in your wallet, check out the newly launched Allianz Smart Home Cover*, the first modular home insurance of its kind in the market! modular home insurance of its kind!

It allows you to select the coverage you need for your home, and by doing so, helps you save on your home insurance premium. You can choose the coverage from Allianz Smart Home Cover’s from the their available options as follows:

HomeOwner – covers your residential building from damages.
HouseHolder – covers the contents of your home.
Mortgage Loan Installment Protection – covers your home loan repayments when you can no longer pay them.
HomeFix – covers the costs of your home repairs and maintenance.
Landlord Insurance – covers you, as a landlord, from tenants in case of damages or disappearing without paying rent.

Check out Allianz’s website for more information on the Allianz Smart Home Cover home insurance, and get the perfect (and customised) home insurance policy that fits your home protection needs like a glove!

*Terms and conditions apply.

6 Things You Didn’t Know About the Malaysian Ringgit

By | Financial

It’s Merdeka week, which means there’s no better time to get to know more about our beloved country. And what part of Malaysia does RinggitPlus know best? Her money, of course.

In it’s relatively brief history as a currency, the ringgit has gone through quite a bit of evolution over the years and we bet there’s a fun fact or six about it that you probably haven’t even heard of…

Ringgit Means “Jagged”

Back in the Portuguese colonial era, the type of money widely circulated was the Spanish silver dollar. The craggy and irregular edges of the coin were the distinctive features of this currency, so the Malays of the time would refer to them as “the jagged ones” or “ringgit”. With ringgit being an old archaic word for “jagged”. Now that word is exclusively used to refer to the Malaysian currency.

We Sometimes Call it the Dollar Because it Used to be Called the Dollar

If you’ve ever heard someone describe the price of something as “10 dollars” when you know it’s 10 ringgit, you probably think they’re just making a translation mistake. While they might be wrong now, if they had said that before August 1975, they would be correct.

Because back in 1967, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and Singapore began issuing their own currencies (all of them called the “dollar”) in place of the Malaya and British Borneo Dollar, which replaced the Malayan Dollar and Sarawak Dollar back in 1953, which replaced the Straits Dollar back in 1939, which replaced the original Spanish silver dollar back in 1898.

So with this new Malaysian Dollar, Bruneian Dollar, and Singapore Dollar, the three countries decided to sign a Currency Interchangeability Agreement to make their dollars exchangeable at par with each other. However, Malaysia pulled out of the agreement later on in 1973. Two years later, the official name of the Malaysian currency became Ringgit and Sen.

Despite this, the RM1 coin issued in 1989 still had the dollar sign ($) on it until 1993. Some changes take a while.

You Can Still Use the Old 1 sen Coin As Money

In 2008, a rounding mechanism was introduced where prices of the total bill of any purchase would be rounded to the nearest 5 sen, as a move to eliminate the 1 sen coin form circulation. By this time, the RM1 coin has also been demonetised for three years since we already have the RM1 banknote.

Despite this, if you have these coins in your purse or somewhere around the house, you can still use it as legal tender, but only for payments up to RM2. The seller would probably get annoyed and maybe even refuse to accept it though. So maybe it’s best to hold onto them or exchange them at Bank Negara’s offices.

The Banknotes Have Had a New Signature On it For a Year Now

If you take a look at the banknotes you have with you right now you can probably make out the signature of a Bank Negara Malaysia governor. If that signature is of a “Zeti Aziz”, that’s because she’s the former governor of Bank Negara, who served for 16 years. A term that’s only the 2nd longest after Tun Ismail Mohd Ali who served for 18 years from 1962 to 1980. Which is pretty impressive since the average tenure is just 5 years.

So since we have a new governor now, Datuk Muhammad bin Ibrahim, new banknotes issued from September 2016 will bear his signature. There is still very limited supply of those versions of banknotes at the time of writing, so not a lot of people are aware of this. In fact, the supply for these new notes is so limited, people are already selling them on ebay for a giant markup.

The State of Kelantan Wanted to Stop Using the Ringgit

Back in 2006, the Malaysian state of Kelantan made their own coins out of gold, stating it’s closer to the practice of the prophet Muhammad and that the current fiat currency has been compromised by usury and other unIslamic practices. These Kelantanese gold coins are called dinars and was implied by the state government that it should replace the use of ringgit in the state.

However, Kelantan’s own religious authority issued a statement saying they can’t use the dinars as legal tender as states don’t have the power to make their own currency. Right now you can still find people who hold on to these dinars since they’re made of gold and do have an actual value outside of its use as currency. Just don’t try to pay for ice-cream with them.

The New 50 Sen Coin Has a Cool Security Feature

The latest series of coins in circulation were issued back in 2012 and features gold-coloured 50 sen and 20 sen coins. What it also featured was a funky little security feature on it that you probably aren’t aware of. Tilting the coin on its reverse side shows a latent image of the number “50” and the word “sen”. Pretty cool since it’s often banknotes that get these extra security features and now we have it on our coins too.

As it turns out, the history of our currency can be as rich and as interesting as the history of our food, music, and culture. Who would have thought? So remember, the next time you pull out your banknotes and coins that you’re holding an essential piece of Malaysia right in the palm of your hands.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ovarian Cancer

By | Financial

Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer. It’s reputation is likely earned due to the fact that the more severe symptoms do not typically show up until the later stages, by which time survival rates dwindle considerably.

If detected early, the survival rate according to Cancer.Org is 90% (within five years), bit it drops to 39% in stage 3 and only 17% in stage 4. And now for the scary news – approximately 70% of Malaysian women are being diagnosed at stage three and four, and 1,000 new cases are expected every year in the country.

Ovarian cancer is also the fourth most common type of cancer among women in Malaysia. At present, there is no effective screening for ovarian cancer and its symptoms are often less obvious. The best chance for a cure or early detection in Malaysian women is to be proactive about one’s own health by committing to regular check-ups and staying in the know.

What Type of Insurance Offers Coverage for Ovarian Cancer?

Specific types of medical and critical illness insurance plans that cover cancers or female-related diseases (including female cancers like ovarian cancer) are available. These types of plans offer more comprehensive coverage.

A medical insurance plan is different from a critical illness plan though. Medical insurance is aimed at covering your hospital bill and treatment costs. But it’s very important to read your insurance policy properly and understand what is and is not covered.

Most medical insurance policies do not cover treatment costs for the early stage cancers. But there are other policies that may offer to pay out a portion of the sum assured based on the different cancer stages. For example, they may offer 30% of the total sum assured for stage 1 and 50% for stage 2.

On the contrary, critical illness insurance coverage generally provide a lump sum benefit pay-out if the policyholder develops a critical illness such as ovarian cancer, which can be of great help to pay for your treatments during the early stages, as well as your daily expenses.

Are There Insurance Plans That Can Cover The Early Stages Of Ovarian Cancer?

As a rule of thumb, basic medical cards do not cover the early stages of ovarian cancer. A better option would be to seek out a women’s health plan with a critical illness rider that allows for early stage claims or a critical illness cancer plan.

These specialized women’s health policies might also offer additional treatments and therapies for ovarian cancers, other types of cancers and female specific diseases.

A critical illness plan that pays out even for early stages of ovarian cancer can be used to cover everything from treatment bills not covered in your medical plan, to alternative therapies and loss of income.

Critical illness cancer plans may also pay out a special benefit for gender-specific cancers. For instance, women would be paid a benefit for ovarian cancer and men for prostate cancer.

Be sure to look for the term ‘early care’ or ‘cancer’ when looking for a critical illness insurance policy. If those terms are not indicated anywhere on the product information, do check with your insurance provider or agent before buying.

When Should I Get Critical Illness or Medical Insurance Coverage For Ovarian Cancer?

The younger you are, the cheaper the plan. Many dismiss critical illness plan and deem it not as important as a medical plan. But if you can afford it, it’s wise to have additional coverage to protect against worst case scenarios. There are multiple plans that you can choose from that provide care for a wide range of illnesses.

The benefits of a critical illness plan is quite substantial and you should get one especially if you are high-risk. Also, do note that some women or cancer-specific critical illness plans might have a cut-off age for coverage application which varies with providers.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer refers to cancer of the ovaries and only affects women (for the obvious reason that it is a female-exclusive organ). The ovaries form part of a woman’s reproductive system that is responsible for egg supply as well as female hormones.

There are three kinds of cells in the ovaries, if cancerous; these cells can develop into malignant tumours.

How Many Types of Ovarian Cancers Are There?

There are three types of ovarian cancer tumours. The first, most common (accounting for 90% of ovarian cancers) are epithelial tumours. It also happens to be the deadliest form of ovarian cancer tumours. This type of tumour covers the surface of the ovaries.

The second type of ovarian cancer tumour is the germ cell tumour from cells that produce the eggs. Lastly, the third type of ovarian cancer tumour is the stromal tumour, formed from cells that produce hormones and holds the structure of the ovary itself.

These forms of ovarian cancer are said to have a better outlook and is less common.

What Causes Ovarian Cancer?

The exact cause of ovarian cancer is relatively unknown but there are theories about risk factors that could make one more susceptible to the disease.

These risks include age (being over 40 years), obesity, never carrying a full-term pregnancy (or carrying one after the age of 35), a personal history of breast cancer and the use of some fertility drugs, among others.

There are certain factors that might also lower your risk, these include taking certain types of birth control, having your tubes tied, a hysterectomy, and surprisingly, a low-fat diet.

According to an Asian study in the Gynaecologic Oncology Journal, a woman’s genes may have some link to ovarian cancer. Malaysian women can actually get tested if they are a carrier for the gene for about RM1, 500.

What are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?

According to the International Medical University Malaysia, these are the common symptoms associated with ovarian cancer:

Increase in abdomen size
Bloating
Frequent urge to urinate
Pain in the pelvic region
Loss of appetite
Unexplained loss of weight (losing weight when you are not trying to)
Nausea and vomiting.
Some may experience abdominal pain if a tumour is twisted, ruptured or bleeding
Rarely, some experience irregular menstrual bleeding before or after menopause or excessive hair growth in young or elderly women
Where Does Ovarian Cancer Spread To First?

The most common areas it spreads to include the abdominal cavity and bladder. In later stages or with more aggressive cancers, it can spread to the liver and lungs as well.
According to WebMD, ovarian cancer spreads very quickly too.

How is Ovarian Cancer Diagnosed?

Sadly, most ovarian cancers are diagnosed in the later stages when survival rates are lower, as mentioned.

This is because the symptoms (as listed above) as you may have noticed are common with many other ailments too and often not severe until later stages – which can’t be helped. Who immediately assumes that bloating or nausea has anything to do with ovarian cancer? And to make things more difficult, there are no reliable tests for early detection.

But, if you are high-risk (i.e. have had breast cancer and a family history), your doctor can perform a pelvic exam, a blood test, and an ultrasound.

Your doctor will likely recommend further testing if abnormalities are found. This could include more lab tests, CT scans, PET scans, and a colonoscopy (to rule out bowel issues), among others.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Ovarian Cancer?

The treatment options for ovarian cancer depend on the type of tumour, stage of the cancer, and the age of the patient – among others.

Typically though, the treatment starts out with minor laparoscopic surgery to determine the stage of cancer. After that, doctors may recommend surgery to remove the tumour as well as other organs such as the ovaries and uterus to reduce the chances of it spreading.

Your doctor is also likely to suggest chemotherapy and radiation to kill the remaining cancer cells. It also keeps them from multiplying, especially in patients where the disease is more advanced.

Remember to take your time and decide on a policy that works for both your budget and your peace of mind. Browse some of these options on RinggitPlus to get a better idea of what you want.

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Cancer

By | Financial

In Malaysia, 1 in 19 Malaysian women are expected to develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and 5,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

It is also estimated that over half of the deaths due to breast cancer in Malaysia could have been prevented. You can try to minimise your chances of developing breast cancer, or you can also choose to protect yourself with breast cancer insurance coverage.

Whatever your choice is, it all starts with education, so read on and find out all about breast cancer and how critical illness or medical coverage can protect you.

What Types of Insurance Offer Coverage for Breast Cancer?

There are two main types of insurance to help pay for breast cancer treatments. A medical plan provides coverage for specified treatments of breast cancer which typically include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. This type of plan is different from a critical illness plan which pays out a lump sum in the unfortunate event that you develop breast cancer.

A critical illness plan also covers other types of cancers as well as illnesses such as stroke or kidney failure. It’s different from a medical plan in that it can be used for anything at all – it isn’t just tied to medical costs.

This is because if one is diagnosed with breast cancer, a hospital bill is not the only cost that is incurred. You can use this lump sum payout to cover the gap between what your health policy covers and what it does not.

Are There Insurance Plans That Cover The Early Stages Of Breast Cancer?

Yes, there is. Special medical plans that are directed at covering costs related to female cancers can cover treatments for early stages of breast cancer. A basic medical plan however, may only cover treatments for stage 3 cancer and beyond.

In addition, a critical illness plan for early detection can help you with a lump sum payment that can be used to cover your alternative treatments (ones that are not covered by your medical plan).

The lump sum pay-out may not be a full 100%, as each stage is usually prescribed a percentage. For instance, stage 1 may receive only 30% of the sum assured whereas stage 4 gets 100% of the payout benefit. Plans do vary, so do check with your provider first.

When Should I Get Critical Illness or Medical Insurance Coverage For Breast Cancer?

As soon as you can afford it! The truth is nobody knows when this cruel illness might strike. Attempting to pay for the treatment on your own is difficult, if not impossible. It is very, very expensive; the average cost for private treatment is RM65,000 per year. Also, the older you get, a higher premium may be applied.

Treatment at government hospitals is cheaper but there are many limitations (due to governmental budget issues) that could put your health at greater risk.

For instance, you could be put on long waiting lists for treatment, delayed in getting the tests or therapies you need, and sometimes even miss out on new medications.

A combination of medical insurance and a critical illness cover can help take care of the financial side of things while you focus on getting better. There are several plans that you can choose from, to work with your budget and give you some assurance.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer – like other types of cancer – starts when there is an overgrowth of cells that form a tumour which can be both benign and malignant. Most benign tumours are non-cancerous.

Malignant tumours on the other hand are cancerous and can spread to other parts of the body if treatment isn’t received.

Breast cancer originates from cells in the breast, most often from the ducts that carry milk. It may also start from glands in the breast and less commonly from tissue.

It’s assumed that only women get breast cancer but in truth, men can get it too, although the statistics are lower.

What Causes Breast Cancer?

Some women and girls (and men) are more likely than others to contract breast cancer because of certain risk factors.

While we don’t have an exact cause for breast cancer can just yet, scientists have identified the risks that make one more prone to the disease. Here’s a list of known factors from the Centre for Disease Control:

Family history of breast cancer
Simply getting older
Late menopause after the age of 55
Early menstrual cycle before the age of 12
Drinking alcohol
Lack of physical activity
Getting pregnant late in life or not at all
Being overweight or obese after you have menopaused
Taking birth control pills
Hormone replacement therapy
Dense breasts with more connective tissue
Having had radiation therapy on areas close to the chest area

Now, it doesn’t mean that you will get breast cancer if these risks are present. It just means that you may be more prone to it and therefore it’s a good idea to regularly check for lumps, get screened, and go for timely medical check-ups.

What are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Of course, it’s downright scary if one day you suddenly notice a lump in your breasts, but the fact is, lumps aren’t always cancerous. In fact, most lumps turn out to be non-cancerous. But just to be on the safe side, it’s best to get it checked out by a healthcare professional.

Here is a list of common breast cancer symptoms from the Mayo Clinic:

A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling or puckering (creasing or small dents on your skin)
A newly inverted nipple (where the nipple is pulled inward instead of pointing outward)
Peeling, scaling or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

Bear in mind that these symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have cancer. Any one of them can be caused by a variety of innocent ailments such as a simple skin infection, which is why it’s important for you to seek a medical professional’s help to determine your health status.

Is There an Age Limit to Developing Breast Cancer?

No, unfortunately. Breast cancer strikes at any age. You’re never too young or too old to get breast cancer and that is a sad fact.

What you can do is give yourself the best chances for a cure if you do develop the illness by seeking early treatment.

Is Breast Cancer Hereditary?

Most breast cancers are NOT hereditary. Still, you might face a higher risk if you have a family history of breast or other type of cancers.

How is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

If you find that you have any of these symptoms, don’t panic. Set an appointment with your doctor and get yourself checked.

The first test that a doctor will perform is a breast exam where he or she will feel for lumps or abnormalities in the breasts and armpit area.

If your doctor does feel something irregular, other tests may be recommended to determine your condition for sure.

What are the Tests to Diagnose Breast Cancer?

Here are some of the common tests run by health practitioners to detect and diagnose breast cancer:

Mammogram

This test is used to screen for breast cancer and will give an x-ray of the breast so your doctor can look for masses. If your doctor does come across an abnormality during the screening, he or she will likely order further testing.

Mammograms are usually performed on women aged 40 and above for early detection. Younger women may also be asked to perform a mammogram if they are deemed to be at risk of breast cancer (i.e. having family history or dense breasts).

Breast MRI

This is another screening test that is used with a mammogram for women with higher risks, for instance; if they have been diagnosed before. It uses magnetic fields and radio waves to take pictures of the structure of the breast.

This test doesn’t produce radiation but it is considered invasive as you will need to be injected with a dye through a catheter.

Breast Ultrasound

This test helps determine if a lump is merely a cyst or a hard mass. A cyst is nothing to worry about, it’s not cancer. However, a hard mass is something that requires doctors to run further testing, like a biopsy (explained below), to determine if it is cancerous.

Biopsy

This test involves removing a small part of the lump, usually tissue and fluid (if present) to test it for cancerous cells. This test is the only one that can confirm or rule out breast cancer.

How Far and Fast Can Breast Cancer Spread?

Breast cancer can spread rapidly and is hard to put a time frame on. The speed in which it spreads really depends on the individual, the aggressiveness of the cancer cells, the type of cancer cells, as well as how early or late the cancer was detected – among others.

The cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body when it is aggressive and this happens at stages three and four. It can spread anywhere, but most commonly to your lymph nodes, liver, lungs and bones, right up to your brain.

What Are the Treatment Options Available For Breast Cancer?

Treatment depends on a number of factors such as how early breast cancer was detected, if it has spread (the stage) and the age of patient, among others. According to the Malaysian Oncological Society, these are some of the treatment options available in the country:

Surgery is one option where a part of the affected breast or even the whole breast (also known as a mastectomy), is surgically removed. Brave Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy as she was deemed a high risk.

Another treatment option is Radiotherapy which may be used after surgery or chemotherapy to kill remaining cancer cells. This type of therapy uses radiation to attack the cancer cells.

Chemotherapy is a treatment for breast cancer that is given to those diagnosed, in the form of injections or via medication. It’s a popular treatment that is often associated with most, if not every type of cancer.

Depending on the cancer stage and condition, doctors might advise a combination of these treatments. The goal of these treatments is to provide breast cancer patients with the best possible chance for a cure, or failing that, to control the cancerous cells from spreading to the other parts of the body.

Check out some of the Critical Illness plans offered on RinngitPlus to help make your decision on the cover you want

Things You Do That Can Make Your Motor Insurance Premium Expensive

By | Financial

Most of us are already tied down with multiple financial obligations, so why add to it unnecessarily? There are some things that you may be inadvertently doing without realising that they’re costing you more money on important matters – such as your motor insurance.

Here are some of the things that can cause your motor insurance premium to be more expensive than it should:

Not Renewing Your Motor Insurance on Time

Renewing your motor insurance way after it’s expiry date can result in penalties and higher insurance premium. This is because insurers will see you as a high-risk driver because you’ve been driving around without a motor insurance coverage.

To avoid this, set a reminder for next renewal at least 2 weeks before your motor insurance expiry date. This gives you enough time to prepare for the renewal or shop around for a better motor insurance product.

Having a High Claim Record

Having a motor insurance policy does not mean you should claim from it every single time you get into an accident. Insurers will look at your claims history before renewing your motor insurance, and if you’ve been making too many claims in the past – especially if the fault was yours – you will end up with a higher premium than the previous year.

It’s also worth mentioning that the insurers will be looking at your claims history as a whole, so whether the claims were made with them or with a different insurer, the result is most likely the same. Claims system shared by insurer.

What you can do to maintain a good claims history is to avoid making frequent, small claims and only claim for repairs that you cannot afford to pay on your own.

Living in a High-Risk Neighbourhood

Where you live matters when it comes to ensuring a lower price for your motor insurance premium. If you’re wondering why, it’s because insurers will view some areas with higher statistics of car accidents and vehicle thefts as a high-risk factor.

Areas in the city are often deemed as high-risk locations, while the suburbs and the rural areas are seen as low-risk locations due to the low number of car accidents and theft. We know, moving out just for the sake of getting a lower motor insurance premium rate is a little ridiculous.

But, if you are thinking of relocating, this can be one of the factors that you should consider before settling in a new area.

Holding a Poor Driving Record

It only makes sense, the more speeding tickets, summonses, and traffic violation records issued under your name, the higher your risks are as a driver. This, in turn, causes your motor insurance premium to skyrocket when compared to a driver with a clean driving record.

Now, more than ever, is the time for you to be more responsible and conscientious when on the road. Not only you’ll be safer, but you’ll also be saving more in motor insurance premium in the long run!

Driving a High-Performance or High Theft-Prone Car

Unsurprisingly, insuring a high-performance car such as a sports car can be a costly affair. The reason is simple, high performance car has higher risk – which results in a higher premium.

Another factor that can sky-rocket your motor insurance premium is if you own a high theft-prone car. Some cars are more appealing to car thieves as they’re easier to sell to the masses, and if your car is one of targeted vehicles, chances for the insurance companies to hike up your motor insurance premium is quite high.

According to PIAM, an average of 60 vehicles get stolen every day in Malaysia, making us the sixth country on the world’s top car theft list. It’s not a very comforting statistic, but it’s useful information for you for when you’re considering your next vehicle purchase.

Of course, if you like driving a high-performance car and you can afford the insurance premium then by all means, enjoy your ride. But if you know that it will only damage your finances in the long term, opt for a cheaper – albeit safe – car instead and enjoy more affordable premium for the years to come.

Not Compare Motor Insurance Prices Before Buying

Blindly accepting a motor insurance quote without shopping around could be costing you a lot of money. With the de-tariffed market, insurers are now free to quote motor insurance premium prices according to your driver’s risks and your selected coverage.

Before buying a motor insurance policy, take some time to assess the available products in the market and determine which and the sufficient amount of coverage you need. Once you have an idea of what and how much coverage you prefer (and need), start comparing quotes for similar coverage motor insurance policies and choose the one that suits your needs and budget best.

Time to Improve!

Have you been doing any of the above? Now is not too late for you to improve your driving habits (and perhaps even plan a wedding?) to enjoy lower motor insurance premium rate! It also helps for you to choose insurers that have a long-standing track record and are trusted by the Malaysians. Take a look at the Private Car Insurance by RHB Insurance and see what they have to offer!

Do you agree with this article? Share your thoughts and what you think Malaysians can do to help lower their motor insurance premium in the comment section below!

7 Things You Should Never Do When Asking for a Raise

By | Financial

Asking for a raise tops the list of activities that make employees feel super icky. Some would rather move on to another company or even get a root canal than talk about money with their superiors.

But in all honesty, it is a conversation worth having because if it goes well, not only will you enjoy the perks of fatter compensation, you can also expect greater job satisfaction.
It’s a tricky conversation at best, but you can avoid drawing yourself into a corner if you just don’t do these things:

1. Threaten to Leave

“If you don’t give me more money, I’m out of here.”

This is a major no-no, leaving the company should be your concealed back-up plan, not a weapon you wield against them. Instead, it’s a sure fire way to end up without a raise and a job.

Try being subtle about your intentions, show them that while you love working for them and have always given it your all, it’s difficult to keep your motivation if you aren’t being paid what you deserve.
An all-or-nothing attitude is dangerous if you don’t actually plan to leave, because if the bosses call your bluff, you’ll be out of a job.

2. Surprise Your Boss

“Hey! So by the way, I’m going to need a big fat raise.”

Asking for a raise is a confidential matter that needs to be discussed behind closed doors. Don’t just spring your requests on your boss as you may be catching him or her at a bad time.

Surprise ninja attacks like these are more likely to get turned down. A better way would be to ask for a meeting in advance and tell them what it’s about; you’ll both be ready to discuss your options.

3. Be Unprepared

“I’m not sure how much more I need, but some is good.”

You need to do your homework or else you won’t make a very convincing case. Find out what you’re worth and be specific about what you want.
It’s not difficult to gauge the industry standard, simply go over job ads and see what companies in your field are willing to pay for a similar job description and qualifications.

4. Get Angry

“I deserve a raise, dammit!”

Things may not always go your way, and some bosses may even become disparaging when you start talking about money, but keeping your cool is a must.
Even if you don’t get a raise or decide to leave the company, be sure to depart on good terms. It is a small world as they say and you don’t want to get a reputation for being a wild card and spoil future prospects.

5. Complain About Your Situation

“You have not given me a raise or promotion in almost…”

Giving them a history lesson is completely unnecessary because they most likely are quite aware of how much you are getting paid and how long it’s been since your last pay bump.

Go ahead and show them the strengths you bring to the table and chances are they become more receptive to you and your needs. Appearing confident and positive is much more persuasive than being whiny, wouldn’t you say?

6. Get Personal

“I need to buy a house, pay for my car, feed two dogs and three cats, and take my girlfriends out.”

Unfortunately, no one cares. Though it sounds harsh, remember that you agreed to work for an agreed sum. Benefits offered beyond that however, are at your company’s discretion.

If you hadn’t requested special compensations when you were hired, the possibilities of getting them now are slim.
Instead, politely relay to your company the value you bring them and they may be more likely to consider your requests.

7. Accuse Them of Being Ungrateful

“This company has never appreciated all the good I’ve done”

Ever heard the expression, “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”? Blaming or faulting your company is not going to get you what you want, no matter how satisfying it may feel.

In fact, you might wind up being resented and have a strained relationship as a result of your wage discussion. And that is not what you want, what you do want is more money, so be respectful and tactful at all times.

Note: Companies usually try to accommodate good employees whenever they can. However, if you are completely ignored or turned down for a mere discussion on the subject more than once, it could be a foreboding sign.

Now that you know what not to do, you can check out our tips on the best strategies and approaches you can take to have a successful negotiation for your raise. After that, you can breathe deeply and initiate the conversation. You’ve got this!