is a contract?
A contract can be
well-defined as a legally enforceable promise but requires the presence of
three elements to be met before it can be enforced in the eyes of law. It
should be first, established between proficient parties who have the legal ability
to contract. An intent should also be present between the parties to form legal
relations. There should be an offer and
acceptance as well where the offeree shows a clear intent to accept the offer that
will then establish a full agreement. There must also be consideration supported
for the document to have legal binding.
of chosen contract.
The choice of my
contract is an insurance contract on Medshield life with NTUC Income.
The contract includes
terms on claims, schedule of benefits. Generally, the document list down all information
provided by NTUC Income on my policy matters which I am covered under.
is generally an integrated contract, meaning that it consists of all forms of
terms and conditions related with the contract between insured and insurer.
One term or exemption clause
is a settlement in a contract that clearly exclude a party from liability or
restrict the amount of liability of the party to specific conditions. As exemption clauses can be abused and applied
to a party’s disadvantage, as such, changes to the law in creating more impartiality
and to limit the usage of such clauses are imposed.
three ways in which an exemption clause can become part of a contract:
by previous course of dealing.
During the transaction
to purchase an insurance policy, an offer and acceptance took place when the
insurance company made an offer and I accepted the offer when I decided on the
insurance policy with NTUC Income. In the declaration form for replacing the existing
integrated shield plan, the document indicates that the existing coverage that
is currently covered by my present plan on any existing medical conditions, may
not be covered in the new insurance plan and that I am aware of this clause.
The above is
exemption clause in part of the contract, which I have read and signed.
Law applicable to my contract described
incorporation by signature:
As soon as a
contract is confirmed in writing, endorsed by both parties, the terms and
conditions, including any exemption clause stated in the document are part of
the contract. The signee once his signature is endorsed on the document, will
be bounded even if he has not read the contract or does not comprehend the
contents in the document.
reference to my case, my insurance adviser has clearly informed me of the consequences
associated with the replacement or switching of the insurance policy that I have
signed. The new policy may offer lower level of benefits and more expensive on
the premium, if not at the same cost, or offering the same level of benefit
with higher premium and eventually, the new policy may be less suitable for me.
As much as I
disagree and find it unfair that
replace existing integrated shield plan may result in losing coverage on any
current medical conditions that are covered presently on the declaration form,
it is clearly drafted in the contract without any hidden agenda. Hence, I have
to abide and accept the terms and conditions as soon as I have signed on the
agreement. However, there is also a fair practise of a cool off period which is
in placed in the event that I have decided to withdraw from the policy within a
stipulated time despite the agreement has been signed. This is the final level
of protection for the interest of some people who may not have fully understood
the contract and medical terms of their own health conditions.
In the field of contract law, it is frequent that the party who
is involve in the transaction may find himself in a situation where he feels
that it is unfair at some point of time. This is common in the fundamental principle
of freedom to contract. However, in contractual relationships, fairness usually
becomes unrelated as the critical factor is what has been decided instead of
what is fair. Nevertheless, there is still some level of fairness in a contract
but the final outcome that is agreed may not be what one has expected.