Malaysia's Top Health Concerns Unveiled: How Prudential's Claims Data Highlights the Importance of Insurance Coverage

If you are looking for reliable, up-to-date and relevant information on Malaysia's most common health concerns, you've come to the right place. We unpack some data points and insights into the top diagnoses in Malaysia in this article.

We also dig into some of the implications of these health concerns for Malaysians and how specialised insurance products may provide a safety net and peace of mind against these concerns.

Prudential's 2022 claims report: We stay true to our promises

Prudential is a leading premium insurance provider in Malaysia with a long history of serving customers and paying out claims. In its 2022 claims report, Prudential revealed some key findings that help us better understand the health landscape in Malaysia and the importance of insurance coverage. Some other highlights from the report are as follows:

  • Prudential paid out a total of RM 2.04 billion in claims in 2022, an increase of 25.9% compared to 2021.

  • The highest increases were in medical claims (33.9%), disability (33.3%) and personal accidents (21.7%)

  • There was a significant increase in medical claims made to policyholders aged 41 to 50 in 2022 compared to 2021.

  • The three top causes of death were cancer, heart disease, and accidents.

  • The top three critical illnesses were cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

  • Death was the claim type with the highest payouts, followed by critical illness and disability.



Top health concerns in Malaysia: Analysing claims data

Before discussing the top health concerns, let's look at each claim type and the most common associated diagnoses.

  • Death is an inevitable reality we all have to face someday. However, some causes of death are more prevalent than others and can be prevented or delayed with proper care and treatment.



According to Prudential's claims data, cancer was the most common cause of death among its policyholders. Some common types of cancer that lead to death are lung, breast, colorectal, liver, and prostate cancer.  

The second most common cause of death was heart-related diseases, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, and arrhythmia. Lastly, the third most common cause of death was accidents.

  • Critical illness commanded the second-highest claim payouts at RM222 million, which was an increase of 11% from 2021. Illnesses that commanded the highest payouts were cancers (RM145,872,000), heart disease (RM44,732,000), and stroke (RM11,670,000).

  • Disabilities that commanded the highest payouts included those related to soft tissue disorder or injuries (RM5,320,000), stroke (RM2,158,000), post-concussion (RM950,000), coma (RM800,000), and fracture of the lumbar spine (RM726,000).

  • Personal accident: Soft tissue disorders/injuries (RM9,137,000) were also the leading cause of personal accident claims. Laceration wounds, intervertebral disc disorders, traumatic knee meniscus tear, and fracture of metatarsal bone completed the top five causes of personal accident claims.

  • Medical: Cataract (RM53,053,000) was the most common cause of medical claims. This condition that presents as a cloudy area in the lens of one’s eye is common as people age. Breast cancer, ischemic heart disease, gastritis, and acute gastroenteritis were also prevalent causes of medical claims.



The Prudential claims data provides valuable insights into Malaysia's most common health concerns, which can help individuals better understand the risks they face and the importance of insurance coverage. Here are the top health concerns revealed by the data:

  1. Cancer is notably the leading cause of death in Malaysia, accounting for a significant portion of critical illness claims (RM145,872,000). Breast cancer  is most prevalent in women. In contrast, lung and colorectal cancer are more prevalent among men.

  2. Heart disease is another leading cause of death, and critical illness claims in Malaysia, affecting people of all ages. However, it is more prevalent among older individuals.

  3. Stroke is another significant health concern in Malaysia. The data reveals that stroke is more common among older individuals but can also affect younger people.

  4. Infectious disease: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of protecting oneself against infectious diseases.  

  5. Soft tissue disorders/injuries, including those caused by accidents, are common reasons for personal accident and disability claims. These conditions can cause significant pain and limit an individual's ability to work or perform daily activities.

Overall, the high rate of these health issues in Malaysia emphasises the need for adequate insurance. In addition, some of these health conditions may also affect a person's ability to work, affecting their financial security.

Age distribution of claims

Next, let’s analyse the age distribution of claimants for each claim type and unpack the possible connections between age and the prevalence of certain health concerns.

  • Death - For death claims, 39.9% were paid to policyholders aged 60 and above. This is unsurprising, given that older adults are typically at a higher risk of health complications that may lead to death.

  • Critical illness - According to Prudential’s claims data, 31.5% of critical illness claims were paid to policyholders between 51 to 60 years old.

  • Disability - 36.5% of disability claims (total permanent disability) were paid to policyholders aged between 41 to 50 years.

  • Personal accident - 22.7% of personal accident claims were paid to policyholders in the 31 to 40 years old age bracket.

  • Medical - 19.4% of total medical claims were paid to policyholders between 41 to 50 years. This was a significant increase for this age group compared to 2021.



Overall, the age distribution of claimants for each health concern provides valuable insights into the prevalence of certain conditions across different age groups. In addition, it highlights the importance of age-specific healthcare interventions and preventive measures.

Understanding these patterns can aid in developing targeted strategies for healthcare, screenings, and insurance coverage that address the specific needs and risks of different age groups.

Medical inflation and rising treatment costs

Medical inflation refers to the increase in healthcare costs over time. Malaysia’s medical inflation was estimated to be around 12% in 2022, according to Aon Global Medical Trends Report.

This is particularly concerning for those with serious health conditions, such as cancer, given how expensive its care and treatment often are. For example, according to a research report by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, the cost of treating breast cancer has increased by more than 30% over the past decade. An ageing population, chronic disease prevalence, and medical technology contribute greatly to this increase.

Because of this inflation rate, many Malaysians worry about rising healthcare costs as they may struggle to afford necessary treatments. Additionally, healthcare providers may struggle to provide quality care while managing costs.

Why is insurance coverage important?

The data from Prudential's claims report highlights the importance of insurance coverage in Malaysia. Medical treatment costs have increased due to the prevalence of critical illnesses and chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Fortunately, a comprehensive insurance policy can help cover the cost of medical treatments, hospitalisation, and medication, thus reducing the financial burden on individuals and families.

In addition, insurance can also provide support for an individual and their loved ones in the event of death or disability. Therefore, insurance coverage is essential before a diagnosis or health concern arises, as waiting until a medical condition develops can result in higher premiums or even exclusions from coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Tips for choosing the right insurance plan

Understanding the coverage offered, including the benefits, exclusions, and limitations is imperative. Here are a few pointers to consider when selecting the best insurance plan to address common health concerns in Malaysia:

  • Research different insurance providers and compare their policies to find the best fit for your precise needs and budget.

  • Consider the coverage offered for specific health concerns, like cancer, heart disease, and stroke, and make sure it aligns with your needs.

  • Pay attention to the policy's waiting periods and exclusions, and ensure they do not negatively impact your coverage.

  • Look out for policies that offer additional benefits, like wellness programs, mental health support, and critical illness coverage.

  • Ensure to consult with a certified Wealth Planner or head to your nearest branch for guidance through the selection process.



Prudential insurance coverage

Prudential offers a variety of plans to suit different needs and budgets, such as health insurance, critical illness insurance, medical insurance, and more. Here are some notable benefits of choosing Prudential as your insurance partner:

  • Health insurance: Prudential's health insurance plans cover you for hospitalisation, surgery, outpatient care, dental care, and wellness services. One can choose from different levels of insurance coverage and deductibles to fit their lifestyle and preferences. Prudential also offers health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to help save money on health care expenses.

  • Critical illness insurance: Prudential's critical illness insurance plans provide a lump sum payment if one is diagnosed with a covered critical illness, like heart attack, stroke, cancer, kidney failure, or organ transplant.

One can utilise the money to pay for medical bills, living expenses, or anything else they need. In addition, Prudential's critical illness insurance plans are renewable and have no waiting periods or exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

  • Medical insurance: Prudential's medical insurance plans cover you for major medical expenses, such as hospitalisation, surgery, diagnostic tests, prescription drugs, and more. You can choose from different plan options and networks to find the best fit for you and your family. Prudential's medical insurance plans also include preventive care services and wellness programs to help you stay healthy and avoid costly illnesses.



Malaysia's top health concerns, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke, highlight the need for comprehensive insurance coverage. Prudential's claims report provides valuable insights into these health concerns and underscores the importance of insurance coverage. With rising medical costs and the prevalence of critical illnesses and chronic diseases, having insurance coverage will help provide financial security and peace of mind.

By investing in insurance coverage early and selecting the best plan for one's needs, they can secure better coverage at lower premiums and protect themselves and their loved ones from the financial burden of medical treatment costs. Don't wait until it's too late. Invest in insurance coverage that addresses your specific needs and concerns today.