What is MRTA and do you really need it?

To most of the investors, taxes and insurance create a cash drain of money that can be invested elsewhere. People always want to know how they can pay the minimum, if not zero, for taxes and insurance.

In our previous article, we discussed about the “Top six tax deductions for landlords” that may help real estate investors in a way to minimise their taxes. In this article, we will talk about an insurance specially designed for mortgage loan borrower – MRTA.

What is MRTA?
In Malaysia, one will always come across this term “MRTA” when taking up a mortgage loan to buy or refinance a property. What is it?

Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA) is frequently referred to Mortgage Life Insurance. MRTA helps you settle your mortgage loan in the event something happens to you.

Technically, MRTA is designed to provide coverage and protection for borrowers who take up mortgage loans. It covers the borrowers against Death and Total Permanent Disability (TPD) due to Natural or Accidental causes, on the outstanding mortgage loan, on decreasing sum assured basis. This initially is for an amount equal to his/her outstanding loan, which will be reduced in accordance with the installment payments (according to the Table of Reducing Sum Assured attached to the policy).

By way of Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance, in the event of the borrowers’ untimely Death or TPD, MRTA settles the repayment of the mortgage loan. In this way, it assures that the borrowers’ loved ones are free from indebtedness in having to settle the outstanding mortgage on the house.

What is the cost?
Premium factors of MRTA depend on the sum assured, interest rate, term, construction period, premium financing, joint-life, age at next birthday. If you are between 18 and 60 years of age and in good health, you are eligible to take up MRTA. The younger you are the cheaper the premium.

The premium of MRTA is reasonable, and it can even be financed by your bank, i.e. incorporated into your monthly installment of mortgage loan. For example, premium for an outstanding mortgage loan of RM100,000 assured over 10 years is around RM700 for a borrower who is 35 years old. If the borrower’s mortgage loan tenure is 30 years, the premium only adds less than RM5 to his monthly installment.

When do you need a MRTA?
Apparently, if you are taking up a mortgage loan to buy a home, MRTA provides a good and yet affordable protection to you and your loved ones. If you are buying an investment property, do you need MRTA?

Our suggestion is simple, if you intend to flip your investment property in a very short time, then you don’t need MRTA.

If you have an intention to keep your property for a while but sell it away in near future, take the shortest term of MRTA. Normally the shortest term of MRTA offered by banks is between 5-10 years.

If you want to keep your property and pass it to your kids, take the longest term of MRTA which should be equivalent to the whole tenure of your mortgage loan.


About The Author


Coming from a humble little town named Tangkak in north Johor state of Malaysia, I am so lucky to have chances to learn and work both in Johor Bahru and Singapore - a conurbation with 6.49 million still fast growing population - since year 1996. Hope now I can have a chance to contribute back to the community by sharing what I see, what I know and what I learn in this wonderful place.

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