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Quick Guide on Homeowners Insurance Deductible in Singapore

As the higher interest rate environment pushes home buyers in Singapore to be more discerning in the upcoming months, homeowners and home sellers may also become more cautious and practice better judgment when it comes to home insurance purchases, especially in deciding between flat deductibles, percentage deductibles, or a combination of both.

If you’re a prospective homeowner or an existing homeowner looking for a suitable home insurance plan with the right type of deductible, here are some insights to the various types of deductibles available and how to pick the right amount of deductible for your home.

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What Is Home Insurance Deductibles & How Do They Work?

Deductibles are basically the initial expenses you need to cover before your insurance benefits take effect. Choosing the appropriate deductible requires striking a balance: opt for a higher deductible to potentially reduce your premiums, but you’ve also got to make sure that it's an amount you can easily manage when filing a claim.

How does a home insurance deductible work?

Choosing a deductible

When securing a home insurance policy, you typically have the flexibility to select a deductible amount, with common options being $500, $1,000, $2,500, or more. This choice can impact your insurance premium, as higher deductible might result in lower premiums.

Submitting a claim

In the event of a covered loss, you must initiate a claim with your insurance provider. This process entails furnishing documentation of the incurred damage or loss, including photographs, estimates, and a detailed description of the incident.

Settling the deductible

Upon claim approval, you are obligated to cover the deductible amount from your own funds. For instance, if your deductible is $1,000 and the covered loss amounts to $5,000, you would contribute the initial $1,000, with the insurance covering the remaining $4,000.

Activation of insurance coverage

Following the payment of your deductible, your insurance coverage becomes effective, and the insurer will cover the remaining expenses, up to the specified policy limits. These limits represent the maximum amounts the insurer is willing to pay for covered losses.

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Types Of Home Insurance Deductibles

Flat Deductible Percentage Deductible Disaster Deductible
PremiumsLower Mid-range to high, depending on property value Low to high, depending on insurer’s exposure to high-risk events
Out-of-pocket expensesMay be higher per claimLow to high, depending on deductible amount and percentage of the home's insured valueMid-range to potentially high as these are usually large-scale events
Proportionality to property’s valueFlat deductible might not proportionately reflect property valueMay align better with the property's value than fair value, offering proportional coverageComplexity in determining when it applies
PredictabilityHighest as the deductible remains the same regardless of the claim amountModerate as the deductible can vary based on the home's insured valueLowest predictability as it is based on the occurrence and scale of a declared disaster
Column 1Easier for homeowners to manage the low risks for deductible costs since they remain constant irrespective of the property's valueAligns the deductible more closely with the financial impact of the loss, promoting risk-sharing between the insurer and the homeownerThe risk lies in the limited applicability of disaster deductibles, as they only come into effect for certain catastrophic events

How To Choose The Right Deductible For Your Home Insurance?


Evaluate your financial muscle

If your savings account can take the hit of a larger deductible, go for it. A higher deductible means lower premiums. But if a higher upfront cost in the event of a claim could derail your financial plans, you’re better off with a lower deductible and slightly higher premiums.


Understand the value of your home

The deductible should align with the rebuild cost of your home, not the price you paid for it. So, keep an eye out for changes in construction costs and update your coverage accordingly. A percentage deductible, as compared to a flat one, can ensure you're adequately insured at all times.


Do a comparative analysis for your property’s market value

You can choose to engage a licensed and experienced property appraiser who has the expertise and knowledge of local market conditions to provide a reliable estimate of your property's value. At the same time, request a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from reliable or your preferred real estate agents to give you a better sense of how your property compares to others in terms of size, condition, and location.


Be aware of policy limits

Even if you can afford a high deductible, remember that there might be a limit to how high you can set it. These limits are often stipulated by the policy itself or even by your mortgage lender. So, remember to read through the policy limits thoroughly.


Think about the likelihood of disasters

Singapore's geographical location shields it from most natural disasters, but risks like fire or water damage remain. If your home is in an area prone to specific risks, consider whether disaster deductibles would be beneficial.


Consider your claims history

If you’ve had a few claims in the past years, consider opting for a lower deductible to offset potential costs. But if your record is as clean as a whistle, you might be better off with a higher deductible.


Know the difference between replacement cost vs. market value

Understanding the replacement cost aids in determining a suitable deductible that corresponds to the real expenses involved in rebuilding, repairing your home, and replacing personal belongings. In contrast, market value, encompassing elements like land value and market conditions, may not precisely mirror the actual costs of rebuilding. Thus, establishing a deductible rooted in market value could potentially lead to insufficient coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of home insurance deductibles available?

The most common types of home insurance in Singapore and around the world include the flat deductible, percentage deductible, and disaster deductible.

Should I get a higher deductible for my home insurance?

Yes and no. As deductibles are the initial expenses you need to cover before your insurance benefits take effect, choosing a higher deductible can potentially reduce your premiums, but you’ve also got to make sure that it's an amount you can easily manage when filing a claim.

Do replacement costs affect my home insurance home deductible?

Yes. Estimating any replacement costs involved in an accident or damages done in or to your home property helps to determine a suitable deductible that corresponds to the real expenses involved in rebuilding, repairing your home, and replacing personal belongings.