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Not to be confused with HDB Fire Insurance, there are actually a lot of coverage and benefits you can look out for to make the most out of your premiums.
A named peril insurance policy covers only what is specifically noted in the policy (e.g. fire), whereas an all-risk policy covers everything except what is specifically excluded in the policy (e.g. war is typically an excluded risk). An all-risk policy has a much wider coverage but is usually more costly than an insured peril policy.
This is what most people know as Fire Insurance, and it is usually compulsory if you take a home loan to purchase a property in Singapore. This is coverage for rebuilding the building structure as well as any fixture and fittings which comprise part of the building. A point to note - the current HDB mandatory Fire Insurance is provided by Etiqa insurance and it doesn't cover renovations.
A typical compulsory Fire Insurance doesn't cover the contents of your home. As the name suggests, content coverage insures against loss or damage to household items belonging to you, your family or your domestic helpers which you are responsible for. However, it has some exclusions like securities, certificates and pets!
Apart from covering the building structure and contents, home insurance also provides coverage for situations in which you might be legally held responsible for. For instance, if a visitor trips over a carpet while walking in your home, you might be held responsible for the accident as an owner. Personal liability coverage is especially important for renters, as you might be responsible as a tenant if, for example, you break a vase that belongs to your landlord.
If your home is uninhabitable due to a major incident, this coverage helps you ease the financial burden of a temporary accommodation. This coverage typically has a daily benefit limit and covers you up to a certain number of days.
Low crime doesn't mean no crime. Even though house break-ins are on the decline, one can never be too sure. This coverage insures physical money, valuables and personal belongings against theft and forceful entry. Bear in mind there is always a benefit limit to each category (e.g. loss of money capped at $500)
The process for specific types of claims may differ between insurers. However, policies offered by popular insurers such as AXA or MSIG generally have similar Home Insurance Claims procedures. Here are some things that you should take note of when making an insurance claim.
Most insurers will require you to make the claim within 30 days of the occurrence. Given that it will take some time to process your claim, you would want to submit your claims form as soon as possible.
1) Police report / investigation results & incident report for Theft 2) Assessment report from repairer on the cause and extent of the damaged property for building claims 3) Invoices / purchase receipts of lost or damaged property 4) Photographs of damage for content claims 5) Letters, writ of summons from third party for liability claims
Insurers usually hire loss adjusters to assess the damages; so it is important that you cooperate and assist them.
Here are some Home Insurance tips that can help you select a great policy and give you peace of mind when purchasing your dream home in Singapore!
Buy the coverage you need! Apart from the standard packages, there are customized ones as well. Most of us would already have the compulsory fire insurance which provides coverage for the building, thus it might make sense to look out for a customized home insurance plan which allows you to skew your coverage (and premiums!) towards insuring your home content and renovations.
Did you know that some insurers allow for a discount when you sign up for a longer duration plan? Etiqa provides a discount when you sign up for a 5-year period.
Don't underinsure when it comes to home insurance! Unlike life insurance, home insurance protects assets that have a paper value, and insurance companies expect your coverage to match the value of your properties. If your policy's coverage is significantly lower than what is actually covered, insurance companies can penalize you in form of reduced reimbursement when you file a claim.
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