If you are a HDB home owner, then you must have remembered paying the seemingly paltry amount of a few dollars for 5 years of fire insurance. Depending on the type of housing, the cost of the mandatory HDB fire insurance ranges from $1.62 to $8.10 for 5 years.
Sounds too good to be true? You’re probably right.
What some people might not realise, is that the fire insurance forementioned does not actually protect your home in case of a fire. What it does it cover, however, is your house – the physical building structure, and any fixtures and fittings provided by HDB or its approved developers. This means that the content within your house, or otherwise what makes your house a home, are excluded from this insurance. This might include your furniture, household appliances, and even renovations that you installed yourself. And most importantly, the people and perhaps pets, if any, living inside.
Enter home insurance, which is meant to supplement your existing HDB Fire Insurance. While home insurance policies differ from one another, here are some of the most common coverages offered:
- Home contents: This includes items like your bed, TV, washing machine and any other home appliances and objects inside your house.
- Renovations: If you have extra shelves or doors installed, or even changed the flooring, these are part of personal home renovations that would be covered.
- Personal liability: If you are legally liable for something that happens in your home, you would be covered by it. For instance, a fire starts in your kitchen and spreads to the next-door neighbours. Any damage incurred by them would make you liable.
- Alternative accommodation: A damaged home is an unlivable home, at least temporarily. Home insurance usually pays you a daily benefit so that you can find alternative accommodation temporarily.
- Personal accident for family and pets: In the event of any medical expenses incurred by the home accident (eg. burns due to house fire), most home insurance would cover these. Certain insurers might extend this to pets, but usually limited to dogs and cats, and even so limited to certain breeds.
Other benefits afforded by home insurance that might not seem commonplace (given Singapore’s relatively low crime rate) would be in the event of home burglary. In the case of a break-in, home insurance can also offer coverage for your cash, valuables and personal belongings – usually up to a certain limit for each item.
Here is a quick comparison of Singapore’s home insurance policies:
|Home Insurance Plan||Annual Premium||Renovation Coverage||Contents Coverage|
|FWD Home Insurance||S$32.74 onwards||S$50,000 onwards||S$20,000 onwards|
|Singlife with Aviva Home Lite||S$55.50||S$75,000||S$35,000|
|Sompo HomeBliss Insurance – Cosy Insured Perils||S$96.30||S$80,000||S$20,000|
|AIG Homes Advantage – Classic||S$199.82||S$85,000||S$20,000|
Given the large variety of plans available, you will want to look out for a plan that offers the best coverage in the areas that matter most to you. In addition, some plans offer a large degree of customizability, with riders for certain categories such as pets and personal injury. Another concern would be your personal budget. In any case, it is indeed important to be meticulous in deciding your home insurance!