Beginner's Guide to Home Insurance in Singapore
After spending large amounts of money to your home, there's a good chance of facing unexpected repairs. From water damage to pest infestation, fixes can add up fast. There are a few ways to mitigate this costs: Home insurance, HDB Fire Insurance and home warranties. Here are the main differences.
1. What is Home insurance?
Home insurance, also known as homeowner's insurance, provides home contents coverage should any accident, theft by forcible entry or damage caused by third party, occur in your home. Sometimes, it may include providing assistance to it.
1A. Home Insurance Coverage:
Home insurance covers most structural damage to your house or personal property. This includes wind, hail, fire, lightning, water damage to your property, as well as theft & non-theft property damage, liabilities.
Although not a requirement to have unless you have plans to mortgage, otherwise its a requirement to have home insurance.
With a home insurance policy, an insurance adjuster will typically come out and assess the damage and offer a settlement for repairs. The settlement may come in the form of claims, replacement or attempts to repair.
Source: Vievva Designers
2. HDB Home warranties
Home warranties, unlike home insurance, is a contract that protects certain appliances and fixtures in your home. A most common example would be warranty for in-built wardrobes. There are many kinds of warranties and most of them tend to be individual and specific, covering the only items that are tied with the warranty. On the other hand, home warranties that offer coverage on multiple items will depend on the contract. Be sure to check out the specifics of any particular item you are looking to purchase a warranty for, and its warranty duration.
2A. HDB Home warranties Coverage
The most common home warranty items include ventilation systems, air conditioning systems. Others may include electrical systems such as refrigerators, water heaters, plumbing, stoves, washing machines and dryers.
When purchasing most items like a new television set, they tend to come with warranties, albeit not compulsory. In fact, companies tend to offer "extended" warranty packages at a premium. When evaluating whether its worth for extra price, you may need to consider your nature of the product and your needs.
Claims for warranties are usually on a case-by-case basis. Depending on your warranty, its not uncommon to face coverage limits or extra fees that won’t cover the entire cost of the repair, leaving you to top-up the remaining repair or replacement fee.
3. HDB Fire insurance
Among the 3 insurance/warranties covered today, Fire insurance is the most niche of them all. Fire insurance covers mainly core building infrastructure as opposed to home insurance, meaning insuring the areas outside your home should there be an outbreak of a fire.
3A. HDB Fire insurance Coverage
As the name mentions: it covers for damage from a fire outbreak, typically when the fire originates from outside your home.
When purchasing your HDB flats or public properties, fire insurance is typically required to be purchased as well.
In the event that your residence falls victim to a fire incident, you will need to submit your evidence, along with your supporting documents to the HDB claims office.
Other things to look out for (Bonus section)
4. Know your coverage
Minor incidents can happen anytime. Thus it pays off to be have a comprehensive home insurance to cover unforeseen events such as malfunctioning of an air-conditioning unit, being locked out of your home (unlocking, lock replacement) as well as power failure due to a burnt out fuse.
5. Go for a plan that is able to cover unforeseen costs
Have you ever thought what would happen if there was a fire sprawling out of control in your home? In addition to any injuries sustained, there will be costs required to replace the burnt portions of your home, chemical cleaning and furniture/gadgets replacement. All this can realistically amount to a few tens of thousands of dollars. All of this can be prevented if you have been insured.
6. Consider your lifestyle and hobbies
Last but not least, consider your lifestyle and hobbies around you, and weigh need to insure and your budget. If you have many children, or pets at home, or even perhaps a vivid collector of model toy kits, the above mentioned will have a significant impact on your need to protect yourself, and your loved ones/items. As always, weight the pros and cons, and always plan one step ahead to avoid any disappointment when that unlucky moment strikes at your darkest hour.
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