One of the biggest investments you’ll ever make if you’re in Singapore—and perhaps anywhere else in the world—is your home. Houses in the country are not cheap by Asian standards. This is because the land area in Singapore is very small. Thus, you have to make sure they’re well protected by getting a home insurance policy.
Why You Should Have One
There are plenty of reasons why you should have your own home insurance policy. Here are just some of them:
- Protection against thieves and vandals
- Household removal
- Rent coverage
- Keys and locks coverage
- Protection against any damage to property due to natural or man-made incidents (e.g., fire, earthquake, flood, theft)
- Claims for damages against your property (e.g., someone happened to fall off the dug-up yard hole)
- Money coverage
- Jewelry coverage
- Antiques/furniture coverage
- Replacement of personal documents
- Damage to appliances
- Alteration to home
- Protection against bad refurbishment or interior decoration
- Accidental death of pet on property
- Personal liabilities and injury coverage
- Removal of debris
Basically, the insurance policy can cover either the home itself and your yard or your valuables and home contents. Or you can opt for the most comprehensive and have everything insured.
How to Apply for Home Insurance
Getting your own home insurance policy shouldn’t be difficult. For one, there are several companies to choose from. You can find the coverage that suits your needs and preferences. Second, there are several tips you can follow. These include the following:
Check with your management corporation. This is recommended if you want to insure your place that is designated as a private apartment. There’s a good chance your block is registered under a title property of a management corporation. Obtaining home insurance therefore is not your main responsibility but theirs. However, if you have altered the look of your home or put in some contents, these things will usually not be covered. You may then have to supplement the coverage provided by the management corporation with your own home insurance policy.
Ask help from HDB. Are you living in an HDB flat? Since this property is regulated and maintained by the Housing and Development Board, they are the best people to approach if you need to have home insurance. They can provide you with an insurer that can help you with such need, or they can give fire coverage. However, this will be limited to common areas only. Like in private apartments, alterations or renovations will not be covered by the insurance policy.
Determine how much the insurance policy will be. Insurance coverage can vary from one company to another. Sometimes the total market value, after assessment, of the property (whether the home or the contents) will be the amount of your coverage. However, there are times when the company only pays a portion of it, which means you cannot really recover the entire worth of your valuables.
You should know, though, that the more valuable the item is, the higher your premium could be. For example, you will pay more if you’re insuring diamonds and pearls than other types of gemstones, unless they are extremely rare.
Get to know your neighbourhood. The good news is Singapore is a very peaceful and safe country. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean crimes are non-existent. Some neighbourhoods are dangerous than the others. If your property happens to be situated near or within the area, then you may have to pay a much bigger premium for your home insurance policy. This may also be the case if you lack proper security features for your home.
Identify the process of making a claim. A lot of people don’t end up enjoying their home insurance policy simply because they have no idea how to file a claim. One of the things you need to know about it is there is an expiry date. This means that after the period elapses, you may no longer be able to make a claim against the insurance company.
It is recommended that once you’re a victim of theft or vandal or natural occurrences, you should report it immediately to your insurance company. Back your claim up with proofs, such as photos, videos, and even police reports.
Be careful with condition of average. There’s such a case as underinsurance. This happens when the limit of the policy is lower than the real value of the damaged or stolen good. You may come across companies that implement the condition of average, where you only receive a portion or percentage of the assured amount because of underinsurance. For instance, if your house costing $500,000 burned down but you only insured $300,000, then you may receive less than the latter amount. ^