In some households, the maids or foreign domestic workers play an important role. From cleaning, laundry to cooking, we can simply say that they are the ones who run the household.
But, did you know that when hiring a maid in Singapore, getting the right domestic helper insurance is an utmost priority? If you’re an employer and planning to hire a maid or rehiring one, it’s a must to be familiar with maid insurance in Singapore.
In this article, you will find out that getting insurance for your Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) is required by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Furthermore, you may not have an idea of what maid insurance offers. And this article is dedicated to you. We will help you understand what maid insurance is, what it covers, how much it costs and how to find the right one.
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A Must-Know: Maid Insurance is Compulsory in Singapore
Did you know that before a foreign domestic worker comes to Singapore, an employer needs to purchase an insurance policy? As stated by MOM, it’s mandatory for every employer to buy an insurance plan that covers medical and personal accident benefits for their helpers. This is among the employer’s obligations to the helper. Moreover, the cost of the insurance must be paid by the employer.
If you are planning to hire an FDW, here are the insurance requirements as stated by MOM:
- Buy medical insurance with at least S$15,000 per year in hospitalisation coverage (inpatient care and/or day surgery expenses while she is in Singapore).
- Whether you are applying for a new Work Permit since 1 October 2017 or renewing an existing Work Permit with Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) – the PAI must cover the following:
- An assured sum of at least S$60,000 per year
- Coverage for sudden and any unforeseen and unexpected incidents resulting in permanent disability or death
- Not containing any extra exclusion clauses mentioned in the Employment of Foreign Manpower Regulations
- A security bond of S$5,000.
By complying with this requirement, you can protect your helper and her family by providing a lump sum compensation in case of disability or death. This compensation is payable to your helper or her beneficiaries.
What Does a Domestic Helper Insurance in Singapore Cover?
When finding maid insurance in Singapore, you must be familiar with what it can cover. First, we will tackle the basic coverage, wherein it includes the following:
Hospitalisation and Personal Accident Benefits
With maid insurance in Singapore, you can have peace of mind each time your FDW got sick or injured. You can get a claim to cover their medical bills.
Additionally, another important coverage of every domestic helper insurance is having a personal accident benefit.
In case of an accident that can lead to death or permanent disability, the insurance company must have coverage of at least S$60,000.
For instance, with HL Assurance you can get up to S$60,000 if your helper is hospitalised due to sickness or injury. It also covers medical expenses due to accidents.
Housekeeping involves risky tasks such as looking after your furkids, lifting heavy things, and a lot more. It’s a good thing that maid insurance covers day surgery or outpatient surgery and other treatments.
In case that your domestic helper visits the hospital to treat her injury due to an accident, her medical bills will be reimbursed by the insurance company. However, you can get this coverage if the injury is only due to an accident.
One of the MOM requirements when hiring a foreign domestic helper is to purchase a bond – if you are hiring from anywhere unless she is a Malaysian.
You may purchase it at the bank or with an insurance company. In addition, you need to buy at least S$5,000 for each foreign domestic worker you employ. It is a must to buy this before your helper arrives in Singapore.
Moreover, when hiring a Filipino Domestic Helper, you need to issue the Philippine Embassy a Letter of Guarantee for a security bond of up to S$7,000. Take note that this letter of Guarantee must come from a trusted insurance company. The letter must also be valid for at least two years.
If the domestic helper dies or is permanently disabled, the employer needs to send her home properly. And, sending her home can be very expensive.
This is why it is vital to find a domestic helper insurance plan that covers her repatriation expenses. Moreover, in case of death, you can provide her with a respectful and proper burial.
Depending on the tier you have chosen, wage compensation coverage may vary.
For instance, the basic coverage may not cover wage compensation, but if you have chosen HLAS Enhanced Maid Protect 360 or the next higher tier, it can provide up to S$30 per day in terms of wage compensation. This is essential if your domestic helper can’t go to work and hospitalised due to sickness or having an injury from accidents.
By having the wage compensation coverage, a domestic can still earn while recovering.
Liability to Third Parties
This provides coverage to any accidental injuries or damages to the third party committed by your helper. The amount of protection will depend on your chosen tier.
You also have the option of getting extra coverage for your domestic helpers by getting an enhanced coverage which can include the following:
Enhanced Medical Benefits
Maid insurance in Singapore may also cover additional hospital and surgical expenses for infectious diseases.
In addition, coverage also includes critical illnesses such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, CABP, and kidney failure.
COVID 19 Cover
While facing the pandemic, maid insurance companies make sure that your FDW can have extra protection. It will include enhanced medical benefits to your coverage. The COVID 19 cover includes Stay-Home Notice.
Maid’s Personal Belongings
Domestic helper insurance may also cover the most valued belongings of your helpers. If their personal belongings like smartphones are stolen or damaged, the insurance company will cover them. You can claim it on behalf of your FDW.
Moreover, this benefit will vary depending on the tier you have chosen.
If it is your first time hiring a foreign domestic helper, you may be uncomfortable leaving your personal belongings. It is best to purchase maid insurance that covers theft perpetrated by your FDW. In this way, you can have peace of mind leaving your family belongings while enjoying your vacation or being busy at work.
Replacement Maid Expenses
In case of unfortunate events such as the death of your helper, you are forced to hire another – rehiring can be costly. But, if you have a domestic helper insurance policy that covers the replacement of your maid, it will be the one to pay for all the expenses.
How Much Does Maid Insurance Cost in Singapore?
Generally speaking, a 14- or 26-month contract is available for most insurance providers with the ability to buy multiple add-ons or have various tiers of different pricing structures.
You might be wondering why it’s not 12 months or 24 months, but you may rather see 14 and 26 months.
You can observe that there are an additional two more months. MOM makes sure that the FDW is covered even after the expiration of her work permit. This is due to the reason that repatriation is not instant.
Moreover, since MOM requires a S$5,000 security bond and a letter of guarantee, we can observe that it’s mostly part of basic coverage. This is also a key consideration when checking for the cost of a domestic helper insurance plan.
In general, the cost of the maid insurance in Singapore varies depending on the contract chosen, either it’s 14 or 26-month and the tier that you will choose. It varies in terms of coverage or the benefits that you want to add.
How to Choose the Best Domestic Helper Insurance Policy in Singapore?
To pick the best maid insurance policy in Singapore, here are the important things that you must consider.
Follows the Compulsory Requirement of MOM
Your chosen domestic helper insurance policy must follow the mandatory requirements of MOM stated above. It must include medical and personal accident insurance.
Suitable for Your Security Bond Requirements
Most of the basic maid insurance plan covers the security bond requirement of MOM. But, if you are hiring a Filipino domestic helper, you must purchase a maid insurance policy in Singapore that includes the Letter of Guarantee requirement of the Philippine Embassy.
Securing Your Personal Belongings
As mentioned above, if you’re uncomfortable with your new maid and you haven’t yet trusted her, it’s vital to include a home or theft cover within your domestic helper insurance policy.
Having Affordable Premiums
We are all looking for a cheap maid insurance plan. But always make sure that it must have the coverage that you need. After all, you want peace of mind and get 100% protection.
Take Advantage of Maid Insurance Promotions
From time to time, insurance companies offer domestic helper insurance promotions that can help you get a much more affordable policy.
Check Your Domestic Helper’s Health Condition
If she has a pre-existing condition, it is better to buy a maid insurance plan with critical illness coverage. It is also one way of checking if the basic coverage is enough.
COVID 19 Coverage
As the pandemic continues, we have seen various insurance companies roll out for a COVID 19 coverage, especially since this is vital to cover the stay home notice.