Many homeowners have the impression that home insurance is complicated and it’s an additional cost to their already stretched housing budget. The truth is, for a relatively small amount, you can obtain insurance coverage that could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the event of a fire or some other type of accident that happens at home.
Here we address eight of the most common misconceptions that arise in homeowners’ minds when they consider the subject of home contents insurance.
Before we begin…
If you are a HDB flat owner with outstanding HDB housing loan, it is likely that you are covered by the compulsory HDB Fire Insurance Scheme. This policy was introduced to help homeowners relieve the financial costs of repair work in the event that one’s flat is damaged by fire. The coverage includes the cost of reinstating damaged internal structures, fixtures as well as areas built and provided by HDB. Note that home contents such as furniture, renovation and personal belongings are not insured.
#TiqOurWord Etiqa Insurance was the appointed insurer for the Housing Development Board (HDB) Fire Insurance Scheme in Singapore for 10 consecutive years, having protected more than 550,000 homes from 2009 to 2019. In Oct 2021, Tiq Home Insurance was rated as the best home insurance by Seedly – Singapore’s biggest personal finance community.
1. Home insurance costs even more than a home renovation
Many people will be pleasantly surprised to learn that home insurance policies are very reasonably priced. The enhanced Tiq Home Insurance by Etiqa offers comprehensive coverage to homeowners and tenants from just S$28 annually. Beyond the building, renovation and home contents are covered under the customisable plans where one can choose the level of protection as well as the tenure.
#TiqOurWord Home insurance does not cost more than a home renovation. While we are on this subject, if you are struggling with renovation budget, read this for some solutions!
2. Home insurance will only cover fire incidents
This is definitely not true.
All your household items and your personal effects are insured against fire, earthquake, hurricane, and a host of other natural disasters. Here are some of the other events that are covered:
• If a water pipe or a water tank bursts, causing damage to your personal goods.
• Loss due to the explosion of a domestic appliance.
• Impact by any road vehicle that is beyond your control
For more information on the coverage limits, check out Tiq Home Insurance here.
As a proud home owner, one of the biggest expenses you would have incurred upon purchasing your HDB flat would be your renovation. Depending on the extensiveness of the work and the age of your flat, renovation costs can easily exceed S$50,000. Tiq Home Insurance offers coverage for renovation from S$20,000 to S$180,000 for HDB homeowners, allowing you to choose based on your needs.
#TiqOurWord Bear your renovation costs in mind. If the additional cost is relatively low, you may want to opt for a higher limit.
3. Fires are so rare, there’s no need to buy home insurance at all!
Have you been reading the news? According to annual statistics released by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), in 2021, a total of 1,010 fire incidents occurred in residential premises. In addition, more fire injuries occurred as compared to the previous year, of which 194 people were injured from fire incidents, an increase from 184 in 2020.
More than half of them were smoke inhalation cases while the remaining had suffered burns. The majority of the fire injuries occurred in residential buildings.
While it is true that the probability of a fire mishap at home is low, there’s a chance that an accident could happen. Why would anyone want to risk losing a large sum of money when you can buy insurance that could cost you less than a hundred dollars a year? When it comes to your precious home, you’d not want to take such chances.
#TiqOurWord Most existing fire insurance plans offer only basic protection for the structure, permanent fixtures and fittings of your home. Tiq Home insurance has even got you covered up to S$1,000,000 against personal liability, if the fire spreads beyond just your home, keeping both you and your neighbours safe.
4. Home insurance don’t cover everyday household problems like plumbing or electrical issues
Guess what? Tiq Home Insurance offers Emergency Home Assistance (EHA), which could be a godsend when you face any of these four common home emergencies: plumbing, electricity, locksmith and pest control. This 24-hour one-stop home repair service covers up to S$200 per event and up to 4 events per year.
The best part? The home repair service will be arranged and paid for by the insurer. All you need to do is to call the hotline in the event of a home emergency.
5. Home insurance covers the same risks as Fire insurance
Sorry dude, it’s not the same. However, Tiq Home Insurance has been designed to complement the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme, giving a more comprehensive coverage for your home.
6. I need another policy to protect my valuables
Tiq Home Insurance provides insurance coverage for your valuables in the case of damage or loss, of up to 30% of the sum assured, and up to S$1,000 per item – which excludes the first S$100 paid for each and every item that is damaged or lost.
This is particularly useful if you are an art collector. For all works of art, paints, fine glassware and crystal, tapestries, antiques and other collectibles, Tiq Home Insurance will cover up to S$200 per item.
7. If my home becomes uninhabitable, I have to pay to stay at some other place out of my own pocket and the claims take a long time
If your home is damaged, repairs are bound to take time. Where will you stay and how are you going to pay for alternative accommodation? Enter Tiq Home Insurance with our Emergency Cash Allowance.
In the event that your home is uninhabitable due to any insured peril, you will get an immediate cash allowance of up to $5,000 within 24 hours of notification to us, ensuring you have alternative accommodation and things you need to get you back on your feet.
You would still be eligible to claim for your building, renovation and contents if the conditions are met.
8. Home insurance does not cover theft
Nope, theft is covered too, subject to certain conditions. If there is a break-in and your valuables are stolen, you will be reimbursed by the insurance company.
Don’t ignore this vital issue
Consider a situation in which the building that you live in catches fire and your furniture and the interiors of your flat suffer extensive damage. There could also be a situation where a water pipe bursts and floods your home or there is a short circuit resulting in localised damage. In such unfortunate events, a comprehensive home insurance will be handy, as that means you’d have complete coverage for your home and the belongings within.
Insuring the contents of your home takes just a few minutes and costs very little. But many homeowners fail to buy a home insurance policy. This lapse can prove to be very expensive if there is a fire or a robbery at your house.
As the owner of your own HDB flat (or any home for that matter), you should make the effort to understand and protect your home and all that you love.
This article was first published on Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd.. Information is accurate as at 13 June 2022. This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K). Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
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A digital insurance channel that embraces changes to provide simple and convenient protection, Tiq’s mission is to make insurance transparent and accessible, inspiring you today to be prepared for life’s surprises and inevitabilities, while empowering you to “Live Unlimited” and take control of your tomorrow.
With a shared vision to change the paradigm of insurance and reshape customer experience, Etiqa created the strong foundation for Tiq. Because life never stops changing, Etiqa never stops progressing. A licensed life and general insurance company registered in the Republic of Singapore and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Etiqa is governed by the Insurance Act and has been providing insurance solutions since 1961. It is 69% owned by Maybank, Southeast Asia’s fourth largest banking group, with more than 22 million customers in 20 countries; and 31% owned by Ageas, an international insurance group with 33 million customers across 16 countries.
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