What kind of insurance would you prefer to explore?
Insurance in Singapore has become an important, nay, an essential component that can help secure your future or the future of your loved ones. You never know what can happen in life and you should always be prepared for the unforeseen. Should something happen to you, you wouldn’t want your family to be left stranded, especially if they depend on your income.
You can compare different types of insurance to cover just about every aspect of your life. The insurance products you find in the market include life, health, travel, pet, and home insurance.
Choosing the right insurance for your needs and the appropriate amount of cover is also important. So, take a look at the various types of insurance and what they cover to determine what you need.
Companies offering Insurance products in Singapore
Types of Insurance in Singapore
In Singapore, you have a wide range of insurance products to choose from that will shield you and your family from unforeseen events. Insurance in Singapore is generally split into three main categories - general insurance, life insurance, and health insurance. These three are further divided into many smaller groups that offer specialised cover for your varying needs.
- Travel Insurance:You never know what can happen on a journey. The airline you use could misplace or mishandle your luggage or you could “lose” the documents you need to travel abroad. When you have travel insurance, it will make up for any loss to your personal belongings.
- Annual insurance:This travel insurance offers cover for an entire year. You will be covered at both the start and the end of your trip. The destination you travel to and the length of your stay will determine the price of your insurance plan.
- Single-trip cover:If you don’t travel frequently and are going on a single trip such as a holiday, then you would use a single-trip insurance. This will cover the beginning and end of your trip.
- Individual travel insurance:You would take this type of policy if you only need cover for one individual.
- Family travel insurance:When you travel with your family, you can opt for a family travel insurance plan to cover everyone. Sometimes, there may be a limit on the number of people that can be covered under this type of policy.
- Group travel insurance:Are you planning a trip of 5 people or more? If you are, you could look at buying group travel insurance. The benefits you get would be similar to that of an individual plan, but group insurance will be cheaper.
- Motor Insurance:Driving or riding a bike can come with its share of risks. After a road accident, you could be left with costly repair work that can dip into your savings that you’ve worked hard for. With motor insurance, you will be covered against these road accidents. Most motor insurance providers have associations with authorised garages, so you know you will get complete and high-quality repairs.
- Comprehensive insurance:A comprehensive insurance cover will give you the widest form of coverage among all motor insurance plans. Your plan will cover death and injuries sustained by third parties, damage to third-party property, accidents, theft, fire, and medical expensesthat are a result of the accident.
- Third-party insurance:If you are involved in an accident and you are the cause of the accident, this insurance policy will cover the damages caused to the other person involved in the accident.
- Third party, fire, and theft: With this insurance, it’s not just the third party that is covered. Damages to your own vehicle are also covered. You also will be covered against vandalism, fire, theft, death, and injury.
- Health Insurance:Simply put, health insurance covers your medical expenses in the event you fall ill. Any expenses you incur owing to hospitalisation, outpatient treatment, or surgery will be covered by this type of plan. You can opt to have your policy cover maternity expenses, so you won’t have to worry about paying for the expenses that come with pregnancy. Some policies also cover dental, optical, and even alternative treatments.
- Hospitalisation and surgical insuranceWith this type of insurance, you will be covered if you are hospitalised. All eligible expenses will be covered too. In addition, should you ever need surgery or an organ transplant
- Comprehensive health insurance:Suppose you fall victim to a major illness, you won’t have to be worried about your rising medical bills if you have comprehensive health insurance. You also will be covered for treatments such as chemotherapy or dialysis.
- Insurance for supplemental medical expenses:This type of insurance is taken in addition to your existing health plan. The purpose of this plan is to provide enhanced coverage.
- Insurance providing an income on disability: In the event you become disabled and are not able to work, this policy will provide you with a regular income.
- Home Insurance:A home is your quiet place and you long to be in your sanctuary especially after a tiring day of work. If you own a home, you need to purchase a home insurance plan which will protect your home against damages. Some insurance plans also offer protection against natural calamities. Home insurance will not only cover fixtures or renovations you made to your home, but it also covers its contents.
- Cover for renovations and building fixtures:What do you do if your home is destroyed in a disaster such as a fire? While fire insurance may cover you against fire damages, you will need home insurance if you want coverage for your fittings and fixtures.
- Cover for the contents of your home:Every home has its share of appliances. A home insurance plan will also cover appliances such as your TV or fridge in the event it is destroyed or you have been robbed.
- Personal liability cover:You will need this cover in case you are legally responsible for what occurs in your home. Suppose you rent a home, you could use personal liability to cover the contents of the home if something unfortunate happens.
- Personal effects, loss of money and valuables:Suppose your home is broken into and you get robbed, you will be able to claim a certain amount to replace cash, personal belongings, or other valuables.
- Benefit for alternative accommodation: In the event your home is damaged and becomes uninhabitable, you are going to need a place to stay. With home insurance, you will receive a benefit on a daily basis that will help you find a new place to stay.
- All-risks or insured peril:While insured peril policies cover you only in certain situations such as a flood or a fire, an all-risk policy offers wider coverage. This, however, makes all-risk policies more expensive.
- Personal Accident Insurance:Travelling is a part of almost everyone’s daily routine, whether it is to work, university, or simply for leisure. With personal accident insurance, your family or you would receive a payout in case you pass away or become disabled owing to the accident. Eligible medical expenses also will get covered by the policy.
- Maid Insurance:Maid insurance is taken out to cover your maid or domestic helper if they fall ill or are injured. This insurance also protects you by safeguarding your finances should such an event take place. By law, maid insurance should have 2 components. The first is personal accident coverage of at least S$60,000. Your maid insurance should also cover certain medical expenses up to S$15,000.
Have a look at the various types of travel insurance plans in Singapore:
Learn more about the different types of motor insurance available in Singapore:
Take a more detailed look at the different aspects of home insurance:
How to Apply for Insurance Online
Are you looking to buy insurance? Well, the process can vary based on the type of insurance. Certain insurance types such as travel insurance or car insurance can be purchased online.
- On the online form, you will need to input details such as your age, driving habits, or the country you are travelling to (in the case of travel insurance). After this, you will receive a quote showing how much you need to pay and offering you the chance to purchase add ons. If you like the quoted amount, you can add in your personal details such NRIC number and complete your purchase.
- In the case of other insurance types such as life insurance, you may be able to view an estimated amount of what your premium could amount to. However, the actual premium is based on your health condition at the time, your age, or whether you are a smoker or not. Some insurance firms also ask you to seek financial advice before taking out a policy.
- You could even contact the company directly for assistance with your application. Some firms have policies you can take out directly with them. You can find contact information such as telephone number, email, or a physical address for these companies on their official websites.
The primary cost involved in any insurance policy is the premium amount that policyholders pay in return for the coverage they get. There are some additional costs included as well.
Mortality Charges – These charges translate to the amount a policyholder will being for every $1,000 worth of coverage.
Morbidity Charges – Very similar to Mortality charges, but it comes into effect only for critical illnesses.
Additional Charges – These charges include administrative charges, policy fees and other charges adding up to insurers’ operational costs.
Commission Charges – Payment or commission to insurance agents for providing their services to customers.
Customers in Singapore can submit claims for any type of insurance using the particular company’s website, which generally provides detailed instructions to initiate and submit a claim. Along with the claim form, NRICs of claimants and other supporting documents, which need to be indicated on a claim form have to be submitted to the insurer, depending on the type of claim made.
After the required documents have been received by the insurer, the claim is processed and the settlement is made as stipulated in the insurance agreement. Some insurance claims might require inspectors to scrutinize the damages or losses incurred by the insured and then settle on a claim amount befitting the damages sustained.
Insurance companies in Singapore generally grant a 14-day cooling-off period for health, accident and life insurance policyholders to review the insurance product that they have purchased. Customers can read through their policy documents and analyse if the insurance policy that they have taken actually meets their financial needs. If customers realise that the purchased policy is falling short of their requirements, then they have the option of sending a written notice to the insurer to cancel the policy within a period of 14 days. The insurer will refund all the premiums paid deducting the expenses that have already incurred. In some scenarios, insurers might also deduct medical expenses will doing the refund, if it is an investment based policy.
Every individual needs to safeguard himself, his family and personal belongings against all possible risks and calamities. In today’s world, protection is available for every type of risk, regardless of the cause. An insurance policy provides financial assistance during emergencies and calamities to policyholders and their families. Individuals need to understand and assess their requirements with regards to buying an insurance plan. They should buy a policy which covers eventual risks associated with their lives. It is not necessary that they take insurance protection for everything that they own, but mainly for those personal entities that face higher risks and require policyholders to shell out huge amounts of money from their savings to cover up for the losses. Any insurance plan should be adequate enough to cover the requirements of policyholders and their dependents, be it for unexpected medical expenses, personal commitments or for long-term savings.
Q. Why should you get insurance?
A. In the event of a calamity, you wouldn’t want your finances to get drained as you are met with unforeseen expenses. Instead, you could protect yourself, your loved ones, or your business against such instances with insurance.
What happens if a family member of yours falls sick? Even if you are a person who plans your finances really well, you could end up running pillar to post trying to get things sorted out at the last minute. But if you had health insurance you could just flash a card at the hospital and your expenses would be taken care of. Some policies even make it easier with cashless settlements.
So, when you take out an insurance plan, what you get is convenience along with a certain measure of peace of mind. The hassle of having to run around at the last minute is eliminated and you get to live your life free of worries.
Q. How are claims processed?
A. For most insurance companies in Singapore, you will find detailed instructions for the various claims processes on their websites. In some instances, you may even be allowed to file your claim online. Along with a claim form, you will also need to provide identification and supporting documentation based on the claim you’re making.
Once the company receives the form and the documents, they will start processing the claim. They should also send you an update to let you know the status of the claim and let you know when you can receive the payment. In some instances, an inspector may pay you a visit to assess the damage that took place at your home, business, or vehicle. Once the processing is complete, the monies will be paid to you.
Q. What are riders and how do they affect the policy?
A. When you take out a life insurance policy, you generally get life and disability cover (depending on the policy). However, if you want enhanced protection from illness, injury, or if you are laid off and cannot make premium payments, you have the option to add riders. Riders cover these situations and when added to a policy they can increase the premium amount.
Or let’s say you’ve opted for a destination wedding and have purchased travel insurance. Your basic plan will provide cover for the essentials, such as loss of property, medical expenses, or if your trip gets cancelled. But you could choose to add an option such as the “Overseas Wedding and Photoshoot” rider to protect the expensive bridal gear you are carrying against theft, damage, or loss.
Q. What is the 14-day free look period?
A. When you purchase a policy, the insurance company will give you the option to cancel your policy if you don’t want it. So, for 14 days after you receive your policy document, you can see if you really want the cover you have opted for. If you receive the policy by mail, the 14-day period starts on the day the policy was posted.
If you do decide to cancel your policy, the amount you paid in premiums will be paid back to you. There will, however, be deductions to this amount. This is taken for administration charges or if you had to undergo a medical test for a life insurance policy.
Q. What other charges do you pay besides the premium amount?
A. Besides paying for the premiums that provide you with cover there are other charges you will have to pay for your policy. These include:
Commissions: This refers to the amount the insurance agent gets paid for the service they render to you.
Additional charges: What is collected as the administrative charges or policy fees goes to the insurer. It is used for the company’s day-to-day operations.
Mortality charges: When you purchase life insurance, your insurer adds a charge that offers protection on death. This is called a mortality charge.
Morbidity charges: This works similarly to mortality charges, but this pertains to critical illness.