Your house is both your haven and your castle. You spent loads of money buying and remodelling your house. Although many Singaporeans neglect to purchase home insurance, it makes sense to safeguard their largest asset. Since the Management Corporation (MC) insures condominium units and statutory fire policies cover HDB apartments, is home insurance in Singapore necessary?

Yes, to put it briefly. The building structure is the only thing covered by the MC’s basic fire protection and house insurance in the event of a fire. Beyond this, home insurance also covers other unforeseen occurrences like floods or break-ins, as well as your renovations and belongings.

Describe home insurance.

Home insurance, as the name implies, is a subset of insurance for property that protects your house against theft or damage, including valuables like furniture and other items you maintain at home. Your home insurance covers any mishaps or thefts that occur on your land.

You get paid to substitute your personal belongings or to repair the improvements you made if any of these insured catastrophes occur.

For instance, DBS’s Myhome protect insurance-11 offers

  • In the event that an insured incident causes damage to your house, you may be eligible to receive up to S$350,000 for rehabilitation or replacement costs, as well as replacement costs for home furnishings and devices.
  • Get up to S$32,000 back in compensation for missed rent or expenses incurred from booking a different place to stay.
  • You are eligible if an insured occurrence renders your house uninhabitable.
  • You are covered for up to S$1,000,000 globally in case any member of your household is held legally liable for compensation.

Fire insurance and home insurance are not the same thing.

You are automatically insured under the HDB fire insurance program if you own an HDB apartment and have an HDB loan; however, as long as your loan is due, you must renew your coverage. It covers the cost of rebuilding destroyed internal structures and fixtures, as well as spaces constructed and provided by HDB. This is how the HDB describes the required fire insurance.

Homeowners with only fire insurance coverage are limited to recovering their actual out-of-pocket expenses for replacing the apartment’s fixtures and structural elements. It will not pay for house furnishings or personal goods such as furniture.

Therefore, you would have to start over from scratch, at your own expense, if you had added a walk-in wardrobe, changed the flooring, or made other improvements.  Additionally, you’ll need to replace your appliances, furniture, and other personal items, which will cost money.

Conversely, home insurance is intended to supplement fire insurance and close any gaps. Apart from reinstating the physical structure of your apartment, home insurance enables you to file claims in the unlikely event that a fire destroys your items and any upgrades or alterations you’ve made to your house. While it won’t make the process of renovating your house any less unpleasant, at least you won’t have to worry about additional out-of-pocket expenses.

Additional claims under your house insurance policy

Home insurance, as opposed to fire insurance, also pays for losses brought on by burst pipes and burglaries. The specific coverage varies depending on the rule, but in general, you should be able to replace any stolen property and cover the cost of repairs if your property is damaged in a way other than by fire.

There are restrictions to the amount you can claim for each benefit, but depending on the insurance company, you may receive coverage for things like losing a house pet, lodging while repairs are being done, damage to your domestic helper’s possessions, and unauthorized payments on your stolen ATM card.