Written by: Marissa Saini
If you’re scoffing at the idea of your precious home catching on fire one day, it’s time for some tough love. While we can easily be caught up with the fun side of home ownership – decorating, furnishing, renovating – it’s almost incomprehensible to entertain the possible harm that can befall on your beloved abode. According to Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), there were 2,411 home fire cases in 2018 alone. Before you decide to breeze past the mandatory HDB Fire Insurance Scheme, let us fill you in on what you need to know.
1. The standard coverage lasts 5 years
The HDB-appointed insurer, Etiqa Insurance, provides the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme for 5 years. Once the 5 years are up, a renewal of your plan is required. The rate of your 5-year premium is entirely dependent on your flat type, but it’s largely affordable and can cost as low as $1.50 for 1-room flats till up to $7.50 for executive or multi-gen flats.
2. It does not cover damages brought about by other causes
Besides being engulfed in a raging inferno, your flat could also be vulnerable to other mishaps such as water damage, electrical malfunction, etc. Those, unfortunately, fall outside of the basic fire insurance coverage. You’ll need to sign up for a more extensive plan on top of your mandatory fire insurance commonly known as home insurance to ensure you won’t need to pay out of pocket to repair damages when misfortune strikes.
3. It won’t cover the contents of your home aka your personal belongings
Signed up for HDB fire insurance and think you’re in the clear? Not so fast. While the physical structure of your home is covered, or more specifically the “internal fittings like water pipe bursts, fixtures, and structures”, that still leaves your furniture, electronic appliances, renovations you’ve made to your HDB and other priceless treasures which are woefully unprotected by insurance. In short, things in your flat that were not originally provided by HDB are not covered. Yes, even your fancy built-in wardrobe.
4. It’s no longer applicable for condo
Moving to a condo? Change to a new plan.
If you’re moving to a new HDB home, the process is a lot more straightforward as you can simply update your change of address by reaching out to Etiqa. However, if you’re moving to a condo, the fire insurance is no longer applicable to your new home as the plan only covers HDB flats. A change in an insurance plan is necessary if that were the case.
Are you burning up with the desire to get a more extensive home coverage plan? We think that’s best in order to protect the invaluable sentimental belongings in your home. Plus, it could also save you from splurging megabucks in order to pay for expensive repairs or reconstruction. Best of luck and remember not to leave the stove on!