Are we aware of the differences between fire insurance and home insurance, and what they cover?
A fire can breakout at any time because of unexpected causes.
According to SCDF, there were fewer fire incidents, but more fire injuries in the past year. Some recent incidents have led to deaths, such as the Bedok North flat fire that claimed three lives this month, and another in March in New Upper Changi Road, in which one person died. Other incidents that happened this year was the fire that broke out in a Jalan Bukit Merah flat on May 17 and a Marsiling flat on May 14.
Home is where the heart is. Home is where our family, our memories, our treasures and special belongings are all here. Home is where we have the roof over our head and the place that we stay. The question is do we place the importance in protecting it? And are we aware of the differences between fire insurance and home insurance, and what they cover?
Fire insurance and home insurance cover entirely different sets of items in our home.
Fire insurance protects the structural integrity of our HDB flat, such as fittings (like the water closet) and the core structure - including floors, walls or pillars provided by HDB or its approved developer. Its insured perils provide coverage for loss or damage directly caused by specific risks such as fire, explosion, bursting or overflowing of water tanks or pipes, and flood, among others.
In addition to the property’s structure, home insurance protects our home contents – or basically what’s inside our home. This includes renovation works, built-in fixtures, furnishings, décor, home appliances, collectibles and even valuable personal belongings like our jewelry, money, and pets.
With home insurance, we also have the option to cover against all risks or against essential insured perils.
Our stuff that is inside our home is just as important as our home. So it makes a lot of sense that, after lavishing a fortune on our dream home, we also protect our furnishings, home appliances, renovation works, and personal belongings inside of it.
Flat owners with HDB loans commencing on or after 1 September 1994 must buy and renew the HDB fire insurance for our homes, for as long as we have an outstanding HDB loan.
The HDB Fire Insurance Scheme was introduced to help relieve flat owners of the financial burden of repair work in the unfortunate event of a fire.
The HDB fire insurance covers the cost of reinstating damaged internal structures, fixtures, as well as areas built and provided by HDB. It does not include home contents such as furniture, renovations and personal belongings.
We are encouraged to buy additional home insurance to further extend protection over our home contents that are not covered under the HDB fire insurance.
The current appointed insurer for the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme is FWD Singapore Pte Ltd and the insurance is valid for a 5-year period; renewal is done once every 5 years.
For additional benefits, there are multiple options in the market. While every home insurance policy might be slightly different, here are some common types of protection you get when buying one:
This provides you the coverage against accidental loss and damage for your furniture, valuables, renovations and personal liability against unforeseeable situations such as fires, burglaries and floods.
This covers you and your household members permanently living with you if held legally liable to pay compensation to third parties' bodily injury or property damage caused by negligence.
In the unlikely event of a burglary, get replacement costs of locks, keys, windows and covered the loss of your hard-earned cash and jewelry that you have kept in locked drawers or safe.
The insurer will pay the compensation in the event of you sustaining bodily injury caused solely and directly by fire, burglars, thieves or other persons illegally in your home.
Additionally, there are insurers who provide Home Concierge Services for – Electrician, Locksmith, Plumber, Pest Control and Air-con Repair, and also Alternate Accommodation for a peace of mind.
There is no place as comforting as home. While it is easy to assume that we are always protected in our safe haven, unexpected situations may happen at any time and cause huge damage. Avoid the strain and stress by enhancing your home coverage now.
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