Many of us believe that maid insurance is just there to pay for our foreign domestic worker's medical bills and protect her from liabilities. However, there is much more nuance in your maid insurance policy. For all the benefits that are offered, there are also exclusions that can result in unexpected monetary loss. While some exclusions you may already expect (pregnancy or participating in illegal activity), others you may not have know about. To prevent potentially unexpected claim denials, we wrote about 4 lesser known policy exclusions which can be found in your maid insurance policy.
While you may think your domestic worker's insurance policy remains in full force throughout her employment, you may be surprised to know that there are lapses in coverage. For instance, dengue coverage is a great benefit that is provided in some maid insurance policies, as there are tens of thousands of cases reported every year in the ASEAN alone. However, let's say your domestic worker goes home on holiday to visit her family and she contracts dengue fever. Because she travelled without you, her hospitalisation and subsequent treatment may not be covered under your maid insurance policy. The same applies to terrorism and assault benefits (provided only by a few insurers). Unless the injury occurs in Singapore, this benefit will only be in effect if you were travelling with your worker.
YTD Dengue Infections in ASEAN Countries
Not all of your domestic worker's illnesses and injuries may be covered under the hospitalisation or personal accident benefit. As is common with your own health insurance, your domestic worker's pre-existing conditions may not be covered under your maid insurance. Furthermore, injuries or ailments resulting from these conditions may not be covered as well. For instance, let's say your domestic worker has high blood pressure that causes her to have severe headaches and makes her dizzy. If she injures herself while working because of these conditions, the treatments for her injuries may not be covered by your maid insurance. However, there is a way to get these conditions covered: insurers will pay for her treatment if she has been working in Singapore for at least 12 months already or if her previous insurance policies covered these conditions in Singapore. Thus, when hiring an older domestic worker (since older people have a higher risk of developing chronic conditions), it may be beneficial to see if she has met these conditions.
Financial Help When Your FDW's Hospitalisation Claim Is Denied
In the event your domestic worker falls ill and needs to be hospitalised for an extended period of time, your maid insurance policy will cover both her salary and your cost of hiring temporary help. This can be a good benefit for those who require help with a family member who needs constant assistance (i.e. a disabled family member or a toddler) or is strapped for cash. However, you should make sure you choose a policy with a wage compensation that is high enough to cover your domestic worker's salary—otherwise you may have to continue shelling out dollars to pay some portion of her salary out of your own pocket. Furthermore, you will only be able to use these benefits if your domestic worker's medical bill can be claimed under her hospitalisation benefit. Thus, if the claim for her injury or illnesses is denied (either because necessary precautions weren't taken or it was due to a condition that wasn't covered), these benefits won't apply to you.
Injuries from Sports and Adventurous Activities
If you and your domestic worker have a bond that is tied to a love of adventurous activities such as skiing, rock climbing or skydiving, you will not be able to claim injuries suffered related to these injuries under your maid insurance policy. Instead, you should find a suitable travel insurance policy that will cover these activities the next time you take your domestic worker on holiday with you. Considering that a travel insurance policy for a quick one week trip to the ASEAN region can cost less than S$35, it is definitely a small investment to protect the someone who is responsible for helping you take care of the household.