A typical home insurance policy in Singapore provides protection on the policyholder's home contents (i.e. TV, sofa, laptops, and other valuables in the property) and interior renovations (i.e. fixtures and fittings that you’ve added to the original house). This is different from a fire insurance policy, which only protects the original structure of your flat and is typically purchased with your home loan. Home insurance's price and coverage may differ based on the size and type of the property, ownership status, and appraisal of your actual home value. Below, we discuss the average cost of home insurance for prospective buyers to help them make a more educated decision.
Table of Contents
- Cost of Coverage for HDB Flat Owners
- Cost of Coverage for Private Homeowners
- Cost of Coverage for Landlords
- Cost of Coverage for Tenants
- How to Choose the Best Home Insurance
Average Cost of Home Insurance for HDB Flat Owners
According to our study of 16 companies that offer home insurance, we found the average price of home insurance to be about S$153 a year for a 4-room HDB flat owner in Singapore, the most common type of housing in the country. These policies represent the more "basic" offerings in the market that only cover "named perils," meaning you are able to recover the loss to your personal properties resulting from fire, earthquakes, typhoons, theft, and other events designated by the insurer. Premiums ranged from S$50 to around S$280, but on average these policies covered around S$47,000 of home contents and S$120,000 of home renovation costs, which should be sufficient for an average household's basic needs.
Home insurance for smaller HDB flats cost about S$102 on average, while policies for 5-room and executive flats cost around S$225 on average. These policies provide different levels of coverage for home contents and renovations; below, we've demonstrated the most typical amount of coverage for each below.
|HDB Flat Type||Average Price||Estimated Coverage Needs for Contents||Estimated Coverage Needs for Renovations|
|3-room or below||S$102||S$20,000||S$30,000|
|5-room or above||S$225||S$50,000||S$70,000|
Average Cost of Home Insurance for Private Homeowners
Average cost of home insurance for a 2-bedroom private property was S$118 for policies that cover approximately S$30,000 of home contents and S$80,000 of home renovation costs. However, prices of individual policies ranged from S$40 to S$200, with some variations in coverage as well. We think this level of policy is probably sufficient for the average household living in a condo that is equivalent to 3-room HDB flat. Also, it is worth noting that your building itself should already be covered by the fire insurance provided by the condo's management corporation strata title.
If you are looking for higher level of coverage for your home, you should expect to pay anywhere between 50%-150% extra for your home insurance policy, depending on the insurer that you are purchasing from. Also, there are even more expensive policies available for purchase for those living in landed properties that require additional protection for their buildings. For instance, the average cost of a landed property in Singapore costs around S$620 per year for around S$1,000,000 of total coverage.
|Private Home Tier||Average Cost||Estimated Coverage Needs for Contents (per year)||Estimated Coverage Needs for Renovations (per year)|
Average Cost of Home Insurance for Landlords
Because fire insurance policies only cover the building, it is a good idea for landlords to insure the fixtures and fittings that they've added to their rental properties in case they get damaged. For home insurance that only protect the cost of home renovations, the average cost was about S$8.70 for HDB flats or condos with 3 rooms or less, the most common type of rental property. These policies provide about S$25,000 of coverage for home renovation costs. For HDB flats, this price can be as low as S$6.13, while for private properties you should expect to spend anywhere between S$10 to S$30.
For landlords who need greater amount of coverage for their rental homes' renovations and fixtures, they should expect to pay S$20-S$55. In general, your coverage can increase to S$50,000 to S$75,000 for these prices. Other insurers offer landlord-specific plans, where the average price for plan that covers renovations along with other benefits such as rent protection and third party liability coverage is S$107 per year.
|Average Price by Home Renovation Cost Coverage Amount|
|* For AXA, minimum premium is S$53.50|
Average Cost of Home Insurance for Tenants
For tenants, the cost of home insurance really depends on how much personal belongings you have in the property, since there’s no need for you to insure the building structure and built-in fixtures. To ensure personal belongings of up to S$10,000, you can expect to pay about S$28.48 on average on a home content insurance policy, though prices can go as low as S$14.56. If you need to ensure a greater amount, you can expect to spend between S$30 to S$300. Other insurers also offer comprehensive tenant-focused plans that cost an average of S$81 per year. These plans cover contents, fixed glass and mirrors, mover damage and tenant liability.
|Average Price by Home Content Coverage Amount|
|Home Content Coverage||S$10,000||S$25,000||S$50,000||S$75,000|
How to Choose the Best Home Insurance
Home insurance policies contain lots of caveats that make it hard to choose the overall “best”. One rule of thumb is that you should never under-insure your property and contents. If you do, you will get paid substantially below the value of your properties. Therefore, you should always try to find the cheapest policy that provides sufficient amount of coverage for your properties. Also, it’s important to carefully investigate your policy and understand its various sub-limits within the home content coverage. There are items like cash, jewellery, bikes, and pedigree pets that the insurer will compensate only up to a certain limit. Lastly, some policies cover your legal liability to your tenants, landlords, or a third party, so this should be taken into consideration when choosing the best deal.