In 2021, SCDF reported that electrical fires are the second leading cause of fires in Singapore and there is a 2.79% increase since 2020. With the prevalence of online shopping and the myriad of brand-new electrical appliances to choose from, safety should be one important factor when purchasing an electrical appliance online.
Recent news of a massage gun bought from a well-known online retailer catching fire sparked interest online.
Coming out of this unfortunate event, the customer was only able to get a refund and no compensation for the furniture damage as of now.
Platform Liability – Can You Get Money From The Platform?
In the event that something similar happens, the online sellers and platform will only refund the cost of the product or do an exchange.
|Terms and Condition||Lazada||Shopee||Qoo10|
|Limitation of Liability||Does not extend to any loss or injury to a person or loss or damage to property or any incidental, contingent, special or any direct or indirect loss and consequential damages.||Shopee is not liable for any indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages, arising out of or in connection with the use or inability to use this site or the services, including, without limitation, any damages resulting therefrom.
List is not comprehensive. For more information, click here .
|In no event shall the company be liable for any special, incidental, indirect, punitive or consequential damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, whether in contract, tort, strict liability or otherwise, (including without limitation, those resulting from: (1) reliance on the materials presented, (2) costs of replacement goods). |
List is not comprehensive. For more information, click here.
|Exclusion||Not Liable for:
When looking at their terms and conditions, the platforms have a liability exclusion for any compensation especially for any damages caused by the product as shown above.
HDB Fire Insurance – Does It Help?
Many of us may think that since we have a mandatory HDB fire insurance, we are covered. While that is true, HDB Fire Insurance only covers damaged internal structures, fixtures such as pipes and electrical wiring.
This means that personal properties are not covered under HDB Fire Insurance and any replacement would have to come out of your own pocket.
Home Insurance – The Best Option Against Faulty Online Purchases
In this situation, home insurance will be the best option for customers. Home insurance will cover the compensation in the event that the fire causes personal property damage.
|Coverage||HDB Fire Insurance||Home Insurance|
|Electrical Wiring + Water Pipe Damage||Yes||Yes|
Tiq Home Insurance
Tiq Home Insurance is a good home insurance that has all the essentials covered and offers competitive pricing for it. One unique feature Tiq offers is a S$5,000 cash deposit into your e-wallet in 1 business day to help you out in the event of a fire.
With Tiq insurance, you will be paying lower than average premium prices, but not losing out on the coverage. Beyond the low premium prices, Tiq also offers major emergency repairs for plumbing, electricity, locksmith and pest control issues.
You can read our comprehensive review on Tiq Home Insurance here.
UOB Absolute Cashback Card
One of the best UOB cashback cards on the market, UOB Absolute Cashback Card rewards average consumers with unlimited cashback with no min., caps or exclusion. Cardholders earn 1.7% cashback on all spendings like insurance payments, school feels, medical bills, rental payment, wallet top-ups, utilities and telco bills.
Another benefit of UOB Absolute Cashback Card is the exclusive American Express Card privileges that you can enjoy, from complimentary 6-month FoundersCard membership to 50% savings on dining, shopping and accommodation.
Singlife with Aviva Home Insurance
Singlife with Aviva Home Insurance offers great value for homeowners who would want to claim more for their home content and renovations. Being one of the cheapest home insurance in Singapore, it does not stand to lose out too much.
However, Singlife achieves this low price by removing the miscellaneous coverage like food replacement, bicycle or keys and lock replacement costs. These coverages can be added in as riders.
Learn more about Singlife Home Insurancehere.
Maybank Platinum Visa
Maybank offers their high cashback-rates of 3.33% even if you spend as little as S$300/month. This includes paying of insurance premium. This would translate to S$30/quarter earned and S$100/quarter if you spend S$1,000/month.
The quarterly service fee of S$20 is also waived simply with card use. There is also free travel insurance for cardholders.
AXA SmartHome Insurance
For homeowners who like to maximise their benefits, AXA SmartHome Insurance is a great home insurance plan. AXA SmartHome does come with a pricier premium due to its high-value protection scheme.
AXA SmartHome is suitable for customers that are more affluent. It has very high content coverage and offers up to S$10,000 for works of art.
Read more about AXA SmartHome Insurance here.
HSBC Visa Platinum credit card allows cardholders to earn a 5% rebate on local dining, groceries and petrol after S$600 minimum spend, and 0.4 miles per S$1 on all other spending–including insurance premiums–with no minimum requirement.
With the ability to earn miles easily without the need to pay high annual fees, HSBC Revolution is a suitable credit card for users who shop a lot online and pay via mobile apps.
Tips to Avoid Such Situations
Check for Safety Mark
Electrical appliances with the safety marks are tested and certified to be compliant with the relevant safety standards. This would indicate that these appliances with a safety rating are much less likely to catch fire or explode.
Look out for the safety mark when you purchase from online retailers. The mark will either be embedded on the pictures or do a simple word search for “Safety Mark” on the product page.
Read more about the electrical safety mark here.
Surge Protection and Adaptors
Should you have any appliances that are cheaply made or do not have the safety mark, ensure that there is proper grounding and surge protection. Purchase power extenders or adaptors that have surge protection and are well-grounded will reduce the risk of electrical fires. As much as possible, do not leave such appliances unattended.
Ensure that you do not overload your power extender and inculcate the habit of replacing them more frequently, every 3 - 5 years if it is constantly under high loads.
Spend More on Your Appliances
For those appliances that are known to be prone to electrical fires, spend more money and get them from reputable manufacturers. Getting products that are insanely cheap might lead to more costs down the road.
Keep Flammables Away
This is a common fact, but some of us may overlook it and not notice that we are placing flammable or even combustible items near electrical appliances.
As safe shoppers and good homeowners, be prudent when you are looking for an electrical appliance. Beyond these cautionary steps, it is important to look for good home insurance that will provide the payout should there be an electrical fire in your home.