All You Need to Know About HDB’s Fire Insurance

The HDB Fire Insurance Scheme is a compulsory policy for all flat owners who have an outstanding HDB housing loan. We’ll walk you through what this policy is, what exactly it covers, and what other options you have when it comes to insuring your home.

ValueChampion Editorial Team

by ValueChampion Editorial Team on Apr 10, 2024

HDB flats protected by the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme

A home is among the most expensive items you’ll ever buy in your life. Even if it’s your very first HDB flat in Singapore, it can easily set you back around S$600,000 if you’re considering both Build-To-Order (BTO) and resale apartments. Therefore, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who would say insuring their home isn’t worth it.

Fortunately, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) does implement the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme as a first layer of protection. If you’re a homeowner with an active housing loan from the HDB, you’ll need to participate in the scheme and renew this insurance policy until your loan is fully paid off.

Read on to learn all about the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme, what this policy covers, and how you can further protect your home from any unfortunate incidents that crop up.

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What Is the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme?

As its name suggests, the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme insures HDB flats from damage caused by a fire. To be precise, this insurance policy is meant to shoulder the financial burden for flat owners who need to make repairs after a fire breaks out. And as mentioned above, it’s compulsory for all flat owners who have not fully repaid their HDB housing loan.

Although folks whose HDB housing loans started before 1 September 1994 aren’t required to purchase this insurance policy, it was a moot point by late-2019. That’s because the maximum tenure of a HDB housing loan is 25 years. Regardless, it’s still crucial to insure your home through other policies, but more on those later.

If you were wondering, the current insurer for the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme is FWD, with Etiqa preceding it. You’ll need to renew this policy every five years, which means a total of five premiums should you opt for the longest HDB housing loan tenure.

What’s Covered By the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme?

The HDB clearly states what is and isn’t covered by the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme. This allows you to make a more informed decision when it comes to purchasing an additional home insurance policy, and whether you really need the increased protection.

Here are the exact costs the scheme covers:

  • Reinstating damaged internal structures
  • Reinstating damaged fixtures and fittings
  • Repairs for areas built and provided by the HDB

Do note the sum insured is not unlimited. As of 2024, this ranges from S$29,000 to S$106,200, depending on your flat type.

On the flip side, here’s what the scheme does not cover:

  • Furniture
  • Renovations
  • Personal belongings
  • Other home contents

These “other home contents” include the cooker hood in your kitchen, lights around your apartment, and water heater in your bathroom.

Furthermore, the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme does not cover the cost of accommodation elsewhere while your home is being repaired. This should be another consideration you take into account when deciding whether to buy another home insurance policy.

How Much Does the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme Cost?

HDB flats in Singapore insured against fires
Source: Unsplash

Premiums for the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme cost between S$1.65 and S$8.25. This, like the sum insured, depends on your flat type. Remember, you’ll only need to pay for this premium once every five years. You can do so at FWD’s website or office, any AXS kiosk, or by mailing a cheque to FWD.

Here’s a full breakdown of the cost, with the current GST of 9% included:

HDB Flat TypeFive-Year Premium
Studio ApartmentS$2.76
2-Room and 2-Room FlexiS$2.76
4-Room and S1S$6.05
5-Room, S2, and 3-GenerationS$7.26
Executive and Multi-GenerationS$8.25

The premiums you see above are from 16 August 2019 to 15 August 2024. These will change as time goes by, but don’t expect any significant increases or discounts. For reference, the premium in 2017 ranged from S$1.50 to S$7.50, including the then-GST of 7%.

Even if the HDB changes up its categorisation of flats, expect the fire insurance policy to still bear similar premiums across the board.

Are There Other Insurance Plans Which Safeguard My Home?

A homeowner in Singapore researching home insurance policies
Source: Unsplash

There are indeed home insurance policies from Etiqa, FWD, and other insurers in Singapore protecting not only HDB flats, but private residential properties too. In fact, the HDB “strongly recommends” homeowners to purchase additional protection. These policies from insurance companies are meant to cover what the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme does not.

For most of us, the greatest benefit of a home insurance policy from a private insurer would be coverage for furniture, renovations, personal belongings, and other home contents. What’s more, a home insurance policy protects your apartment from other incidents alongside fires, including burglary and theft.

Another area of coverage you might want to consider when comparing home insurance policies would be damages to your neighbour’s property. Given the relatively close proximity between HDB flats, a fire in your home has the potential to damage your neighbour’s apartment too, even if it’s just their front porch and gate.

Lastly, if you’re a proud “pawrent”, having a home insurance plan which includes coverage for the loss of your pet or offers this protection as an add-on is most likely a non-negotiable. However, do note that this is usually limited to cats or dogs. Scrutinise the fine print of the policy you’re interested in to determine the exact list of pets which are covered.

In Closing

The HDB Fire Insurance Scheme is a handy form of protection for homeowners who’ve taken up a housing loan from the HDB. Although it’s compulsory to purchase and retain this policy until your loan is fully paid off, its premiums are fairly negligible. The total cost over 25 years only ranges from approximately S$8.25 to S$41.25.

However, this policy is so affordable because what it covers is highly specific. Therefore, most homeowners in Singapore would want an additional home insurance plan for more comprehensive coverage. The peace of mind is worth the extra premiums paid. After all, wouldn’t you want one of your most expensive purchases ever to be adequately protected?

As a result, participating in the HDB Fire Insurance Scheme and having a separate home insurance policy will safeguard your apartment from a variety of incidents, including fire of course.

On that note, ensure you’re not under-insuring your flat by first noting down the value of every significant personal belonging and piece of furniture before purchasing a home insurance plan.

Ready to insure your home? Check out the best home insurance plans in Singapore and get sufficiently covered.

Find All The Best Home Loans in SingaporeFind Out More

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Cover image source: Unsplash

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