When faced with dozens of maid insurance plans, it can be overwhelming to find out which one will suit you and your foreign domestic worker's needs. This is especially true since bringing a new person into your home creates new risks that are difficult to foresee. While choosing based on your budget is a good idea, you should also take into consideration what you wish to protect and your maid's medical needs. Below, we have compiled a list of things you should consider before purchasing a maid insurance policy.
Table of Contents
- Choosing Maid Insurance Based on Cost
- Choosing Maid Insurance Based on Coverage
- Adding Optional Protection
- Other Considerations
Choosing a Maid Insurance Policy Based on Cost
Maid insurance is usually separated into 3 different tiers based on price and coverage level. This can make it easier to differentiate which insurance policy fits within your budget. On average, basic plans offer less coverage and a smaller scope of coverage options while mid and top-tier plans offer greater levels of protection. However, a cheaper plan may not necessarily mean the policy will be a good fit for everyone.
- Basic Maid Insurance Plans: Basic plans cost S$289.30 on average and can be a good fit for those who are on a restricted budget and don't need extensive protection. While basic plans tend to offer less coverage with a smaller scope of protections than their more comprehensive counterparts, you can still find a great value fit. If you are just starting out with domestic workers and have many other expenses, basic plans can be a great jumping off point. Basic plans are also a good option if you have a track record of zero to few numbers of claims and would rather save some cash on your next policy.
- Mid-Tier Maid Insurance Plans: For cost-conscious individuals who still want a greater variety of coverage, mid-tier policies can be a happy medium. In fact, mid-tier plans tend to provide the best value per dollar of premium paid among the 3 tiers of coverage. A typical mid-tier plan costs around S$325.21.
- Top-Tier Maid Insurance Plans: For consumers who wish to have the most comprehensive plan, top-tier plans will be able to provide you with extensive coverage. If you can afford them, these plans can provide a wide breadth of coverage with high payouts, alleviating worries about risks when hiring a new maid. These plans offer high coverage for things like third party liability, hospitalization, and theft coverage.
Choosing Maid Insurance Based on Coverage
Maid insurance policies differentiate themselves by offering protection from a variety of options. These range from additional medical coverage like hospital recuperation and outpatient expenses to liability coverage like protection from lawsuits and theft. If you can anticipate what kind of protection you'll need, you can find a policy that works best for your lifestyle as it will save you the greatest amount of out of pocket costs.
Medical coverage is an important factor to consider when evaluating maid insurance plans because as her employer, you will be responsible for paying all of your maid's medical expenses. Since every policy has to provide a minimum coverage of S$60,000 in personal accident expenses and a minimum of S$15,000 in hospitalization expenses, insurance companies differentiate themselves by providing additional forms of medical coverage. Most policies cover basic outpatient expenses (cancer or kidney dialysis) and hospital recuperation. Some plans also reimburse expenses for Chinese physician treatment and dengue fever treatment. However, insurers generally don't cover things like pre-existing conditions, STD's, childbirth, or injury from hazardous sports.
Tailoring your plan to match your maid's medical needs can save you a lot of out of pocket expenses, whether she suffers from psychological troubles or gets sick easily. If you find yourself spending too much on out-of-pocket medical expenses, focus on policies that offer greater medical coverage. If you live in an accident-prone environment such as a high-rise building, you should opt for comprehensive medical coverage; though you should always ensure the safety of your foreign domestic worker, there may be times when your maid will find herself in a risky situation.
|Medical Benefits||Industry Average (S$)|
If your main concern is protecting your family and your valuables, you can find policies that offer high levels of protection against theft and lawsuits. The most common type of liability coverage is third-party liability coverage which is protection from lawsuits in the event your maid accidentally damages someone or their property. If there will be a high level of interaction between your maid and strangers during her duties, this liability option can protect you from possible legal accidents. The domestic helper's liability benefit could be a useful protection to keep in mind if your maid will be responsible for young children or the elderly that may be exposed to possible abuse.
In general, liability coverage includes covering legal and other fees that are levied against you or your maid up to a certain level as described in the policy. Other forms of non-medical coverage include protection from theft by your maid, replacement fees if you have to hire a new maid, protection for your maid's belongings, and coverage for temporary help if your maid is hospitalized. However, you will not be covered if you claim a loss for the wrong party or if you or your maid intentionally harm, kill, or commit malicious acts (including using weapons or when under the influence of alcohol or drugs).
|Liability Benefits||Industry Average (S$)|
|3rd Party Liability||14,783.33|
|Personal (Maid's Belongings)||435.71|
Additional Optional Protection
Some insurance companies offer optional coverage add-ons to their policies, which can be a great way to personalize a policy to match your needs. If you found a policy you like but it is missing something that you need, you can see if they have any policy add-ons. Though your total cost will be higher, you will have a policy that will cover more of your risks, saving you money in the long-run.
- Types of Maid Insurance Policy Add-ons: There are several types of policy add-ons that insurers can give you the option of purchasing. These include topping up hospitalization coverage where, for an added premium, you can buy up to S$30,000 in additional coverage. Some companies like HLAS provide coverage for medical checkups for an additional fee of $107 (for 2-year coverage) and others like AXA provide add-ons for psychiatric and dental coverage.
- Waiver of Indemnity Add-on for Foreign Workers: One of the most important add-ons that you should consider purchasing is the waiver of counter indemnity. As an employer, you are required to submit a S$5,000 bond to the Ministry of Manpower which you will be required to pay if you break any law governing your employment of a maid (unless your maid is Malaysian). Plans will offer a waiver of counter indemnity which can limit your liability on the bond to S$250. This means that in the event that you breach the original S$5,000 bond for reasons that are not your fault, you will only be liable for S$250. This option costs an average of $53.50.
- Philippines Embassy Bond Option for Filipino Maids: If you are hiring a Filipino maid, you are required to submit either a S$7,000 or S$2,000 bond to the Filipino embassy. The S$7,000 is if you are hiring a maid directly and the premium to cover this bond is offered more frequently. The S$2,000 bond is required if you are hiring a maid through an accredited agency.
As an employer there is a lot of pressure to ensure everyone's well-being and it can be difficult to predict what kind of risks you may face in the future. Though it can be tempting to choose the cheapest policy, choosing a policy that is tailored to your needs can end up saving you many out-of-pocket expenses. While no policy will provide the perfect level of coverage for your needs, most policies provide ample coverage to make sure you and your maid are protected. If you wish to learn more about different types of maid insurance, we have created a guide to our picks of some of the best maid insurance policies in Singapore.