FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Deductible/excess refers to the portion of a claim that you are responsible for paying before your insurer covers the remaining amount. This specified amount can be found in your policy document and applies to each eligible claim you make.
Commercial Property Insurance
Business property insurance, also referred to as commercial property insurance, serves to protect vital assets such as owned or leased equipment, office spaces, machinery, buildings, and personal property within your company. A comprehensive policy should also include coverage for business interruption, ensuring continuity in case of losses or damages.
Occupancy in fire insurance refers to the specific purpose for which a building is being used or occupied. It is an important factor in determining the insurance coverage and risk associated with a property.
There are typically two main types of occupancy: as a landlord or as a tenant of the premises you are occupying.
The cost of business insurance in Singapore depends on several factors, including the size and type of business activities, the level of coverage required, and the insurer. Generally, SME business insurance packages in Singapore can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per year.
Property All-Risk coverage, also referred to as All-Risk insurance, provides comprehensive protection against a broad spectrum of risks and perils that may result in damage or loss to your insured property. This type of coverage safeguards your property from various events, such as fire, theft, natural disasters, vandalism, accidental damage, and unforeseen circumstances. It offers extensive coverage, typically excluding only specifically mentioned exclusions stated in the policy.
Fire & Extraneous Peril Only coverage, as the name implies, specifically insures against fire-related risks and a limited number of extraneous perils. This coverage primarily focuses on incidents related to fire, including fire damage to the insured property. Extraneous perils may encompass events like lightning strikes or explosions. However, this type of coverage has narrower scope compared to Property All-Risk coverage, as it only provides protection against the specified perils mentioned in the policy.
In summary, Property All-Risk coverage provides comprehensive protection against a wide array of risks and perils, while Fire & Extraneous Peril Only coverage offers a more restricted coverage primarily centred around fire-related risks and a few additional specified perils.
Public Liability Insurance (PUL) offers coverage for third party claims arising from injuries, accidental damage, bodily harm, property loss, and other incidents that occur on your business premises.
In contrast, Combined General Liability Insurance (CGL) provides significantly broader coverage. In addition to the protections offered by PUL, CGL insurance plans typically include coverage for third party injuries and property losses resulting from the products distributed, manufactured, or sold by your business. Furthermore, CGL insurance may even encompass advertising liability coverage.
No, Public Liability insurance specifically covers claims made by third parties for injury, illness, or damage resulting from your business activities. It does not typically extend to claims related to business negligence or professional mistakes. For coverage against such claims, you would generally need Professional Indemnity insurance.
The required limit of liability for public liability insurance varies based on factors such as your business’s nature, business revenue, potential risks, and contractual obligations. It is essential to conduct a thorough evaluation of your specific situation.
Work Injury Compensation (Wica)
Currently, it is compulsory to provide coverage under WICA for the following groups:
- All manual workers, regardless of their wage level.
- Non-manual (office/admin) workers earning less than SG$2,600 per month.
For non-manual workers earning more than the mandatory amount, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) advises employers to still insure them, as the employer remains liable for any workplace-related incidents.
The Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) provides coverage for the following individuals:
- Local or foreign employees who are under a contract of service or contract of apprenticeship, regardless of their salary, age, or citizenship.
However, the following categories are not covered under WICA:
- Independent contractors and self-employed individuals.
- Domestic workers.
- Uniformed personnel, including members of the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Central Narcotics Bureau, and Singapore Prison Service.
Do refer to the MOM website for the most up-to-date information.
The following scenarios are not covered by Work Injury Compensation in Singapore:
- Intentionally aggravating a work-related injury or purposefully causing self-injury.
- Injuring oneself while under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs during employment.
- Sustaining injuries in an accident during work hours while taking a personal detour on a work-related journey, regardless of the mode of transport.
- If an employee has an accident while using their own vehicle or public transport while commuting to work, they are not covered by WICA.
Please note that the examples provided above are just some instances, and each claim will be individually reviewed based on its own merits.
Yes, according to the provisions of the Work Injury Compensation Act, the employer’s liability towards an employee who sustains injuries from a work-related accident continues even if the employee is no longer working for the employer. Therefore, you are still obligated to pay the injured employee their entitled medical leave wages and cover their medical expenses.
Public Liability (PL) insurance provides coverage for claims made by the general public for damages, injuries, illnesses, or losses they may suffer. On the other hand, Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance focuses on policy claims filed by customers or clients related to professional negligence or errors.
In summary, while PL insurance safeguards against claims from the public for various types of harm, PI insurance specifically addresses claims arising from professional mistakes or negligence made by policyholders.
The cost of professional indemnity (PI) insurance typically begins at SGD1,000 and can vary based on several factors. The nature of your profession, the size of your business, the desired coverage level, and other risk factors specific to your industry can all influence the premium.
Since PI insurance provides coverage for legal liability arising from professional negligence, it is essential to assess the unique risk exposure associated with your profession in order to determine the appropriate coverage and corresponding premium.
Directors And Officers Liability
Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance is not mandatory in Singapore.
However, it is worth noting that investors or directors may request your company to obtain this insurance policy.
D&O insurance provides protection for investors by mitigating liabilities that may arise from wrongful acts committed by directors and officers of the company.
Absolutely. D&O insurance is highly beneficial for startups as it provides crucial protection for executives and key decision-makers against potential lawsuits during the early stages of the company. In addition to safeguarding individuals, having D&O insurance coverage can have several advantages for startups.
- Lawsuit Protection: D&O insurance shields executives from personal liability and financial risks associated with claims and lawsuits targeting their actions or decisions taken on behalf of the company.
- Talent Attraction: Having D&O insurance demonstrates a commitment to protecting executives and can be an attractive factor when recruiting top talent. It offers a sense of security and reassurance for professionals considering joining a startup.
- Funding and Investment: D&O insurance can enhance the startup’s credibility and mitigate risks for potential investors, increasing the likelihood of securing funding. Investors often consider D&O insurance coverage as a sign of responsible management and risk management practices.
- Future Growth and Expansion: As startups evolve and aspire to go public or seek acquisition opportunities, having D&O insurance in place becomes even more critical. It provides a solid foundation and reassurance for future stakeholders during important milestones.
Considering the potential risks and legal challenges that startups may face, obtaining D&O insurance is a proactive step towards protecting the company, its executives, and its long-term prospects.
Employee Benefits Insurance (Group Medical Insurance)
Obtaining a group medical insurance policy is highly advisable as it offers several benefits. Firstly, it helps your business in attracting and retaining talented employees, enhancing the overall appeal of your organisation. Secondly, group policies provide vital protection to your employees, alleviating the financial burden associated with high medical costs. This is particularly valuable since not all employees may have comprehensive coverage at an individual level.
No, Employee Benefits should not be confused with Work Injury Compensation Insurance or Foreign Workers Medical insurance, which is mandatory. Employee Benefits, as the name implies, are typically additional benefits provided by companies to enhance employee welfare and expand the coverage beyond what individuals may already have. While it is not a legal obligation, many companies choose to offer Employee Benefits as part of their overall compensation package to attract and retain talented employees.
In Singapore, businesses are mandated to obtain health insurance coverage specifically for Work Permit and S-Pass holders. However, this requirement does not extend to Employment Pass (EP) holders, as well as locals and Permanent Residents (PRs). For the most up-to-date information on the specific requirements, it is advisable to refer to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website.
EB often encompass various coverage options, which can include but are not limited to the following:
- Group Hospitalisation and Surgical (GHS)
- General Practitioner (GP) Outpatient (OP)
- Specialist OP
- Dental coverage
- Group Term Life (GTL)
- Group Personal Accident (GPA)
These are common examples of the coverage types frequently found in EB plans, although the specific offerings may vary depending on the company and the plan chosen.
Yes. Insurance companies provide Family Cover options in addition to Individual Travel insurance plans. Family Cover may include benefits such as automatic coverage for children aged 17 and below who are traveling with a parent, as well as coverage for individuals aged 18 to 23 who are still pursuing tertiary education. Some plans may require separate additions for each family member.
Although coverage may vary among insurance providers, single-trip insurance plans generally encompass the following areas:
- Medical expenses and emergency evacuation
- Coverage for significant illnesses
- Compensation for baggage delay, loss, or theft
- Reimbursement for stolen money or personal belongings
- Reimbursement for delayed or cancelled flights
- Coverage for accommodation expenses
- Emergency repatriation in case of political unrest or natural disasters
- Coverage for rental vehicle excess
- Protection against damage to personal belongings
The necessity of travel insurance when flying depends on the destination country. Certain countries mandate passengers to present travel insurance along with other required documents. Additionally, traveling without insurance can expose you to significant out-of-pocket expenses in the event of any incidents occurring during your time abroad.
No. it is not possible to purchase a policy once you have already embarked on your trip. Travel insurance must be obtained prior to your departure. Additionally, many insurers have exclusions on certain benefits, such as Trip Cancellation, if the policy is purchased less than 3 days before the trip.
It is advisable to secure travel insurance immediately after confirming your flight and accommodation arrangements. This is important since airlines occasionally cancel flights prior to departure. By doing so, you may be eligible for trip cancellation coverage, subject to the conditions specified in your policy.
Insurance companies in Singapore include COVID-19 coverage in their annual travel insurance plans. While the extent of coverage may vary, you can typically anticipate the following benefits:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses abroad for up to 90 days from the date of diagnosis
- Trip cancellation benefits
- Trip alteration options
- Coverage for overseas COVID-19 quarantine
- Assistance for early return home
Annual Travel Insurance can cover multiple trips during the 12 months period.
This will be subjected to typically a maximum of 90 days per trip.
The policy period for single trip insurance policies is commonly set at 180 days by many insurance companies. However, this duration may vary depending on the specific insurer.
If you seldom travel abroad, opting for single-trip travel insurance is a more cost-effective choice compared to annual travel insurance. However, if you have multiple trips planned within a year, purchasing annual travel coverage will provide better value for your money.
The availability of compensation for missed flights through your travel insurance provider can vary. It is contingent upon the specific terms outlined in your policy. However, it’s important to note that if you miss your flight for reasons not covered by the policy, you will not be eligible to file a successful claim.
Yes, comprehensive travel insurance can provide coverage for various accommodation expenses, including non-refundable reservations, tickets, hotel bookings, and prepaid tours, as part of the trip cancellation benefit.
Yes, certain insurers offer coverage for cruises too.
Yes. Some insurers offer trip cancellation payouts for accommodation expenses like hotel bookings, tickets, airfare, and other non-refundable costs.
It is recommended to submit a travel insurance claim within the timeframe specified in your policy. Most companies advise filing the claim within 30 days after returning home from your trip. Filing a claim beyond the policy period may result in rejection of the claim.
Typically, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered by standard travel insurance policies unless the policy’s “stability” requirements are met. It is advisable to explore personalized travel insurance plans that do not have stability requirements for pre-existing medical conditions.
Yes. Motor insurance is mandatory in Singapore as per the regulations set by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). Before a vehicle can be driven in Singapore, it must have motor insurance coverage. Additionally, it is a pre-requisite for your car to be insured for the entire road tax renewal period before the road tax can be renewed. The minimum coverage required is a third-party only policy, which provides coverage for injuries or damages caused to third parties.
No. Automatic renewal of motor insurance policies is not a common practice in Singapore, although some insurers may offer this option. Unlike life insurance policies, it is believed that you should have the opportunity to choose and review your motor insurance policy with the insurance company before deciding to renew.
The difference between comprehensive and third-party motor insurance in Singapore lies in their coverage. Comprehensive motor insurance provides extensive coverage for accidental damage, theft, fire, and third-party liability. On the other hand, third-party insurance solely covers third-party liability, including:
- Bodily injury or death caused to a third party
- Third-party property damage
- Legal expenses
The following are some examples of what is not covered by motor insurance policies. Some typical exclusions include:
- Wear and tear
- Mechanical breakdown
- Damage caused by illegal activities (such as driving under the influence or road racing)
- Damage caused by drivers without a valid license
- Damage due to overloading
- Damage resulting from intentional acts
- Damage caused by unapproved modifications
In most comprehensive motor insurance policies, coverage for loss of personal belongings (such as phones, laptops, cameras) are also available as an optional add-on. If you have opted for this add-on, the loss of personal effects is covered in the event of theft resulting from forced entry into the motor vehicle. However, a police report will need to support the incident.
Excess in motor insurance refers to the predetermined amount of money that policyholders are responsible for paying towards a claim before the insurer covers the remaining costs. In Singapore, motor insurance policies usually come with a standard excess amount. However, policyholders may have the flexibility to adjust their excess amount, either increasing or decreasing it, in return for a corresponding change in their insurance premiums.
- Exchange personal details with all involved parties, including Name, NRIC/FIN, Telephone Number, Address, and Insurer.
- Take digital photographs of your vehicle involved in the accident for inclusion in accident reports when filing them later.
- Contact your insurer’s hotline for assistance with arranging a tow truck or seeking further advice regarding the accident.
- Within 24 hours or by the next working day, report the accident and bring your vehicle (regardless of damage) to the approved Reporting Center or authorized workshop.
- Avoid engaging with unauthorized tow-truck operators or repair workshops.
Please be reminded that all accidents, no matter how minor or with no visible damage, must be reported to your insurer within 24 hours or by the next working day, regardless of whether you plan to file a claim or not. Failure to comply with this policy requirement may result in prejudice or rejection of your claims by insurers, as it will be considered a breach of the policy terms and conditions, absolving the insurer from liability.
No, motor insurance policies in Singapore exclude coverage for accidents that occur while the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Commercial Vehicle & Private Hire
Insurance premiums for commercial vehicles can be higher compared to private motor insurance. The increased cost is attributed to the higher driving frequency of commercial vehicles, which inherently increases the likelihood of being involved in accidents.
The primary distinction between personal and commercial car insurance lies in the vehicle usage. It is crucial to obtain the appropriate policy that aligns with the vehicle’s intended usage. Failure to do so may result in claims being rejected if the wrong usage policy is purchased.
The following are some examples of what is not covered by commercial vehicle insurance policies. Some typical exclusions include:
- Wear and tear
- Damage to goods being transported by the commercial vehicle
- Business consequential losses: When an accident involving the company vehicle leads to a delay in goods, any resulting costs are not covered.
- Mechanical or electrical breakdown
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unauthorized drivers operating the vehicle
- Vehicle usage not related to the policy owner’s business
- Non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the license.
For companies or individuals engaged in ride-hailing services, standard motor insurance coverage is insufficient. Comprehensive car insurance is necessary, providing coverage for the following:
- Third-party fire and theft
- Personal accident coverage
- Vehicle loss or damage
- Legal liability for negligent actions
- Legal liability for fare-paying passengers
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