Given the kind of fast-paced lifestyle most people live in today’s world, domestic helpers have become an indispensable part of people’s lives. Singapore makes it mandatory for a foreign domestic helper (FDH) employer to buy personal accident coverage and medical insurance for her. The insurance mentioned above policy is a compulsory requirement as underlined by the Ministry of Manpower.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, Each Foreign Domestic Worker Must Have:
- At least $15000 per year to cover inpatient care and day surgery expenses.
- At least $60000 to cover unforeseen, unanticipated and sudden circumstances leading to death or permanent disability.
- Security bond worth $5000.
The coverage period for these insurance policies is either 14 or 26 months. Most insurance companies offer plans that cover a year or two years, and the Ministry of Manpower requires employers to include insurance for their employees for an additional two months. Most of these plans offer a letter of guarantee that covers the mandatory security bond.
Is it advisable to buy an insurance policy that only covers the basic requirements as delineated by the Ministry of Manpower? No.
Insurance companies often offer add-on services with their plans, which are quite economical and may help save one money in the long run.
The Key Benefits That Most Insurance Plans Cover In Addition To The Basic Requirements Are:
- The insurance policy covers expenses if a domestic helper’s personal belongings like smartphones, jewellery are damaged, or stolen.
- A domestic helper or her family will be provided with money to cover the trip expenses back home in case the helper passes away or is disabled permanently.
- This scheme covers the cost incurred to replace a foreign domestic helper on the termination of a foreign domestic helper’s services due to unforeseen circumstances.
- If a helper is unable to work for health reasons, her wages will be covered for a while. When the salary is covered, and the threshold limit of the amount paid varies from insurance to insurance.
- Outpatient services, if any is required, are included.
- This benefit covers any costs incurred in case of accidental bodily injuries to a third party or damages caused to a third party’s property by a domestic helper.
- A guarantee provided by the insurer against security bond deposited with the Ministry of Manpower.
What Is A Security Bond?
The security bond deposit has been put into place to ensure that employers do not flout the laws and regulations for domestic helper employment. Should any of these laws be breached, the employer will forfeit the security bond deposited.
This security bond deposit is mandatory for hiring domestic helpers for any foreign country except Malaysia.
When Should You Buy It?
It takes up to 3 days for the Ministry of Manpower to process the security bond details. The bond should take effect from the day your helper arrives in Singapore. Therefore, you should buy the bond such well before your employee comes.
When Will You Get The Bond Deposit Back?
You Are Eligible To Get Back Your Deposit If:
- Your employee’s services have been completed
- Your employee’s work permit has been canceled
- if either party have not broken any condition
- You will receive the deposit as soon as your domestic helper reaches home safely.
- The onus is on employers to clearly explain the work permit conditions to their employees.
- The employer should preferably do so in the presence of an eye-witness.
- If the employee does not show up for work, the employer must be able to prove that her/his helper was well aware of her obligations to recover their deposit.
When Will The Bond Be Forfeited?
- Failure to pay domestic helper’s wages on time.
- Failure to cover medical expenses for the helper.
- Failure to cover the costs incurred to fly a helper back home when her work permit gets expired, canceled, or revoked.
- If the helper goes missing.
- If either employer or employee has breached any other conditions.
How to Choose the Best Insurance Policy?
For first-timers buying insurance policies through a maid agency might seem like the most feasible option. However, they might not always offer the plan that is best for you.
There are several resources available on the Internet that allows you to study and research the wide variety of plans available. Moreover, there are also several insurance-comparing websites. This helps you choose the best policy but also aids you to save a lot of money because you do not have to cover travel expenses to and from the maid agency and pay commissions or intermediary fees.
However, it often becomes very confusing to choose from the many plans available, especially for first-timers. If you are confused, you should select a 14 months plan instead of jumping right into a 26 months plan. However, buying 26 months plan often turns out to be a more sound investment.
Insurance Policies Designed To Cover Domestic Helpers Fall Under Three Tiers:
These plans include only the basic requirements without any of the added benefits. These plans cost around $260 for 26 months.
These plans provide extra coverage at an affordable rate. For instance, if your helper falls ill, these plans will provide wage compensation at $30/ day. These plans cost around $320 for 26 months and offer the best value for money.
Plans in this tier provide the maximum coverage and are also the most expensive. They cost around $360 for 26 months.
Things To Keep In Mind While Buying A Plan
- Does your maid have comorbidities? Does the insurance plan you are buying cover that?
- A lot of insurers do not cover dengue fever and malaria. Check if your insurance plan includes them before buying.
- It is always beneficial to buy plans that cover outpatient facilities.
Insurance plans should be bought depending on the kind of services you need and the amount you are willing to spend. You can find the Maid Insurance that suits you and your foreign domestic helper best at HLAS. You could also check out the various other insurance plans offered by HL Assurance SG.