Nannies play a lot of roles not just in maintaining the cleanliness of the household but in providing extra care to the whole family. Without them, our homes would be in total chaos, our rooms could be battlegrounds, our sinks would stink, our bathrooms would smell nasty, and our children could be a pain in the head.
You could depend on them when you have an urgent thing to do and they carry half of your burdens when you have a lot of things on your hand.
But we understand that they’re not robots: they get tired. They are also prone to sickness like fever, colds, and due to the nature of their work, perhaps with over fatigue.
And if you have a helper or planning to have one, getting them insured is one of the things that you are required to do. Searching for the best plans and weighing your options while learning the laws and policies too would be a wise thing.
In Singapore, Maid Insurance is not a widely discussed topic – which is quite surprising because according to UWC South East Asia, at the end of 2010, there were 210,000 Foreign Domestic Workers (FWD) recorded by the Ministry of Manpower. But despite this fact, it is required by the Ministry of Manpower to have your maid insured if you’re going to hire one so they can also set their expectations that they are secured in working away from their homes.
What is Maid Insurance?
Maid Insurance protects you from unpredicted expenses when you hire a new maid or renew their contract. It is required by the Ministry of Manpower before you hire a Foreign Domestic Worker. Most of the time, it has a binding contract of at least two (2) years because it equates to the minimum years an FWD usually have in their contract.
As mandated by the law in Singapore, before your helper arrives, you should buy medical insurance and personal accident insurance as part of your obligations as a responsible employer.
The required coverage for medical insurance at least $15,000 per year for inpatient care and day surgery during your helper’s stay in Singapore.
On the other hand, for the personal accident insurance, if the helper applied for a new work permit or renewing existing work permit with PAI, your helper’s PAI:
- Must have a sum assured of at least $60,000 per year.
- Must cover sudden, unforeseen and unexpected incidents resulting in permanent disability or death.
- Must not contain extra exclusion clauses that are not in the Employment of Foreign Manpower Regulations.
What does maid insurance in Singapore covers?
The job of your helper could be risky, like dusting off spider webs hanging on your ceiling, or cleaning your chandelier or ceiling fan. Some of them are tasked to clean walls and windows too.
That is why it is a great thing to have your helper’s hospitalization covered since some (not all) employers find a hard time getting their helpers rushed to the hospital because of their hectic schedule or due to the expensive cost.
If this is the case, then you could easily file a claim if such things happen and you won’t have to worry about paying for the medical expenses.
Even if your helper is well oriented and trained on the heaviness of the chores that they would do, the insurance company should not only have hospitalization coverage but outpatient treatment and surgery too.
Accidents like being bitten by your fur baby, or falling off a bike while getting your child from school, or getting injured or scalded while cooking your meals are included in outpatient treatment. That means, if your helper needs medical assistance but is not required to be confined or warded in the hospital, the insurance company would still cover the expenses incurred.
Be reminded that the cost of how much outpatient treatment could be covered depends on the policy or plans that you have availed and it only applies when accidents happened.
Here is an example quotation from FWD Singapore. They offer outpatient expense coverage that increases by $1,000 with each tier:
Tier 1 – $1,000 Outpatient Expense Coverage (essential)
Tier 2 – $2,000 Outpatient Expense Coverage (enhanced)
Tier 3 – $3,000 Outpatient Expense Coverage (exclusive)
As mandated by the law, your helper should also have personal accident insurance of $60,000. In case of accidents that lead to death or permanent disability, you will have the means to send your helper back home.
This should be well noted because the cost is really expensive if you will shoulder it on your own. In cases of death, the helper deserves to be sent home so that her family could give her a proper and respectful burial.
According to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, a security bond is a binding pledge to pay the government if either you or your helper breaks the law or Work Permit conditions. The bond is in the form of a banker’s or insurer’s guarantee.
- You are required to buy your helper a bond of $5,000 unless he is a Malaysian. You cannot let your helper shoulder the expenses too.
- You have to buy the bond before your helper arrives in Singapore. This could be bought along with the medical insurance and the PAI, but it could also be bought separately. Then, get your insurer to send the details to MOM – make sure that the bond takes effect immediately when your helper arrives.
- If for any reason you were not able to buy a security bond, she will not be granted access to enter Singapore and you should pay for the helper’s fare so that she can be sent home immediately.
- If you have canceled the Work Permit or your helper has returned home, or if proven that you did not breach any of the conditions of the security bond, then the bond will be discharged a week after the helper leaves Singapore.
On the other hand, the bond shall be forfeited if;
- You or your helper violates any of the conditions of the Work Permit or security bond.
- You don’t pay your helper’s salary on time.
- You fail to send your helper home when her Work Permit has expired, revoked or canceled.
- Your helper goes missing.
According to MOM, in cases like an unexpected pregnancy, you will not be liable for your helper’s violations, if you can prove that you have:
- Informed her of the Work Permit conditions she must comply with.
- Reported a violation when you first become aware of it.
If your helper gets hospitalized and confined for a number of days, there are companies like Income, offers wages compensation claims of up to $35 for each day that your helper is hospitalized (up to 30 days). You could use this payout to compensate for your helper’s wage so she can still earn while recovering from any sickness that she might have.
While you expect that your helper will be of ethical attitude and will not cause any destruction to another’s property, in any case, if you will receive a lawsuit on your end, you’d be glad if your chosen insurance company covers liability to third parties.
In FWD’s sample computation, the amount increases depending on the tier of the plan that you will choose.
- Tier 1 (Essential) – $3,000
- Tier 2 (Enhanced) – $4,000
- Tier 3 (Exclusive) – $5,000
If your helper is sick or hospitalized and is not able to perform her job for a certain number of days, there are some companies that reimburse you with a sum per day so you can hire an alternative or temporary help while your helper is still recovering.
Maid’s Personal Belongings
You shouldn’t be surprised if your helper owns a laptop or a smartphone because these are essential things that she uses to connect with her family back at home. If in any case it was stolen or damaged, you can process a claim on her behalf so that it could be replaced or reimbursed. Companies like FWD and Insurance United offers this coverage ranging from $300-$700.
This is good coverage if you are someone who can’t trust someone completely. This protects you from any theft that is done by the helper provided that you have evidence and is proven.
If circumstances happened wherein you need to hire a new helper, some maid insurance companies will pay agency fees so you can hire a new helper. Extreme causes such as permanent disability or death is a valid reason for this coverage’s claims. You cannot use this coverage if you just don’t like the helper that you have right now.
Are the inclusions of the coverage fixed?
Yes, it is fixed in the sense that it is the amount required by SG’s Ministry of Manpower. But, if you’d like to invest more in your helper’s welfare, there are a lot of companies in Singapore that offer customizable plans.
What are the companies that offer the best maid insurance plans?
You have a great number of companies to choose from but keep in mind insurance companies in SG automatically offer plans with the amount mandated by the law. If you would like to have a better view of the plans that they are offering, check out HM Consultancy.