Like many other industrialised countries in the world, Singapore is a busy country. It is common to find homes where both parents work irregular hours. In the same homes, it is possible to find young children and/or senior citizens. Therefore, it is natural for such homes to seek the help of domestic workers. With this comes the burden of maid insurance in Singapore.
Interestingly, official government statistics indicate that by December 2017, Singapore had 246,800 foreign domestic workers. In particular, this is the number with official work permits from the government. Assuming that there is a possibility of presence of undocumented domestic workers, this number could be higher. If you add the few local domestic workers, the number is even higher.
However, it is interesting to note that most employers are not aware that the domestic workers (maids) require insurance. A simple search on the internet for steps to getting maid insurance in Singapore will only turn up adverts for the same. Based on our research, we found out that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) actually requires that all maids have insurance cover. Below are the steps to getting maid insurance in Singapore.
1. Understand the minimum requirements
There are various guidelines in place on what constitutes the insurance package for a maid. MOM requires that you buy medical and personal accident cover for your helper. These are the minimum requirements. However, it is possible to find more offerings by insurance companies. Normally, such added offers are simply marketing tools.
According to the MOM, the two types of insurance cover mentioned are an employer’s obligation to the maid. Further, MOM cautions that an employer must not pass on the cost of purchasing the insurance to the maid. Doing that constitutes a criminal offence. Notably, MOM requires that employers buy the insurance cover before the helper arrives in Singapore.
However, if one gets a helper from an agency, it is common for the agencies to take up that responsibility. Most of the time, agencies will tie up the costs together and ask the employer to settle them all at one go.
3. Approach an insurance company
In Singapore, there are so many companies that offer insurance coverage for maids. Normally, they have different offers that appeal to different sections of the population. Therefore, it is imperative that one does a good background check on the companies and their offers.
Normally, the best way to hunt for the best maid insurance provider is to get their quotes and compare. Comparison will help one to establish the most convenient premiums. Also, it will help to find the type of cover that better suits your helper, as well as being easy on your pocket.
It is always important to first consider the amount one can raise in a month against the monthly premiums.
In addition, when searching for that desirable insurance company it is important to note that there other covers. These could refer to extras to the medical and accident covers. They include:
- Third party liability
- Repatriation expenses
- Maid’s personal belongings claims
- *Wage compensation, etc
*Note that offers like wage compensation are what the employer gets from the insurance company. This is possible in cases where the maid absconds duty or other unavoidable circumstances.
3. Submit the details of your maid
This is the part where you need to compile the important information about your maid. Most importantly, you need to ensure that the maid gives truthful information. For instance, you’ll need to know if your maid has some medical conditions or other pre-existing conditions. The more information you have, the easier it will be to figure out the best insurance cover for your maid.
*The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified adviser.