For most, if not all of our lovely people in the LGBTQ+ community, one of the major milestones of our lives is to own a place which we call home. So, not surprising that you will do whatever it takes to make it your dream home (renovation, furniture, state of the art sound system for your movie theatre to watch RuPaul’s with your sistersss and the list goes on…).
But what if one day a fire broke out at your neighour’s house and it spread to your home? “Aiya! Got the HDB fire insurance mahs!” or “Aiya! My condo’s MCST got cover it mahs!”. My reply to you is “Honey, better talk to your financial consultant to get a home insurance ASAP!”
There have been a lot of misconception that the HDB fire insurance and the coverage from MCST will cover all of your losses in an event of fire outbreak etc. well yes, it does provide protection but not to your renovation, contents and etc, what they do cover is only the four walls and any original fittings that comes along with it. So that is why a home insurance is important especially if you spend big money on it.
In the market there are so many insurance companies for you to choose from so which company should you look at?
So, in order to help you to make a better decision, here are some of the things that you need to consider on!
Understanding Home insurance
Types of Cover
In the market there are 2 types of cover for you to choose from which is a Fire & EP(Extraneous Perils) cover or All-Risk cover. So, Fire and EP(Earthquake, Flood, Burglary and etc) will provide cover for incidents that are listed out in the wordings, while All risks cover will basically cover you all sort of Risk except for those that is indicated explicitly(mould and pest infestation etc) that the company do not cover, and naturally All-Risk home insurance will be more costly.
Major Section of Home Insurance
The major sections of home insurance are Contents, Liability and Building though building cover is an optional to some of the houseowners, briefly what each components cover are as follows: –
Contents Section – provides cover for your household items (TV, furniture, clothes etc), renovations, fittings, and fixture. Some of the insurance companies provide a more comprehensive cover (ie. Worldwide cover for personal belongings, paintings, artworks, and curios at full value).
Liability Section – provides worldwide coverage for you and your family member staying in the same household if you cause any bodily injury or property damage to a third party.
Building Section – only applicable if you are staying in a landed property because it covers the structure AKA four walls in which if you are staying in a HDB or a condominium it would have been taken care it.
So… how about my partner?
Some of you may be staying with your life partner in the same household(be it under your name or your partner’s name), and naturally you will be concern about making sure that the insurance too will cover your partner’s requirements too. In order to ensure that, we will have to zoom into the policy wordings and look into the definition for “Family/Household”.
Here are some of the definitions from several insurance companies
Company 1 – Family means your spouse and children, and relatives permanently living with you at the address stated in the Schedule
Company 2 – All members of Your family and any other persons (but not tenants, boarders, lodgers or paying guests) permanently living with you
Company 3 – Family member means any person residing with you in the residence who is:
- a) related to you by blood, marriage or adoption;
- b) your relative;
- c) your sibling’s spouse and children; or
- d) your unmarried child age 26 or younger who reside in your household when not attending school while abroad
For a straight couple it will be all good for them since it checked all the boxes for their better half, children, and in-laws. BUT the last I checked gay marriage in Singapore is still illegal and does not recognise gay marriages from other countries.
Which means you will hit into some ambiguity if your home insurance cover is under company 1 and 3 because they did not indicate if they recognize marriage that is outside of Singapore’s law, and being ambiguous is the last thing you will want in an event of a claim.
Take for example, if your partner bitchslap someone in the bar and he/she decided to sue your partner (okay I am being a drama mama but please read the terms and conditions or confirm with your financial consultant if bitch slapping someone can be claimed). It will be unlikely that you can claim anything.
IF you are married in a country that legalize gay marriage and is able to produce a marriage certificate, this does not guarantee that you are able to claim in the policy because in the eyes of Singapore law it is not a legalize marriage and it will be on the discretion of the insurance company if they want to pay the claims.
That is why, it is important to make sure that your insurance policy clearly defines what do they mean by family members or household members this will save you the trouble for going back and forth with the claims officer to pay the claims. Insurance should be helping you in the times of need and not to cause you greater grieve or misery.
How much is enough?
“So how much do I need to cover to make sure that my home is well covered?” Well… you will be the best person to answer this question because all the contents in your home are purchase by you, and lucky thing for most home insurance it is on first loss basis meaning to say that you will not be penalized even if sum insured is lesser than what you have, but the sum insured is also the maximum amount that you are able to claim if there is a total loss (meaning to say if your home got burned down).
Of course, the higher the sum insured the more expensive it can get and depending on how comprehensive the home insurance is as well, but this will be for an article for another time.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the home that you have worked so hard to own is insured and your partner who you are staying with gets covered in the home insurance policy you bought too! If you are in doubt of your home insurance definition or looking to buy a new home insurance, you can always ask your financial consultant to check with the insurance company.
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