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Best home insurance plans in 2023 for fire, smoke, water damage and break-ins

Best home insurance plans in 2023 for fire, smoke, water damage and break-ins
PHOTO: Unsplash

Home insurance plans are one of the best ways to protect our homes from fires, floods, and break-ins.

While these events are unfortunately quite common, it is their potential for severe financial consequences that make them threats that should be taken seriously.

In this article we will discuss home insurance and its importance, how home insurance plans work, and what some of the best home insurance plans have to offer.

Why is home insurance important?

Home insurance is important because it provides a financial safety buffer should your home and its contents suffer serious damage or destruction..

Events such as a home fire, explosion or water leakage from burst pipes can wreck enough havoc to severely curtail the ability of your property to serve your needs — or even render it downright uninhabitable.

With the average renovation costing tens of thousands of dollars, repairing and restoring your home to a liveable state will not come cheap. But unless you happen to have another home to move into, it’s not like you can put off the repairs until you can find the money to pay for it.

In other words, should your home suffer serious damage, you have little choice but to deal with it right there and then. This will immediately become a problem if you don’t have the required financial resources on hand.

This is where home insurance comes in; you can use your policy to offset the hefty costs of repairing your home.

This spares you from having to drain your savings or emergency fund, or worse, run around trying to scrape together enough money from friends, relatives and bank loans.

With a home insurance policy, you can better focus on getting your life back on track with (hopefully) minimal lasting consequences.

What does home insurance cover?

Home insurance is designed to enable policyholders to restore their homes after a catastrophe to a state close to before. In practice, this means repairing damage, restoring renovation works, and replacing furniture, appliances and personal belongings.

There are, of course, exceptions, so let’s break things down a little more. You can expect a home insurance policy to cover:

  • Repairs to original fixtures and internal structure. Repainting walls, repairing pipes and flooring, partitions, in-built cabinets, fittings, etc.
  • Restoring renovations and other works. This covers renovations or works that were added to the property, inducing furniture and appliances. This may also include things like locks and windows that were damaged or broken due to a break-in.
  • Replacing personal belongings. Home insurance policies also offer coverage for your personal belongings reasonably expected to be found at home, such as personal computers, clothing, accessories and such. However, coverage will be limited on a per-item basis, in many cases falling short of the full value of your items. Particularly valuable items such as antiques and jewellery are usually not covered.
  • Third party liability. Commonly, home insurance policies also offer third-party liability cover, which shields homeowners or occupants from damages sought by third parties, such as when a guest slips and falls while visiting your home and wants compensation for medical treatment.
  • Alternative accommodation. Home insurance plans may also include benefits that pay for alternative accommodations while repairs are carried out.
  • Other home-related incidents. Some home insurance plans may also include ancillary benefits that homeowners may find useful. For example, there may be benefits for loss and/or unauthorised use of bank cards, spoiled food due to power outage or fridge breakdown, coverage for handyman or pest-busting services.

What’s the difference between home insurance and fire insurance?

Home insurance plans only cover the interior of your home.

However, damage from, say, a fire that started in the bedroom, can spread to the exteriors surrounding your unit.

Walls and common areas may be blackened by soot and smoke, power lines may be destroyed, utilities meters may need replacing, etc. In extreme cases, there could even be substantial damage to the structure and facade of the building itself.

Such types of damage and repairs are covered by a fire insurance plan, but it’s not something most homeowners have to be overly concerned with.

This is because HDB homeowners will be directed to purchase a fire plan when buying a unit from HDB — you won’t be allowed to take possession of your unit otherwise.

As for condominiums, they are usually covered by a master plan managed by the property management team.

Meanwhile, home insurance for landed property usually includes coverage for building and structure, which fulfils the same purpose as a fire insurance plan.

Best home insurance plans in Singapore 2023

NTUC Income Home Insurance — Best for the budget-conscious

NTUC Income Home Insurance is among the lowest-cost home insurance plans on the market, making it a great option for budget-conscious homeowners. In particular, those with smaller units — three-room and four-room flats — will find better value-for-money with this plan over others.

You’ll be glad to know that despite its wallet-friendly pricing, NTUC Income Home Insurance doesn't skimp on the benefits, with cover for debris removal, conservancy charges, personal accident, pets and domestic worker belongings included at no extra charge.

FWD Home Insurance – Best for those seeking flexibility

Besides being another home insurance plan that offers great value for money, FWD Home Insurance also offers a high degree of flexibility. You can customise your policy according to your specifications, such as number of rooms, cost of renovation, value of home contents and building coverage desired.

As an added bonus, FWD recently announced that customers who purchase or renew their FWD Home insurance will now also enjoy complimentary FWD Cyber insurance.

This newly launched online cyber protection plan is designed to safeguard customers from the financial impact of cyber fraud. It is available for twelve months and covers online shopping fraud and fraudulent electronic transfers.

On the flipside, while being able to choose your own coverage levels may sound appealing, care should be taken to avoid underinsurance, which will reduce the coverage you ultimately receive.

Tiq by Etiqa Home Insurance — Best for emergency cash

When a disaster renders your home unlivable, having emergency cash on hand is helpful. Tiq Home Insurance offers up to $5,000 in emergency cash, which you can receive in as little as 24 hours, giving you greater confidence to meet urgent needs.

Other highlights of this plan is the Home Emergency Assistance benefit, debris removal benefit, and credit card theft coverage — all available without extra cost.

You can further improve your coverage with paid add-ons ranging from accidental death to cyber protection and coverage for home appliances.

ALSO READ: Home insurance 101: Protect your home and belongings in Singapore

This article was first published in ValueChampion.

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