In the eyes of MOM, purchasing a maid insurance plan is as unavoidable as the smallest of domestic mishaps. Here’s where MSIG MaidPlus can come in to smooth out both the household and your helper’s expenses.
Last December, over a play date, a Mum (let’s call her B) caught up with me about her neighbour’s maid problems as the kids frolicked at Jewel Changi Airport’s Canopy Park.
The domestic helper had suffered a sudden stroke and was found unconscious at home. Upon surgery, she was discovered to have unexplained bleeding in the brain and fell into a coma. As the doctors could not find any cure for the mystery illness, all that could be done was to keep her connected to the life-support machine.
Meanwhile, the daily costs to keep her hospitalised in the ICU at a non-resident rate were mounting.
As they only had basic maid insurance, most of the medical fees were out of pocket. Although this was obviously a rare scenario, I wondered what employers could do differently to protect themselves from such dire circumstances which, truthfully, could happen to anyone, at any time.
Getting more than just the bare minimum
Anyone who has had a helper knows that in order to employ one, you have to purchase maid insurance to meet the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) minimum requirements of at least S$60,000 personal accident and S$15,000 hospitalisation coverage. Maid insurance would also usually include the S$5,000 security bond to MOM as well.
But what happens if (touch wood) you find yourself in the same situation as B’s neighbour? They ended up forking out more than S$15,000 in hospital fees; they also had to pay for medical repatriation expenses out of pocket because their helper was in a coma. Sending her back home safely to her family required two Business Class tickets, one for the helper (who was obviously immobile and needed to be in a reclining position) and an accompanying medical attendant to care for her needs.
Being an employer faced with such a situation would make the usual complaints people have about their helpers seem petty. If a helper has a bad attitude, steals, absconds or even gets pregnant, it doesn’t cost a nest egg to make a police report or send her home.
As such, a maid insurance plan with higher limits for accident, medical and hospitalisation expenses would be the consideration when deciding on what type of coverage to buy. I would imagine this to also be a worthwhile consideration for employers in larger households.
MSIG MaidPlus for extra peace of mind
Consider a more comprehensive plan such as this MSIG maid insurance, called MaidPlus. In addition to the basic hospitalisation coverage of S$15,000, it also offers medical expenses coverage up to S$15,000.
This means that if your helper is injured as a result of an accident or falls ill (as in the case of the maid above), you have double the limits as it also applies to inpatient treatment in a hospital as well as pre and post-hospitalisation treatments up to 90 days.
Here are some of the key features of MSIG MaidPlus maid insurance.
1) Wages and levy reimbursement and alternative domestic help
MSIG MaidPlus has a wage and levy reimbursement feature, whereby you’re paid a fixed sum per day for up to 30 days if your Maid is hospitalised as a result of an injury or illness, as long as the hospital and surgical expenses benefit is payable. That works out to be a total of S$900.
For example, if she has a fall, breaks her arm and ends up needing surgery for it (as complex fractures do), you may also avail the alternative domestic help benefit of up to S$50 a day (higher than say FWD’s daily benefit) while she is hospitalised or recuperating at home (and unable to do housework due to the injury).
2) Personal accident payout
Much like any other personal accident insurance plans out there, MSIG MaidPlus has similar benefits to cover your domestic helper in the event of home accidents. It offers up to S$60,000 for personal accident payouts and S$1,000 in accidental medical expenses to support outpatient needs. A lump sum payout is also possible in the event of death during the course of employment.
You should note that exclusions do apply in this case, such as medical expenses arising from psychiatric treatment, tests or treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and congenital defects. Contrary to what some might think, maid insurance also does not include coverage for household content.
3) Helper's medical expenses are covered while travelling with you and your family
While this will set you back extra in premium payments, it’s a small price to pay if your helper suddenly gets seriously injured or develops a serious medical condition (like a stroke or a heart attack) while travelling overseas with you and your family. Both her hospitalisation and surgical expenses will be covered. Of course, we would generally assume that our helpers are healthy but sometimes complications do arise.
4) Optional Employers Liability cover
Remember the burden of care we talked about earlier, like the unforeseen scenario that your helper becomes (and perhaps remain) seriously injured or disabled? This optional rider can help to take care of any claims made by your maid against you, as the accident would have occurred under your watch. The optional cover ranges from S$300,000 to S$1 million for an additional premium (ranging between S$26.75 to S$69.55).
5) Premium cost
At S$270 per annum (with 8% GST) for a basic plan, it is priced on the higher side when compared to other maid insurance (many are priced well below S$200). But it does offer higher limits on basic coverage such as the daily alternative domestic help benefit, as well as outpatient coverage that allows claims for dental treatment, dengue fever (diagnostic test and treatment) as well as TCM.
They also offer a special lump sum payment of S$2,000 following the death of your helper in Singapore – this should go some way towards comforting her family back home.
In addition to the basic plan, you can consider the optional covers based on your budget and needs. You’ll have to ask yourself how much is enough for additional hospital cover (an additional S$160.50 top-up for S$15,000) and if you require the employee liability option as well.
Exclusive MSIG offer on SingSaver
SingSaver Exclusive Promotion: Get 20% off and S$20 via PayNow when you apply. For Classic and Premier plans, your helper can enjoy a free medical checkup from MSIG. Valid till 31 July 2023. T&Cs apply.
Premiums shown exclude COVID-19 cover. For applications including COVID-19 cover, prices start from S$331.70 (before discount).
Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
Note: This is only product information provided. You may wish to seek advice from a qualified adviser before buying the product. If you choose not to seek advice from a qualified adviser, you should consider whether the product is suitable for you. Buying an insurance product that are not suitable for you may impact your ability to finance your future healthcare needs.
If you decide that the policy is not suitable after purchasing the policy, you may terminate the policy in accordance with the free-look provision, if any, and the insurer may recover from you any expense incurred by the insurer in underwriting the policy.
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