With the recent spate of fire incidents – the latest one claiming three lives, including a three-year-old’s – it’s time to consider a comprehensive home insurance policy. But what exactly does home insurance cover during fire incidents? Is it still worth getting one on top of fire insurance?
On 14 May 2022, three people including a three-year-old child died in a fire that ravaged a flat in north Bedok. The fire was sparked by a high accumulation of combustible items. The worrying part - This isn’t the first residential fire incident as of late. The Singapore Civil Defence Service (SCDF) has eventually been able to efficiently handle each of these incidents.
In 2021, over 50% of all fire incident calls came from residential premises. In January 2022, three different emergency calls reporting fire incidents were received in one night.
Those are some concerning stats, but the real question is — why do these fires erupt in the first place?
Some of the most common reasons for residential fires in Singapore are:
- Unattended cooking
- Electrical fires
- Household contents especially personal mobility devices (PMDs)
- Rubbish chute fires
At this rate, it's important to find a better way of protecting your home. Neither fire nor comprehensive home insurance is mandatory in Singapore. The only exception to this is the mandatory HDB fire insurance for HDB flat owners who are still paying off their HDB loan.
That said, having comprehensive home insurance is one of the best ways to safeguard your home from fire incidents. In fact, it offers better protection than what most fire insurance policies would.
Wondering how? Let’s take a look at home insurance coverage benefits that are not included in fire insurance.
Home Insurance Coverage for Fire Incidents
In the event of a fire, a fire insurance policy in Singapore will only cover structural damage. Meanwhile, home insurance can cover your home’s contents, neighbouring flats, and even lives lost from the fire.
Here’s a list of the most common home insurance coverage benefits in case of a fire:
From your television to your prized collection of shoes, all of these will be covered by your home insurance plan. Home contents basically refer to all your possessions in the house. This policy includes:
- Home appliances
- Kitchen and crockery
- Bathroom and sanitary appliances
- Clothing and shoes
- Personal documents and cash
- Special collections - antiques, liquor, instruments, etc.
During fire incidents, it’s not uncommon for damage to extend beyond the basic structure of the home itself. In such cases, a home insurance policy will cover any renovation work required in addition to structural fixes.
Fires spread quickly, and it could easily reach neighbouring homes. Thus, if the fire originated from your flat, any resulting damage caused to your neighbours will be your responsibility. Fortunately, a home insurance policy will help cover such damages.
This coverage benefit protects you, your family, and your domestic help in case of death or permanent disablement caused by the fire.
While not all insurance companies include this benefit in their main policy, it can be purchased as an add-on. Do remember that this usually only covers dogs and cats of certain breeds.
In some cases, a home may be uninhabitable after receiving significant damage in the event of a fire. In such cases, an insurer will pay for your alternate accommodation for a certain number of days while your home is being renovated.
Emergency cash allowance
This allowance will enable you to purchase necessary essentials in the event that the fire has left your home uninhabitable.
Removal of debris
With the damage caused to the property, there will be a significant amount of debris once the fire is put out. A home insurance policy will cover the cost of removing such debris caused by the fire.
Home Insurance vs. Fire Insurance
Home insurance and fire insurance are poles apart. While home insurance offers comprehensive coverage benefits, fire insurance coverage is targeted. Many people often confuse the two by presuming that a fire insurance policy covers home contents, personal liabilities, and such.
However, that’s not the case.
Fire insurance is far more limited in terms of coverage. It only offers protection against damages caused to the physical structure of the building. To give you a clearer picture, let’s take a look at the key differences between home insurance and fire insurance.
|Coverage Benefit||Home Insurance||Fire Insurance|
|Structural fixtures and fittings||Yes||Yes|
|Personal accident including death||Yes||No|
|Emergency cash allowance||Yes||No|
(Including home contents debris)
|Yes (Only structural debris)|
|Cost of replacing home fixtures and fittings
(apart from those that are structural)
Best Home Insurance Plans for Fire Incidents
Want to have the best home insurance plan that offers adequate coverage against fire incidents? We’ve put together a list of the best plans available.
|Product Name||Home Content Coverage||Building Coverage||Premium|
|FWD Home Insurance||S$40,000||S$80,000||S$68.62|
|Singlife Home Lite||S$35,000||S$75,000||S$69.38|
|TIQ Home Insurance||S$45,000||S$82,000||S$72.67|
|MSIG Enhanced Home Insurance - Essential||S$125,000||S$0
(Available as add-on)
|AIG Enhanced Public Housing Contents Insurance||S$150,000||S$69,500||S$75.06|
Check out exclusive offers and the best premiums on our site.
Get the right insurance policy for your needs, and protect more than just your flat’s structure from fire incidents. With home insurance, you can safeguard your family, pets, and belongings!
Read these next:
Home Insurance: Why Is It Important And How Do You Compare The Best Plans?
Home Insurance Promotions And Discounts To Protect Your Home
5 Pieces Of Home Content You Can Claim Under Your Home Insurance
Home Insurance 101 - What Exactly Are You Paying For?