Many families with young children or elderly parents need an extra pair of hands at home. If a couple works, they often need someone to do the household chores and take care of family members. This is where a foreign domestic helper comes in.
But hiring a maid can be costly and stressful. Families need to screen the potential hire, and look into something called “maid insurance”.
What is it, and what is an ideal policy? Here’s a comprehensive look at the requirement.
What is Maid Insurance?
Maid insurance is an insurance policy that covers a foreign domestic helper’s work-related accidents and medical care expenses while she is working in Singapore.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, every household has to buy medical insurance and personal accident insurance before the helper arrives in Singapore. Employers are also not allowed to pass the insurance cost to their helpers.
The Ministry of Manpower has also set specific minimum requirements. The medical insurance you buy must cover at least S$15,000 a year in inpatient care and day surgery while your helper is in Singapore. And the personal accident policy you buy must meet all of the following:
- Have a sum assured of at least S$60,000 per year
- Cover sudden, unforeseen, and unexpected incidents resulting in permanent disability or death
- Does not contain exclusion clauses that are not in the Employment of Foreign Manpower Regulations
Any compensation must be paid to your helper or her beneficiaries. The lump sum compensation helps to protect your helper and her family if she is permanently disabled or dies from an accident.
On top of the mandatory medical and personal accident coverage, many maid insurance policies include more coverage without any added costs. The additional coverage usually includes one or more of the following:
- Wages and levy reimbursement: Pays your maid when she is hospitalised due to an illness or injury
- Alternative maid benefit: Daily allowance used to hire temporary help while your maid is hospitalised
- Replacement maid expenses: Covers the hiring fees for a replacement maid if your maid’s service stops due to death, injury, or illness
- Repatriation expenses: Reimburses the cost of transportation for your maid to return to her home country following permanent disablement or death
- Termination expenses: Payout if your maid is certified unfit for work by a medical practitioner in Singapore due to illness or injury
- Insurance guarantee bond: Letter of guarantee for a S$5,000 security bond on your behalf to the Ministry of Manpower
- Liability to third parties: Protects you against expenses if there is a third-party injury or property damage because your maid was negligent
- Special grant: A lump sum payment if your maid dies while she worked in Singapore
While a foreign domestic helper’s contract typically runs for 12 or 24 months, maid insurance covers either 14 or 26 months. The Ministry of Manpower requires two extra months of maid insurance to make sure that even after your maid’s work permit expires, your maid is covered while she is in Singapore and she cannot go back to her country immediately.
Maid Insurance Comparison
While policy inclusions offered by different insurers include different benefits, all the maid insurance policies in the market cover the minimum requirements the ministry set out.
We have narrowed down a list of five maid insurance plans and the maximum amount they cover to help you find the best plan. The listed policies assume a 26-month plan for a domestic helper under the age of 40 and from the Philippines.
Great Eastern MAIDGR8
|MSIG MaidPlus Standard||Etiqa ePROTECT Maid Plan A||HL Assurance Protect360 Silver|
AIG Domestic Helper Insurance Classic
|Accidental Death or Personal Accident||S$60,000||S$60,000||S$60,000||S$60,000||S$60,000|
|Hospitalisation and Surgical Expenses||S$15,000||S$15,000||S$15,000||S$15,000||S$15,000|
|Security Bond to MOM||N.A.||S$5,000||S$5,000||S$5,000||S$5,000|
|Termination and Re-Hiring Expenses||N.A.||S$300 (Termination)|
|Domestic Helper’s Belongings||N.A.||S$300||N.A.||N.A.||S$2,250|
|Alternative Maid Services||N.A.||S$50 per day||S$10 per day||N.A.||N.A.|
|Liability to Third Parties||N.A.||S$5,000||S$5,000||N.A.||N.A.|
|Wages & levy reimbursement||N.A.||S$30 per day||S$30 per day||N.A.||N.A.|
|Price of Policy||S$217.21||S$267.50||$260.96||S$245||S$307.33|
Currently, the cheapest maid insurance policy is Great Eastern’s MAIDGR8 policy Plan A.
At S$217.21 for a 26-month policy, MAIDGR8 costs less than S$10 per month and covers the mandatory government requirements. It also includes repatriation expenses of up to S$10,000. This is the perfect policy for employers who want to cover just the necessary requirements without spending too much on insurance.
The next cheapest policy is HL Assurance’s Protect360 Silver, which offers an additional S$5,000 security bond and S$200 in termination and re-hiring expenses. The policy also offers a S$5,000 benefit if your home is damaged if your maid causes a fire.
But cheap is not always better.
If your helper is injured or hospitalised, finding alternative help can be costly. And if your helper can no longer work because of her injury, the expenses that come with the end of her stint and hiring a replacement maid can be pricey. You may want a policy that covers more unexpected issues.
Read more: When Do You Actually Need to Buy Insurance?
Most Comprehensive Policy
At S$267.50 for a 26-month policy, we think that the MSIG MaidPlus Standard Plan is the best plan that covers not only the essentials but other benefits. It is only about S$50 more expensive than Great Eastern’s.
Not only does the policy cover the basic requirements, but it also offers an alternative domestic help benefit of S$50 a day, up to 30 days. This helps to ease the cost of hiring temporary help if your maid is injured. The MSIG MaidPlus Standard Plan also covers up to S$500 for replacement maid expenses, along with giving employers peace of mind by offering coverage for legal liability to third parties up to a maximum of S$5,000.
One of the lesser-seen benefits in maid insurance is the “Maid’s Personal Belongings” benefit, which is also included in MSIG MaidPlus. This benefit gives your helper S$500 if her personal belongings are damaged due to a fire, water, or flood incident.
Similar to any other type of insurance, purely looking at the insurance costs might not be the best choice. If you need help deciding on the most suitable maid insurance policy for your budget, feel free to reach out to the Planner Bee team at email@example.com.
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