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What you need to know about insurance

This year, get organised and make sure you are protected with the proper insurance to suit your circumstances. To help you on the right path, we asked Expat Insurance to explain the kinds of coverage that are appropriate for every decade of life.

 

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Find out what you need to stay protected

In your 20s:

See the world:

Travel may be a big part of life during your twenties, as you explore the world and discover new cultures, cuisines and more. Travel insurance gives you freedom to roam the globe knowing that you’ll be able to afford medical care should anything unexpected happen to you.

Independent living:

For many of us, renting a house or a condo is a normal rite of passage during our twenties – and it can be a lot of fun! Whether you’re renting a single-family home or a shared apartment, renter’s insurance will help cover the cost of replacing your belongings if they’re unexpectedly damaged. You can also protect your most precious things such as engagement rings, cameras and other valuable items in the event of loss, damage or theft.

Don’t forget about your health:

Medical insurance is an investment worth having if you live in a country where government-subsidised healthcare isn’t available. In Singapore, private medical care is among the most expensive in the world, so international medical insurance is essential. Health insurance policies give you the flexibility to be treated in private, world-class medical facilities or, if you choose, to be transferred back to your home country for treatment and recovery.

Family planning:

Women who are planning to have children in Singapore should get health insurance with maternity coverage. Maternity insurance is an addition to general medical insurance policies, and one that’s worth buying for additional protection during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care. It’s important to remember that most maternity insurance plans require a 10- to 12-month waiting period prior to the onset of pregnancy.

In your 30s:

Buying a home:

When you buy a home, you take on a mortgage obligation that must be paid back, even at death. Life insurance with mortgage protection is important for your peace of mind, since both the mortgage terms and amount are fixed. Should you or your loved one become unable to work due to critical illness or severe disability, mortgage protection will enable you to continue repaying your home loan. In addition, home insurance will insure your home against fire, natural disaster, accidental damage and loss, theft and vandalism.

Protecting your valuables:

Consider contents insurance when you begin buying valuable jewellery, technology and more expensive furniture and homeware, or investing in art. It insures your personal belongings such as kitchenware, electronics, bikes and sports gear against loss or damage caused by accidents, theft and natural disasters.

As an extension of your home policy, you can also insure your personal belongings outside of your home, which makes the cover attractive for those protecting valuable jewellery and other portable items.

A growing family:

Although it’s an unpleasant thought, have you considered what would happen to your new baby and spouse if you became critically ill or died? How would they manage financially? Life insurance is designed to protect your loved ones from the financial impact of your death or illness. It’s the difference between your family struggling to make ends meet, and being assured of long-term financial security.

In your 40s:

Divorcing or becoming a single parent:

Single parents are the caregivers, breadwinners, cooks, chauffeurs and much more. Yet nearly four in ten single parents have no life insurance, and those who do have coverage say they need more than they have. With so much responsibility resting on one parent’s shoulders, you need to make sure that you have enough life insurance to safeguard your children’s financial future.

Starting a business:

Besides taking care of your family, life insurance can also protect you, as a small business owner, and your business. What would happen to your business if you, one of your fellow owners, or perhaps a key employee, could no longer work?

In your 50s:

Health first:

As much as we like to hope that we will live free of illness, life can throw curveballs our way. This requires preparing for the unexpected. In the event that you’re diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer, stroke or heart attack, having critical illness cover will ensure that you’re paid out a tax-free lump sum to allow you to continue living as you did before you got sick.

In your 60s and beyond:

Retirement:

Depending on the size of your estate, your heirs could be hit with a large estate tax payment after you die. The proceeds of a life insurance policy are generally income-tax free and can be set up to avoid probate, allowing heirs to take care of estate taxes, funeral costs and other debts without having to hastily liquidate other assets. Finally, if your insurance programme is properly structured, the proceeds from your life insurance policy won’t add to your estate tax liability.

Is your engagement ring insured?

The most common way to insure your ring is to optimise your renter’s or homeowner’s policy. Expensive or sentimental items like engagement rings are guaranteed through scheduled coverage – an insurance policy extension that covers specific items. Here are the questions to ask, if you’re unsure:

  • Is the ring covered worldwide or just inside my home?
  • Is the ring covered if I lose it accidentally, or only if it’s stolen?
  • How will the insurer replace the ring? With a cheque? Will they require me to purchase a replacement through a specified jeweller?
  • What if it’s a vintage ring or other unique piece? How will the quality and size of the diamond – and that of a replacement if needed – be documented?
  • Is the ring insured to full cost, or only to a fraction of it? What is the excess payable by me? Is it possible to pre-agree with the insurer on the value of the ring?
  • Are there any circumstances of loss or damage that aren’t covered? (What if your ring flies off at the circus and gets trampled by elephants, for example?)

 

6401 9201 | expatinsurance.com.sg

 

This article first appeared in the April 2017 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!

Get more tips about health insurance coverage, find out more about travel insurance and insurance to protect your belongings. Or head along to get more insider tips about living in Singapore.

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