Insurance for Expatriates in Singapore

When planning to relocate to Singapore, either on your own or with your family, you should ensure that you can have access to quality healthcare in the event that you or your family member needs medical attention.

Singapore offers world-class healthcare system with top-notch medical service providers and practitioners. However, some specialized medical treatments may be costly and expats do not qualify for subsidies offered in public healthcare system. There are various types of international and local insurance that provide coverage for expats like yourself when you are living outside your home country.

International health insurance

International Health Insurance are plans specifically designed for individuals and families living outside of their home countries. These plans may provide extensive outpatient and inpatient cover. These plans are usually customizable with optional features, allowing you the flexibility to build a plan that will meet your specific needs.

Household Insurance

If you live and work abroad, a major consideration should be the protection of your personal belongings if anything unforeseen happens. Home insurance covers usually refer to protection of unscheduled property belonging to you or your family. This would apply to items such as your furniture, electrical appliances, books, clothes etc.Expats tend to purchase a lot of furniture, antiques, jewelry, carpets and other valuables during their stay in Asia. They all need to be covered by an all including home insurance policy.

Some insurers have specially catered programs for expatriates, and do sometimes term these as Renter's or Tenant's policies


1. Contents insurance can provide "named peril" coverage, meaning the policy states specifically what you are insured against, or 'all risks' coverage in which case the policy covers against all perils except for those specifically excluded.
2. Make sure that the valuable articles sub-limits provide enough protection for your valuables. You can also ask for higher sub-limits or a specific valuable articles insurance cover.
3. Check whether the claims will be paid on 'agreed value', "replacement cost" or "actual cash value" (ACV) basis.
  ACV coverage will pay only for what your property was worth at the time it was damaged or stolen.
  Replacement cost coverage , on the other hand, will pay for what it actually costs to replace the items you lost.
  Agreed Value cover will pay you a pre-determined amount for a specific piece of insured item.

Singapore Motor Car Insurance

Third Party Insurance is compulsory when registering a car. This insurance covers the insured's legal liability to a third party for bodily injury and property damage in case of an accident.

Third Party Fire and Theft

Covers the motor vehicle against loss or damage caused by fire, external explosion, self-ignition, lightning or theft and the insured's legal liability to third parties for bodily injury and property damage.

Comprehensive (always advisable)

Covers the motor vehicle against loss or damage caused by accidents, third party liability and fire & theft

Company Car

If you are provided with a company car insure that our spouse/partner is included in the policy as additional driver.

Singapore Private Medical / Health Insurance

If you are included in a worldwide group health insurance scheme of your company you will usually enjoy a more comprehensive cover then locally applicable. In case you need to provide for your own insurances you can try to amend your existing home policy to include your assignment overseas for an additional premium.

Alternatively, you can join a comprehensive medical insurance scheme offered in the local market. If you have a local employment contract and you are provided with limited local medical benefits as mentioned above, you could take up self insurance to upgrade your health cover.

Singapore Medisave and Medishield Insurance

If you participate in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) this national savings scheme includes a compulsory national health care savings program called Medisave . A percentage of your monthly income will be paid into your Medisave account mainly to cover hospitalization expenses and inpatient medical fees for yourself and your immediate family.

CPF members and their dependants can participate on an additional medical plan called Medishield. MediShield is a low-cost medical insurance scheme that will help you and your dependants meet costs of treatment for serious illness or prolonged hospitalization. These schemes, however, may not cover all medical treatment costs. Additional private insurance cover would be required. Also, it should be noted that these schemes only apply for CPF members and provide cover in Singapore only.

Singapore Domestic Help (Maid) Insurance

Typical maid insurance protects the employer of the domestic helper against unexpected expenses when hiring a new maid or renewing their services. Such insurance should cover medical and accident situations for the maid and issue a security bond to the Ministry of Manpower.. Therefore, it is applicable for domestic helpers (maids).

Travel Insurance

Since recently it is possible to buy travel insurance covering terror attacks or the closure of travel agencies in Singapore. Buy insurance for less than SGD 10 a day to be compensated in case a travel agency collapses and cannot refund a deposit. During the economic slowdown there were reported 42 travel agencies closures in one year.

Try to get a more comprehensive cover than offered through credit cards, airlines or tour packages which covers you beyond death, emergency evacuation or baggage loss. Policies ideally offer a higher coverage for theft of personal belongings, hospitalization and sporting activities.

Note that you are not always insured when you go scuba-diving, bungee-jumping or parachuting. The same applies to pre-existing illness and medical conditions.

Alternatively buy your policy in advance if you are traveling more than three times a year, as an annual travel policy saves you money. The usual limit of days covered is 90 days per trip. A group travel insurance may also help saving as discounts apply.